How to Storyboard a Marketing Video (If You're Not an Artist) (2023)

Like it or not, content marketing is embracing today's visual culture and moving towards video.

According to HubSpot, 43% of people would like to see more video content from marketers, and four times as many customers would rather watch a video about a product than read about it.

Unfortunately, this does not bode well for blog posts.

Because written content becomes less effective over time, you're probably already thinking about creating somethingVideo content as part of your marketing strategy. You might be eager to jump right in andStart making videos, but planning your content has proven invaluable in keeping your story — and your creative team — on track. I am here today to help you.

Before you grab your camera and hit the studio, make sure you have a storyboard to back it up.

What is a storyboard?

A storyboard is a series of sketches that represent each shot planned for a video, film, or commercial. They usually include instructions for camera angles, lighting, and transitions, as well as dialogue and other notes.

Just as all good writers start their articles with outlines, good marketers start their videos with storyboards.. You've probably seen them for animated films before. Pixar creative director John Lasseter calls it "a comic book version of the story." Here are some storyboards his team used when creating Finding Nemo:

How to Storyboard a Marketing Video (If You're Not an Artist) (1)

But I amCreation of a marketing video, you can disagree.Does this technique really apply to me?While storyboards for marketing videos may not need to be as detailed as those used by major Hollywood studios, they are still essential.

Why are storyboards important?

Storyboards help you plan your video from start to finish. How will the lighting be? how will it flow Do you want voiceovers or dialogue? How would you like the viewersfeel? The storyboard allows you to collaborate with other team members to develop your shared vision for the video.

In many ways, storyboards are like a dress rehearsal for real videos. Storyboarding allows you to uncover problems and identify gaps in your video before you spend money on production.

By clarifying these things in advance, you can ensure that the end product is exactly what you envisioned. The storyboard allows you to give directions to the people who will take your idea and build it, rotate it, cut it, and turn it into the final product.

Make sure your marketing video is what you want it to be. Start with a storyboard.

Some examples of great marketing videos

Let's take a look at three extremely effective marketing videos. In the next section, we'll refer to them when explaining the basic components of a storyboard.

1. Introduction to Dropbox


Dropbox introductory videocame out in 2009 but sellers are still talking about it. At that time, Dropbox was still relatively unknown. They then placed the video on their front page, where it was viewed 30,000 times a day for several years, fueling the company's rapid growth.

The results make it clear that this was a successful video. But why exactly? Its unique jagged animation style draws the viewer's attention. Dropbox solves the problem of organizing digital files related to all aspects of life, e.g. B. everyday problems like accidentally forgetting your wallet at home. Dropbox can solve your home and work organization problems. It's also short enough so that the viewer doesn't get bored, and it ends with a clear call to action to download Dropbox.

2. Facebook Tip: Stickers


Facebook Marketing Tips Serieshighlights 12 unique features of the social media platform. These videos are no longer than necessary and get the point across quickly in an entertaining way. This encourages people to keep looking, learn what they need to do, and start using Facebook again. Rather than being a boring video tutorial, they associate the stickers feature with fun events and conversations in the Facebook user's life, such as: B. Celebrate by running a marathon with your friends.

3. Salesforce-Demo


Salesforce-Demovideoguides sales reps through a day in the life of using their software. Include inspirational messages about how to solve your problem (+29% higher win rates), social proof from well-known companies that use it, and a strong CTA in the form of a YouTube annotation so viewers can click straight to your site. from the video

Sellers are especially motivated by fame, victory and competition. Cleverly, Salesforce ends the video with multiple shots of the user being commended by his peers and boss for "hitting his quota."

Basic framework for an effective marketing video

Every successful marketing video follows this basic story structure:

  1. tin opener
  2. representation of the problem
  3. Solution
  4. call to action

Let's go through them one by one.

tin opener

Istin openerThey must immediately grab the viewer's attention. You need to intrigue them and encourage them to keep looking.

For example, the Dropbox video starts with, “You were there. You want to buy lunch and you realize that your wallet is in your other pair of pants." Now the viewer wonders: "Okay, that happened to me. Do you want to tell me how to fix this? I'll keep watching to find out..."

Try to create a sense of urgency or mystery in your opening.

representation of the problem

The problem statement describes the problem that the viewer experiences.

When determining the scope of your problem, keep in mind who your target audience is. The Dropbox video wanted to be as relatable as possible, so it addressed a universal theme like organization. On the other hand, Salesforce videos follow account managers, so their message is much more specific: "What if you could spend more time selling and connecting with your customers?"

Next, in the solution portion of the video, explain how your brand can solve this unique problem for the viewer.


They attracted viewers with an intriguing opening. You then bonded with them by acknowledging their problem. Now it's time to show the viewer how your product can solve their specific problem. This is where you go into detail, show people who love using your product and add explanatory screenshots.

This is where our three example videos stand out. Dropbox video's simple 2D animation mimics how easy it is to organize files with Dropbox. Salesforce walks the viewer through your entire sales process with a point-of-view presentation, helping you imagine what it's like to use the platform and how good it will be for your career. The Facebook video shows how stickers make using Facebook a little (much?) more fun and help you better connect with your friends. after all, it is a relationship product.

call to action

Finally the moneymaker. With a call-to-action, you are literally calling the viewer to take action: fill out a lead form, visit your website, or buy your product.

If your video still isn't convincing enough, Salesforce keeps preparing the viewer for the last frame to easily convince them. Before the final call to action, Salesforce displays the expected results on screen and publishes the logos of the main brands using the platform. It then ends with a strong CTA and includes YouTube annotations so users can quickly click through to your site instead of having to write it themselves.

Make sure your brand name, website address, and CTA remain clear and long enough in the last frame of your video for the viewer to digest.

8 steps to create a graphic script for your marketing video

Now that you have an idea of ​​what makes an engaging video, let's walk through the steps to develop your storyboard. Working through these steps will lead you to your ultimate goal:Creation of a marketing videothat aligns with your vision.

1. Create a schedule

Storyboarding is all about structure. In this step, you want to figure out the sequence of events for your video. What is the narrative you are telling?

How to Storyboard a Marketing Video (If You're Not an Artist) (2)

Be sure to follow the opening order - problem statement - solution - call to action.

2. Identify the main scenes

How to Storyboard a Marketing Video (If You're Not an Artist) (3)

In addition to the final call-to-action, set the key points of your video. Maybe it's a close-up of a differentiator of your product, a montage of customers using your product, or a great opening scene.

Which scenes captivate the viewer and move him to action?

3. Decide how much detail to add to each scene

Want a cleaner approach like Dropbox and Facebook that focus on cropped animations or screenshots? Or do you prefer Salesforce's more hands-on approach, where you see the salesperson in various scenes using the platform? Maybe you want a completely different concept.

You don't want to overwhelm the viewer. Whichever route you take, make sure your product and message is unobtrusive.

4. Write your script

How to Storyboard a Marketing Video (If You're Not an Artist) (4)

Whether it's based on dialogue, voice-over, or a combination of both, your script should describe every word spoken in the video.

In a later step, you'll overlay your audio on the appropriate thumbnails.

5. Choose your storyboard tool

Here's the good news: you have a smorgasbord of storyboarding tools to choose from.

You can choose the retro option and use pen, markers or crayons and paper. Or you can go high tech with one of these:

  • Presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint or Google Slides
  • Graphic design software such as Adobe Illustrator and Adobe InDesign
  • iPad software such as Adobe Photoshop Sketch (usually requires a stylus)
  • Graphical scripting software such as Amazon Storyteller or Storyboard That
  • Storyboard templates likeBefor Google Slides east of Vidyard

How to Storyboard a Marketing Video (If You're Not an Artist) (5)

When setting up the storyboard template, make sure the thumbnails are approximately the same size as the video dimensions (e.g. square, 4:3, 16:9).

6. Outline your thumbnails

How to Storyboard a Marketing Video (If You're Not an Artist) (6)

This is where you get down to business and start sketching your scenes.

Depending on your artistic skill and range, you can draw fully formed characters and backgrounds, or use stick figures for people and simple geometric shapes for objects.

7. Write down each scene in detail

A storyboard is a visual tool, but you need to add the non-visual details to get the best result.

Add dialogue and/or voice-overs from your script to each thumbnail. Add directional cues for the people who will be working on the video, such as: B. the desired lighting and camera angle. Number your thumbnails so they don't get mixed up.

8. Add cuts

A "cut" occurs whenever the video is zoomed in to emphasize the action. Our three example videos use pauses to emphasize specific actions you can take with your product or software.

Include on your storyboard where you want to cut and any other instructions related to transitions or the flow of your video.

Plan for success

The next best marketing video can't just exist in your head. To help other people understand your vision, you need a storyboard. Define your narrative, outline it, and add dialogue and production instructions to your scenes. Then watch your video come to life.

About the author:Michael Quoc is the founder and CEO ofoffer for, an open social platform that connects emerging brands, lifestyle influencers and trend-savvy shoppers in new and exciting ways. Previously, he was Director of Product Management for Yahoo's Media Lab, where he led the launch of several innovative services in live video and mobile social networking. Michael has received nine patents related to social networking and mobile applications and technologies. Follow him on Twitter at@miguelquoc.


What are three 3 main components of storyboard? ›

3 Elements of a Great Storyboard
  • Main Ideas. Creating a great storyboard starts by including in large, bold text the main idea you wish you communicate on each slide. ...
  • Supporting Content. The next step in an effective storyboard is to include the supporting content for each slide. ...
  • Design Cues.
Jun 4, 2019

How do I create video content for marketing? ›

  1. Set goals for video marketing. At the beginning of any new marketing strategy, there's a need to set goals. ...
  2. Decide on your platforms. ...
  3. Select your video types. ...
  4. Plan the content production. ...
  5. Know what post-production entails. ...
  6. Schedule and promote the videos. ...
  7. Understand and analyze metrics.
Nov 8, 2022

How do you plan a marketing video? ›

How to Build a Video Marketing Strategy
  1. Start with your video goals.
  2. Find your target audience.
  3. Figure out what story you want to tell.
  4. Keep creative requirements in line.
  5. Stick to your timeline.
  6. Maintain a realistic budget.

How do you tell a story about marketing? ›

6 Ways To Tell Better Stories In Your Content Marketing
  1. Make your audience the hero.
  2. Understand where your audience is in “The Buyer's Journey”
  3. Don't reinvent the wheel – use frameworks.
  4. Use visual storytelling.
  5. Set big goals.
  6. Create a “secret recipe”
  7. Engage your audience by telling better stories.
Mar 1, 2018

How do you make a storyboard for beginners? ›

How to Make a Storyboard in 4 Easy Steps
  1. Make a shot list. Take a scene from your script and make a shot list. ...
  2. Sketch it out. Whether you're working on a feature film or a short animation, choose one of the more complex sequences, and scope out a vision for the scene. ...
  3. Fill in details. ...
  4. Add words.
Aug 25, 2021

What is the golden rule of storyboarding? ›

The golden rule of filmmaking is that the more time you spend pre-production, the more you can save on production. As a visual representation of a film idea, storyboards are the first step in bringing a story to life on-screen.

How do you storyboard when you can't draw? ›

How to make great storyboards, even if you can't draw
  1. Write a prose storyboard. ...
  2. Work with a storyboard artist. ...
  3. Make storyboards with an app. ...
  4. Pull frames from other movies and use them to create storyboards. ...
  5. Shoot stills and line them up to create storyboards.
Jan 28, 2016

What should a good storyboard include? ›

There are two main parts to a storyboard. The first is the sequence of different scenes to tell the story. The second is the information that is provided for each scene.

What should a good storyboard have? ›

Here are the key elements that every storyboard should include:
  • Shot images: Individual panels featuring 2D drawings to show what's happening—actions, characters—throughout a video.
  • Shot number: The number indicating when a shot appears according to a video's shot list.
  • Action: The primary activity happening in a shot.
Jan 11, 2022

What skills do storyboard artists need? ›

Storyboard artists need to be able to draw (people, objects, actions, and environments) legibly and efficiently and require strong visual storytelling skills to bring a script to life prior to production.

What makes a successful marketing video? ›

Your video must be authentic, relevant and relatable to your target audience. You need to understand what your target audience derives value from and what makes them tick. How are they influenced, what are their needs, and why should they care are just some of the critical questions that must be answered.

How do I start a marketing video campaign? ›

How to Start Video Marketing Today
  1. Step 1: Choose Your Target Audience. ...
  2. Step 2: Identify What You're Trying to Achieve. ...
  3. Step 3: Plan Your Video Marketing Budget. ...
  4. Step 4: Choose a Type of Video and Come Up with a Video Marketing Idea. ...
  5. Step 5: Decide Where You Will Publish Your Video.
Mar 15, 2022

How long should a content marketing video be? ›

One to three minutes is short enough to keep your viewers' attention throughout the video (make sure it's engaging!) but long enough to deliver a more detailed message. Product overview videos are generally about this long.

How do you make an impactful video? ›

10 Beginner Video Tips for Making Professional Videos
  1. 1 Plan Ahead for Your Video. ...
  2. 2 Use a High-Quality Camera. ...
  3. 3 Make sure you have enough lighting. ...
  4. 4 Upgrade the Audio Quality. ...
  5. 5 Use a Powerful Video Editing Software. ...
  6. 6 Avoid Using Shaky Footage. ...
  7. 7 Improve Your Video Composition. ...
  8. 8 Be Comfortable on Camera.
Dec 28, 2021

How do you make a 30 second video marketing? ›

How To Create An Amazing 30-Second Video
  1. Why a 30-Second Video?
  2. Grab Attention With The Title.
  3. Write A Script For The Video.
  4. Make A Storyboard.
  5. Optimize The Video For The Target Platform.
  6. Use Visual Conventions.
  7. Don't Underestimate the Power of 30 Seconds.
Mar 23, 2020

How can I get better at storytelling marketing? ›

So What Makes Is Good Storytelling?
  1. Feature a relatable protagonist. ...
  2. Keep it real, keep it authentic. ...
  3. Use emotions to connect with your audience. ...
  4. Avoid digressing; stick to the point. ...
  5. Throw some facts and figures to support your story. ...
  6. Finally, a worthy cliffhanger. ...
  7. Get clarity on who you want to be perceived as.

How do I become a good storyteller in marketing? ›

They should try a few things like this:
  1. Tell the story of how you started your business. ...
  2. Share your customers' stories. ...
  3. 6 Best Practices for Creating a Content Marketing Strategy. ...
  4. Share customer experiences on social media. ...
  5. Share stories of your employees or your company culture. ...
  6. Write better press releases.

How effective is storytelling in marketing? ›

The Business Benefits Of Storytelling

Storytelling is powerful because it creates an emotional connection between a company, its products and its customers. Effective storytelling increases engagement between a brand and its audience, which helps drive conversions and, ultimately, revenue growth.

What is a storyboard in marketing? ›

What is a Storyboard Marketing? A storyboard is a planning tool which is designed in the pre-production stage. It is used in video production or visual story telling. Essentially, it is graphical/text narrative that is sectioned into frames, depicting the flow of a storyline in a production.

What are the 4 main styles of storyboards? ›

Types of storyboards
  • Traditional storyboard. Traditional storyboards involve a series of conceptual pencil sketches that help the writer, producer, and director to visualise their initial idea before any filming or animating starts. ...
  • Thumbnail storyboards. ...
  • Digital storyboard.
Aug 22, 2022

Do storyboards have dialogue? ›

Storyboards are visual, first and foremost, but these drawings are accompanied by details on the direction of the camera and note any dialogue being spoken underneath. A good best practice for three details to include under your storyboard frame are a short action description, dialogue, and any visual effects.

Why is storyboarding hard? ›

Storyboarding is more than just the mechanical work of illustrating a script. You've got to understand how to tell a story. It is also involves a sharp imagination to create and draw the best images to tell the story. You must also be fluent in the cinematic language used to put shots and sequences together.

Can storyboards be messy? ›

Storyboards don't have to be pretty to be useful. They only have to be pretty when they're a client-facing deliverable. Any other time they can be as messy and chaotic as you'd like as long as they are meaningful to you. A messy storyboard with lots of scribbled notes and arrows.

What makes a successful storyboard? ›

Make accurate storyboards

Make sure you're taking the time to map out things like camera angles and camera moves. Make notations to clarify anything you think isn't clear. Include any visual information you think your crew will need in order to set up and achieve the shots you want.

What part of storyboarding is most important? ›

Use Your Storyboard to Make Things Easier for Everyone During Production. The best part of a storyboard is to include all the details. These details help people who work with you to understand your view and correlate with the visuals. This also strengthens your bond with them in the course of your project.

Do you need a script before a storyboard? ›

Even if you have a vision of how you would like your animated video to look, you cannot create a storyboard until you have the script completed. Trying to create a storyboard without a script is essentially putting the cart before the horse.

Does a storyboard need to have every shot? ›

Do you need a shot list and storyboards? The short answer is yes. A shot list is a checklist of every shot a production intends to complete on a given day of principal photography.

Can you work in animation if you can't draw? ›

In fact, you don't even need to know how to draw to create 3D animation. The majority of your work will consist of using a computer to manipulate and control characters in the same way you would move a puppet. Drawing is only one of a few ways to “animate” or “bring to life” an object or character.

Do you need to know how do you draw to be a storyboard artist? ›

The most important thing when applying for roles in storyboarding is to demonstrate good drawing skills. You need to show storytelling skills and an understanding of film. Many storyboard artists have a degree but you don't necessarily need one as long as you have a strong portfolio and can show your experience.

How can I improve my storyboard skills? ›

7 Tips on How to Create Storyboards Faster
  1. Don't make proper sketches. Draw thumbnails. ...
  2. Use the emotionality rule when choosing a camera angle. ...
  3. Learning how to plan and shoot more. ...
  4. Follow the rules for quick drawing:
  5. Learn to create stories and characters close to reality. ...
  6. One frame = no more than 5 minutes. ...
  7. Practice!
Apr 11, 2022

Do storyboard artists write the story? ›

In some cases the storyboard artist gets a script and has to draw the story as-scripted. But many times, especially in TV animation, the storyboard artist is also the writer of the episode. The artist can include visual gags and dialogue to add their vision into the story.

Is becoming a storyboard artist hard? ›

A career as a storyboard artist is hard to get, but if it's what you know you want to do, you shouldn't let anything stop you. This job profile takes a look behind-the-scenes of what a storyboard artist actually does.

What is a marketing storyboard? ›

What is a Storyboard Marketing? A storyboard is a planning tool which is designed in the pre-production stage. It is used in video production or visual story telling. Essentially, it is graphical/text narrative that is sectioned into frames, depicting the flow of a storyline in a production.

How do you create storytelling marketing? ›

So What Makes Is Good Storytelling?
  1. Feature a relatable protagonist. ...
  2. Keep it real, keep it authentic. ...
  3. Use emotions to connect with your audience. ...
  4. Avoid digressing; stick to the point. ...
  5. Throw some facts and figures to support your story. ...
  6. Finally, a worthy cliffhanger. ...
  7. Get clarity on who you want to be perceived as.

What are the 4 parts of a storyboard? ›

Elements of a Storyboard

Each shot of a storyboard captures several key elements: subject, background, camera shot, and the camera's movement.

How do you start storyboarding? ›

These simple steps should help you transform your idea into a storyboard that will serve you well.
  1. Define your goals. ...
  2. Brainstorm your ideas. ...
  3. Create a timeline for your story. ...
  4. Begin sketching. ...
  5. Include additional notes. ...
  6. Seek a second opinion. ...
  7. Revise the storyboard.
Feb 13, 2023

How long is a script for a 30 second video? ›

This is how it breaks down: Video Length: 30 seconds = 60-word script. Video Length: 1 minute = 120-word script.

How do you structure a video script? ›

Many video scripts follow a three-part structure that includes:
  1. An introduction and hook to draw viewers into your video.
  2. A problem, pain point, or question comes up.
  3. A conclusion and resolution of the problem, including a call-to-action.
Sep 1, 2022

What are the 5 C's of storytelling? ›

Following are the 5 C's of storytelling that help improve a story. A good story has a sequence that usually happens in five parts that are called the 5 C's of storytelling: Circumstance, Curiosity, Characters, Conversations, and Conflicts.

What are the 4 C's of storytelling? ›

Most elements of short stories can be characterized as falling under one of four C-word descriptions. (“Most” because there is always evidence of breaking writing rules effectively.) They are character, conflict, change, and context.

What are the 3 C's of storytelling? ›

There is a 3C's model for compelling storytelling:
  • Character - There are very few stories that can be recited without having a character in them. ...
  • Conflict - This is something that builds tension and induces surprises for the audience. ...
  • Conclusion - When the conflict ends, we conclude.
Mar 22, 2022

How do you write a short storyboard for a video? ›

Visualize your film with a storyboard made in Milanote
  1. Identify key scenes in the script. When creating a storyboard, it's crucial to know what story you're telling. ...
  2. Map out the key scenes. ...
  3. Add images or sketches. ...
  4. Describe what happens in each frame. ...
  5. Share it with your team. ...
  6. Finally, reference it on the day.

How do you plan a short storyboard for a video? ›

Following we've listed 4 simple steps that you can follow when making a video storyboard.
  1. Step 1: Plan Your Video. ...
  2. Step 2: Visualize Your Script with a Storyboard. ...
  3. Step 3: Add Script and Additional Notes. ...
  4. Step 4: Collaborate and Revise.
Nov 24, 2022

What should a video storyboard look like? ›

A storyboard is a visual outline for your video. It's made up of a series of thumbnail images that convey what happens in your video, from beginning to end. It also includes notes about what's happening in each frame. A finished storyboard looks like a comic strip.


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