What is storytelling?

Naomi Linford Sep 6, 2021 10:54:45 AM

Now we're pretty sure you're no stranger to storytelling - whether it's the classic ghost stories around a campfire scene or even just telling a colleague about your weekend. Storytelling is part of our daily lives. 

But sometimes when we're so close to something, it's hard to see it for what it truly is. That's often the case with storytelling, we're so used to telling stories we lose sight of how powerful they are and how we can use them in other parts of our lives and work. In this blog we're taking the opportunity to refocus on exactly what storytelling is, the elements all good stories have to have, and how you can benefit from storytelling today. 

Sound good? Read on! ๐Ÿ‘‡

What is storytelling?

The dictionary definition of storytelling is: 'the activity of writing, telling, or reading stories'. But this really only tells us how stories are shared, not why. 

We prefer HubSpot's definition of storytelling as โ€œthe process of using fact and narrative to communicate something to your audience. Some stories are factual, and some are embellished or improvised in order to better explain the core message.โ€

Storytelling is an art and has become a crucial component of successful video creation. Itโ€™s used to simplify complex messages while evoking empathy and reaching customers emotionally. Stories make us human, and when a brand uses storytelling, they appear more transparent and authentic to the user. So learning how to develop your storytelling skills will elevate your brand and lead to better connections with your audience, and weโ€™re here to help you do just that!


The 5 key elements of effective storytelling

Crafting a good story is like following a recipe (just with a little more drama thrown in). At it's core, all good stories, from fairytales to novels have five key ingredients. It's what you do with these ingredients that makes all the difference!

To start cooking up your story you'll need a plot, place, characters, conflict and theme. We dive into each of them in our quick animation ๐Ÿ‘‡โœจ


How you can benefit from storytelling

Now you know what makes a great story, you might be wondering how you can start benefitting from the magic of storytelling. Whether you're an educator, marketer or business owner, there are three key benefits of storytelling...

1. Build a stronger emotional connection with your audience

Unlike facts, figures and statistics, stories are told from the perspective of one or multiple characters. Instantly this gives us someone or a group of people to empathize with and care about. 

We're then more invested in what happens to those people and the potential message they're sharing. This is why around the holiday season you'll see adverts featuring cute animals or snowmen as the main characters. We can't resist getting bought into their world and subconsciously learning about that company's new holiday products. 

This can also work really well by positioning your target audience as the lead character!

2. Make your content more memorable

Again, how many times have you remembered a specific number? Aside from your own phone number, we're betting not many... Instead we remember emotions - stories make us feel something. 

Which is why if you want your message to be remembered for longer, it's key to position it as a story. Just think - if we asked you to recount the plot of almost any popular story from Cinderella to Goldilocks you most likely could. The same couldn't be said for data!

3. Engage audiences for longer

The peaks and troughs of stories also keep us interested for much longer. And we're not talking about feature length films here - even in a one minute video advert, you can often lose viewers in the first 7 seconds. With a story you're helping viewers enter a new world for a little longer and hook them in with an intriguing plot and emotive characters. 

This is key since we know not only does Google prioritize websites with higher 'dwell time' (the average length of time users spend on your website) but the longer someone watches your content, the higher chances of conversion. So it's a win-win!

There we have it - our refresher on what storytelling is and how you can benefit from it today! To start your own video storytelling journey, start a free 7-day trial of VideoScribe. Or for a little help bringing your vision to life, get in touch with our friendly Sparkol Studio animation team ๐Ÿ‘‡

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