Create Predictable Success with Emotionally Rich Video Storytelling

A handsome man sitting back in his chair and smiling. He's at home on a laptop. He's happy because his video has emotionally rich storytelling, and he's thrilled that his video production team ensured he will connect with people on an emotional level.

What if you knew ahead of time what result you could get with your video story?

Using video storytelling in a way that creates consistent success can feel increasingly difficult, especially if you aren’t a video production agency.

However, every marketing guru is stressing the importance of storytelling as a critical part of your video content strategy. 

How can you effectively use video storytelling as a reliable tool to build revenue?

Is there a simple strategy anyone can follow?


Research shows that a simple message delivered in a storytelling format can be 22 times more effective than facts. 

While storytelling being more effective than straight facts might seem obvious to you, many people resort to using mostly fact based content over stories in their marketing without even realizing it! 

Let’s face it, facts are easy for most people, while video storytelling is not. 

That’s why they usually hire a video production company.

But video storytelling can be much easier than you think, in fact, you are already a great storyteller, because you do it all the time with close friends and family.

In this guide, we’ll look at some simple strategies to make video storytelling reliable and profitable!


Choose A Desired Emotional Response 

As a video agency, we will never just blindly start crafting a story for your video. 

We first need to decide on how we want the viewer to respond to your story.

A simple strategy for this is to pick a specific emotion we want to elicit. 

The reason we start with an emotion is because they are truly what drives big decisions.

 “Emotional responses to content are more influential on purchasing decisions than the content itself, so brands need to make sure they hit the ideal levels of arousal. – Hubspot

If investing in your brand requires a decision maker to evaluate (which is most often the case), you want to invoke an emotion when they view your video storytelling. 

The truth is, whoever invokes more emotion, wins the sale! 

(That’s tweet-able right?)

Pick one emotion, and make the story focus on invoking that emotion in your viewers, and you will start seeing more success.



Four Emotions That Get Predictable Results

There are four main emotions that lead to measurable actions from your video storytelling.

Let’s review each of the four in detail, so you can decide which is best for your specific brand. 

Happy Emotions = Shares

Research shows that invoking happiness in your video storytelling will lead to more shares.

When people share your video, you get more brand exposure, and eventually new clients. 

The New York Times did an article on how good news actually beats bad news on social media. 

It wasn’t always the case, but things have changed in our culture. 

One thing that’s true for me is that I feel great about myself when I share something positive!

When I share some bad news socially however, I actually feel remorse. Can you relate?

Ask your video team to tailor a video so that it’s a piece of great news, and people will be inspired to share it!


Sad Emotions = Empathy

There is also a time and place to use the opposite of happiness in your video storytelling.

A sad or somber story can really pull at heartstrings of your ideal client, assuming the story has been told in earnest. This is very effective for foundations, non-profits, and charities that are looking for donations. 

A sad story told the right way, can inspire your ideal demographic to want to get involved, and if your call to action suggests, donate money! 

I want to be clear though, that a sad story is not a sob story. “Woe is me”, and pity does not work. 

You are simply addressing the part of the story that hasn’t yet arrived at it’s “happily ever after moment” just yet. In fact, the sadder the story is at the beginning, the happier the conclusion will be. 

If your potential investors and donors see that your company can continue the story to where it ends off happily, they will feel far more invested emotionally, and invest financially. 

So for charities and foundations, sad stories are for you! 

Which means telling stories that involve sad circumstances that your brand is hoping to solve in the world. 

Here’s a great example:



Fear Emotions = Loyalty

Using fear can be a powerful approach to creating profitable storytelling. 

 “Eliciting fear allows your brand to be seen as the one good thing in a dark world” -Hubspot 

The key to success in this category is to provide a solution! 

Your video shouldn’t just be fear mongering. That won’t work. 

Instead, create awareness of a scary problem, and then offer a solution. 

Similar to sadness, your ideal demographic will relate to this present fear, and feel a deeper sense of connection to your brand because you are out there trying to solve it.

In this way, they can become a brand evangelist, and feel like they are solving the problem vicariously through you. 

But video agencies have a great fear of fear. (No pun intended).  

They’re afraid of viewers associating the bad feelings with the video’s brand. It’s a fair concern, however research is showing that this isn’t actually the outcome. 

A study published by the Journal of Consumer Research, has shown that your brand can actually help people overcome feelings of fear.

“One of our studies found that consumers didn’t need to touch or physically consume the product to show higher emotional brand attachment after a fear experience.”

  • Lea Dunn and JoAndrea Hoegg, Marketing and Behavioural Science Professors

What is the biggest fear of your ideal clients? 

How can you elicit that in your video storytelling?

Here is a great video story from a company that tells stories expertly, GoPro!



Anger Emotions = Virality

A great example of this is when a video goes viral because it documents a local tragedy,  political issue, or violation of human rights, such as police brutality. 

These videos tend to get major traction on social media platforms.

When people see a video or piece of content that angers them, they want the world to know, and they don’t hold back their expression.

Oftentimes, people feel like publicizing it is the only thing they can do to help fight the injustice. 

Anger is a high arousal emotion, and certain stories that address topics that anger people, can be leveraged effectively when seeking to get your message out.

It’s definitely not the best approach for every brand or product, but it does work well in some cases.

Need an example?

Nike’s video featuring Colin Kaepernick comes to mind.


Close up photo of football player with text: "Believe in something, even if it means sacrificing everything".


Giving him the spotlight in their video created a viral sensation. 

They did lose a lot of customers over it, but they also gained clients, while further solidifying the loyalty of the clients they considered ideal.

Nike chose to pair their brand with video storytelling about one man’s choice to call attention to racial inequality. 

It was a story about anger, that invoked anger.

When considering a story that evokes anger, you’ll want to stay away from making inflammatory comments, or insulting people. Be very careful here.

Rather, it’s about focusing your story around a topic that already angers your ideal target audience, and creating a common bond with your audience. 

People relate to a brand’s personality in the same way they do with people. 

Is there something in your industry that you yourself feel angered by? This is a great place to start. Speaking to the matter will help inspire your ideal demographic audience to rally to your cause, and share your video.


Create A Voice For Your Video Storytelling

Once you’ve decided on the specific emotion you want to invoke, it’s time to get clear on the voice of the video story.

It could be someone of authority who works in your company, the CEO for example.

It could also be an actor, portraying your ideal client, so that your audience sees someone they relate to. 

This is often the best strategy, because your new clients will always relate more to your current clients, then they will to you, since you are in a position of authority or expertise, and they aren’t.

They want to see someone who used to be in their position, but has transcended the circumstances thanks to working with you.

If you’re going the route of animation or mostly visuals, you can hire a voice over artist to be the voice. 

Whomever you choose, make sure that the voice of your story is charismatic. 

It’s one thing to tell a story. It’s another to tell a story with passion.

If it’s a comedy video, make sure they’re funny. 

If it’s a staff member, make sure they’re comfortable on camera. 

Having a flat or dull delivery of your story will ruin it, no matter how much planning or preparation has gone into your pre-production.

Here’s an example of a video with a specific “voice” chosen for comedy.



Next Steps In Video Storytelling

Once you’ve got a clear idea of what emotion you want to invoke, and who will be the voice, you’re already ahead of the game with regards to your video storytelling strategy. 

You’ve ensured that your video is emotionally engaging, and can more easily predict the outcome of your viewer when they have an emotional response.

You may feel like you’re ready to start pre-production. This involves concept in detail, scriptwriting, storyboarding, and preparing to film. 

Or you may still feel lost in terms of how to flesh out a video story in more detail. 

If that’s the case, get in touch with us today.

We’re expert storytellers and can help you make a powerful story that will lead you to more conversions. 

Just getting started with video? Check out the S.A.V.E.


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By Anthony Madani

Anthony is the Director at UpMedia Video, and an expert at Video Marketing, with a rapidly growing business. He’s spent over 18 years in media production, from award winning television shows (on Netflix and HBO), to producing ads for large corporations such as Toyota, Flight Center, and Canada Life.

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