Nisa Neethling Content Writer

Storytelling Video VS Commercials: 9 Hacks to Create Engaging Videos

Storytelling Video
Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter

Are people clicking off your videos before they’ve hit the 30-second mark?


Truth be told… They’re clicking off because your videos are either not targeted correctly or just plain boring. And nobody likes boring stuff. 

That’s why you need to know the difference between a storytelling video and a commercial video.

Let’s look at the difference.

Commercial videos

Commercial videos are solely focused on selling you a product or service. The really successful ones raise brand awareness, generate new leads, and convert existing prospects.


Commercials worked for its era but as people have changed, so have their tastes, wants, and desires.

High-converting commercials have 3 main elements:

  1. They tap into the desires of your audience.
  2. It has a plan on how to solve the problem.
  3. The commercial video promises to make people’s lives easier.

Now, for your commercial to be successful, it still needs to have that added touch.

These videos:

  • Stir emotion by leveraging nostalgia to hold attention. But you only have the 1st 30 seconds to do this.
  • Speak to your audience in a voice that they can relate to.
  • Use a soundtrack that helps change the feelings of your viewers. As the music changes, so do their emotions change too.
  • Needs to be quick as people’s attention span is shorter because the web is such a noisy place.  

Here’s what a successful commercial look like. 

Storytelling videos

While a storytelling video has all the aspects that a commercial video has, the cherry on the cake is the story element. It means that you have a higher chance of being noticed among the billions online at the same time.  

Because humans crave instant gratification, they’re looking for something that they can get out of your video – right now. And that is not even your product or service yet.

Stories help people make sense of their lives. If they can relate to what your story is about, you’ll increase engagement.

The recipe for engagement = Stimulating visuals + compelling narrative

These 9 hacks helps you use storytelling with video

1: Ask a dramatic question at the beginning.

Focus on what the pain point is and ask a question around that.

2: Think what the point of the story is

The point that you’re aiming to show is what will benefit your viewer – the problem that you’re solving.

3: Tell authentic stories about your brand.

Collaborate with those that you’ve helped to come up with authentic campaigns.

4: Provide the answer at the end of the tale.

Show how you helped others. But you need to do this in a way that you provided the vehicle for your clients to empower themselves as opposed to you jumping in to save the day.

5: Has an entertainment and engagement factor 

This doesn’t always equate to comedy. Emotions could be with anger, sadness, or it could be something that makes people happy. Any type of emotion often results in engagement.

6: Use fewer words or no words

This works wonders as mobile users watch a video with the sound off.

7: Have a hero that they relate to 

It’s important to remember that you’re not the hero, your client or audience is the hero. You only provide a tool that they can use to be their own hero in their life.

8: Add the surprise element

Think of what sets your offering apart and throw it in there.

9: Remember that stories are told to make a point and not just state facts

While it’s important to let people know what you’re all about, your video’s success comes from how people felt. Stats and graphs will not evoke the kind of emotion that makes people take action.


Commercial videos worked for its era, but consumers eventually became immune to its powers. People can see right through advertising and find them downright annoying. Plus, they no longer want to spend a few seconds watching an ad.


Whereas, storytelling videos has all the factors of a good commercial, they possess the engagement factor. And, this is done by provoking visuals and an entertaining narrative.

Which area are you struggling with to leverage the recipe of engagement in your marketing videos? Drop a comment below.


Keep in mind that I may receive commissions (or credit) when you click some of the links and make purchases. However, this does not impact my reviews and comparisons. I try my best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Related Posts

Subscribe to my newsletter


Pssst! Subscribed to my mailing list as yet? If not, you can do so now.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse on this website, you accept the use of cookies for the above purposes.