Are you looking to create compelling marketing videos that grab viewers’ attention?

The “secret sauce” to make that happen might not be what you think…it’s storytelling!

Having a clear story structure or format to your business videos can help your video content convey a clear message that’s compelling and resonates with viewers. After all, who doesn’t love a good story?

Here’s a breakdown of one of the most popular story structures (in fact, you’ll probably recognize it!):

The Hero’s Journey

From books to movies to TV shows and more, the Hero’s Journey is all over the place, so chances are, you’ve encountered it numerous times without realizing it. Here’s the concept of the Hero’s Journey in a nutshell:

“A hero embarks on a quest to overcome a daunting challenge–defeating a nefarious villain or a lethal dragon. Along the way, the hero is joined by a wise sage or guide who assists the hero by offering the necessary tools or weapons the hero needs to defeat the villain/dragon.”

Sound familiar? This story structure is literally everywhere. It resonates with us because we love seeing a hero overcome a challenge, or good conquering evil.

Let’s borrow a well-known example to breakdown the Hero’s Journey further–the Lord of the Rings. In the trilogy, we know that Frodo is the hero, who’s on a quest to destroy the ring, and ultimately defeat the evil Sauron. Frodo the hobbit obviously can’t do this on his own, so Gandalf comes to his aid to help him along the way. This aid comes in the form of guidance and advice, and assembling the Fellowship of the Ring, among other forms.

The Hero’s…business video?

So story structures are all well and good…in fiction. How in the wide world of Middle-Earth does this apply to making better business videos?

Let’s take the original concept of the Hero’s Journey, and apply it to business. Here’s how it would go:

“A business embarks on a journey to overcome a tough obstacle–a daunting challenge or problem in their respective industry that their clients or customers are facing. Along the way, they’re helped by an outside source who equips them with the tools they need to overcome the challenge or problem, and better serve their customers.”

That’s the stuff of legends right there. On first glance, you might immediately start filling in the roles in your head. A business overcoming a challenge? Sounds like the hero. An outside source coming to their aid? That must be the wise sage.

And then most of us in business start jumping to conclusions…

Role reversal

As video marketers, we probably start putting ourselves or the business we work for into the Hero’s Journey story structure…because obviously we’re the hero. We’re Frodo.


Nope. Here’s where the vast majority of us go wrong in our video marketing efforts. We assume we’re the hero, and that the story is about us overcoming our own challenges.

This is why our video marketing efforts fall flat, or we don’t see the traction that we hope for.

Ready to get your mind blown? You’re not the hero of the story–your clients are. The story is about them overcoming their challenges. They’re Frodo, and you’re Gandalf. Your role in the story is to come alongside your customers and give them the tools they need to overcome their problems. These tools are your products or services.

Suddenly, your overall marketing message becomes “Here’s how we can help you”, rather than “Look at how great we are!”

There’s plenty of other story structures out there, but the Hero’s Journey is the most common, and the most familiar. Start using it in your video marketing, and see how your customers will start to connect and engage with your message.

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Kevin Kolbe is an online video marketing specialist, producer, storyteller, and creative dude who head’s up Kevin Kolbe Media, LLC. Find out more: