How to Tell a Story That Makes People Want to Buy Your Stuff

Call me a sap, but I love a good story. The story where the guy gets the girl, the bad guy is defeated, and the underdog makes a comeback. These are the kinds of stories we can hear again and again, even when we can predict the ending. But why? Because a good story gets us to care about the characters and what will happen to them.

But what if storytelling was also the way to get prospective customers to care about your brand? In fact, it is. Fast Company reported that 92% of customers want brands that use ads that tell a story. You can see it for yourself. Check out Fast Company’s infographic on “The Science of Storytelling.”

92% of customers want brands that use ads that tell a story. 

Science of Storytelling Infographic

It’s clear that you need to tell a story, but not everyone is a Hollywood director. So, the question is how do you tell a great story? That’s where we’d like to help. Here are 5 tips for telling a great story:

Tip #1

Be yourself.
Jane Praeger, a faculty member at Columbia for Strategic Communications, emphasizes the shift that has taken place in marketing due to our culture going “online” with their social lives. Social media has pushed individuals, as well as businesses, to be “more authentic and transparent and personal.” Business marketing has also been impacted. But it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. As Jane explains, “well-crafted stories bring issues and concepts down to earth, so that people can literally see and feel them.” Bottom line?

People don’t want to buy your product unless they care about your brand.

Tip #2

Pose a problem early in the video. Will the aliens blow the world to pieces? Does Ferris Bueller get caught by the principal, Mr. Rooney? Does Nemo get found? Every good story has a question that drives you to the ending credits. So should yours. We like the way Crazy Egg’s explainer video from Demo Duck, introduces a problem (visitors won’t convert), and how they’re going to solve it (with their nifty heat map tool), in the opening animation. Here’s a snapshot:

Crazy Egg Explainer video snapshot

You need to get your viewer engaged in the first 10 seconds, and posing a problem that a potential customer can relate to, is a great way to reel them in.

But don’t take our word for it. Take three of the most successful explainer videos as an example:

Dollar Shave Club

Problem: “Do you like spending $20 a month on brand name razors?”

Solution: “Shave Time Shave Money”


Problem:   “How do you keep track of your financial life?”

Solution:  “The Best Free Way to Manage Your Money”


     Problem: “Friends, there’s going to come a day when you need to get something

notarized, which usually means hunting down a place like this, in that strip mall next to  the old rail yard.”

Solution: “Bringing notary into the 21st century.”


So what is your customer’s biggest problem? And how is your product going to solve it? Answer those questions and you’ve got an outline for your story!

Tip #3

Have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Keeping your story focused is the best way to keep viewers interested. A way to achieve focus is by having a clear outline that zeroes in on your beginning, middle, and end. KISSmetrics suggests breaking your story into four parts.

Tip #4

Use Elements to tell the story other than sounds. Studies show that up to 85% of Facebook video is watched without sound. There’s a ton of great explainer videos that rely on a great script to get their message across, but if your concept and message are pretty straightforward, you may want to consider a video that can tell your story without sound. You can use typography, infographics, or simply great animation to communicate volumes, even without the volume on.

Take Spotify’s awesome explainer video that can be enjoyed with or without sound.


Not to toot our own horn (tooot), but here’s our MC video that gets the message across with cool effects and typography.


GEICO commercials are also an example of fun storytelling

So if you want to do a lot of social media advertising, considering whether your story sells with or without volume is something to consider.


Make it memorable. Think about the ads that you remember from childhood. Or how about your favorite cartoons and movies? My guess is you don’t remember every single detail (if you do, then cyber high five!), but there’s something that stuck with you. Maybe it was a character that you loved, or a costume that you imagined yourself zooming around in.

Maybe it was remembering watching it while scarfing down cereal with your kid brother. The point is, our memories are emotive. If you want your video to be memorable, think about how you can pluck an emotional chord. You can do that by making the story relatable or relevant to someone’s everyday life.

Read more: How to Use Video to Trigger Customer Emotions

Check out this cool diagram from visually about “How to Make a Video Memorable”. There’s some great stuff jam-packed in there, but our favorite was this quote:

“For thousands of years, stories have been a fundamental communication method passing information from generation to generation.”

Wow! I love how it visually drives home the point that stories are worth remembering and communicating. Our stories matter. Your brand’s story matters. How do you want to be remembered?

“Your brand’s story matters. How do you want to be remembered?”

If you want a great explainer video, we’ll walk you through the process. Hope you don’t mind, but you’ll have to get our one-on-one attention as we get to know you so that we can understand your brand and what you’re all about.

We’ll include all the above elements to deliver a focused message that packs a punch, but more than that, we believe a good story is packed with passion.

As we get to know each of our clients, we’re able to figure out what their unique spark is. Because like Hollywood, we like to think that it’s not just the story; the script; animation, or the editing, but it’s that magical secret ingredient that makes an explainer video stand out. So what are you waiting for? Let’s tell your story.

Posted by Osama Khabab

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