Different components of video storytelling

Video storytelling is no different from text storytelling – it is an authentic way to represent your brand in an engaging, compelling way.

As with text, you need to layer the story in your video to add depth and create interest – that’s really important.

If you just do a piece to camera, like in this adjacent example, and don’t add any other components, it will still get your message across. But it will be incredibly boring.

You’re not going to get the same level of engagement with your audience; you’re not going to get an emotional connection.

The people telling the story are the focus – you can’t forego the head-shots – but it’s really important to layer on other things to break up the talking head and provide additional bits of information simultaneously.

So let your creativity break free and you’ll be surprised what a difference a few additional components can make.

Overlay footage

Overlay footage can work really well to add depth and visual interest for your audience. We use a really cool gimble device which is not that expensive. These devices allow you to wander around with an iPhone and capture overlay footage while you’re at a shoot or conducting an interview.

Use this footage to add in snippets about the businesses that might not get covered in the video script – your shop floor, the location, the customers enjoying your product.

For Visual Storyteller Danny Pinn, you can never have enough overlay!

“Overlay footage is the secret ingredient that will give your video that extra impact or help you convey a lot of information. No matter how strong your message is, it will be lost if all the viewer has to look at is a talking head. 

Overlay footage adds depth to your video as it reinforces what you are saying. It also provides an opportunity to showcase your products and the friendly environment prospects can expect when they come to visit your business.”

After effects

The other way to break up pieces to camera is to use after effect edits. It’s quite straightforward to add awesome word and text graphics over the top – it’s amazing how useful that is to break up the piece to camera and make it more exciting to watch.


“Graphic explainers are a very powerful and efficient way to communicate complex ideas.

You could think of them as a sophisticated whiteboard representation of concepts that are difficult to outline. When they are used in conjunction with speech on a video they are very effective as they blend audio and visual learning techniques,” explains Danny.


And then the other option you have is to add subtitles.

If you’re putting your videos on social media, it’s a good idea to use subtitles – it makes your video a lot more accessible.  People tend to watch videos in silent mode when they’re on the train or at the office. So make sure you don’t lose this segment of your audience.

Danny says, “Social platforms such as Facebook have become such a gushing fire hose and people are being bombarded with information. They don’t even have time to open videos.

You have to engage them within the first five seconds. Anything beyond that and the thumb comes out to scroll past. Your video needs a thumb-stopper and subtitles provide just that.

Subtitles communicate the message of the video without the viewer having to actually open it. They will be able to glean the gist of the content almost immediately and, if it’s compelling, it will encourage them to turn on the volume and fully immerse themselves.”

Remember the goal is to engage your audience enough to drive them back to your website, wanting more!

Voice over

Another technique you can use is the voice-over video.

The client records themselves as voice only, and an editing team then overlays the visual component.

This is appealing to clients who want a video but aren’t comfortable in front of the camera or don’t have the time to do so. Or perhaps you’re explaining a process that happens away from the office, on the factory floor for example.

You can record their voice straight into your phone.

We have a nice example of this adjacent that combines voiceover with a number of video components. The result is a story with beautiful visuals and overlay footage used to illustrate the step by step process of picking up a new boat.

If you’d like to know more about using video to tell your story, contact us today.

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