Top 11 YouTube Story Formulas That Work

Stories are the most powerful way to convey ideas, and they’re one of the oldest forms of communication. They’re also a great tool for YouTubers to engage their audiences with. 

Whether you’re explaining how something works or just sharing an experience you had, there are plenty of ways to tell stories on YouTube that will help your viewers connect with you.

4 Storytelling Formulas To Create CONTENT That SELLS
1. Master the Hero’s Journey: Create compelling narratives that follow the classic hero’s journey to captivate your audience.
2. Utilize Emotional Storytelling: Connect with viewers on a deep emotional level by incorporating authentic and relatable stories.
3. Emphasize Conflict and Resolution: Introduce conflicts and challenges in your videos, leading to satisfying resolutions.
4. Leverage the Power of Surprise: Surprise your audience with unexpected twists and turns to keep them engaged.
5. Tap into Nostalgia: Use nostalgia to trigger positive emotions and create a strong bond with your viewers.
6. Tell Personal Stories: Share personal experiences and anecdotes to forge a genuine connection with your audience.
7. Use the Power of Visuals: Enhance your storytelling with captivating visuals and well-crafted cinematography.
8. Implement the “Before and After” Technique: Highlight transformations or progress to keep your audience invested.
9. Craft Compelling Calls-to-Action: Encourage viewers to take action by using persuasive calls-to-action in your videos.
10. Incorporate Humor and Entertainment: Infuse humor and entertainment to make your stories memorable and enjoyable.
11. End with a Strong Message: Conclude your videos with a powerful and memorable message to leave a lasting impact.

1. Tell Your Story

We’ve all heard the advice to “tell your story.” But what does that really mean?

It can be easy to relate this concept to a personal anecdote or experience you had, but YouTube storytelling goes beyond that. 

You don’t have to be literally telling your own story (although it can help). What I mean by “telling your story” is simply using a narrative structure and being honest with yourself while doing so. 

The best way to get started on this is by coming up with an outline for your video before filming begins even if it’s just a few bullet points in Google Docs!

  • Tell it in the first person: I did this because…
  • Tell it chronologically: This happened, then this happened, etc., until we got here today…
  • Make sure there are clear beginnings, middles and ends: We didn’t know where we were going when we started out; but now look at us!

Want to create YouTube videos that go viral? Our guide on Tips for Creating YouTube Videos That Will Go Viral will show you effective strategies to captivate your audience and boost your video’s reach.

2. Incorporate Humor

Humor is a powerful tool for storytelling. It can help you engage your audience, break the ice, and make your story more relatable. Humor can also help you connect with your audience on a deeper level.

When it comes to YouTube, humor is one of the most effective ways to stand out from other channels in terms of popularity especially if you’re creating videos that target specific niches or audiences. 

If your content is funny enough, you may even find yourself becoming one of the top influencers in that particular niche!

3. React To Something

The best way to explain this is with an example. Let’s say you have a YouTube channel that focuses on reviewing restaurants. You’ve made a video about an upscale restaurant where the food was delicious and the service was impeccable. 

In the comments section, someone asks: “I’m going on vacation next weekend and want to go somewhere fancy any suggestions?”

You could do a video called “Responding To Your Comment.” In it, you’d show your viewers what they’re missing out on by answering that person’s question directly (and maybe include some clips of your recent experience at the restaurant).

In this case, there are two ways that you can react to something:

4. Give A Tour

If you have been a YouTube creator for any length of time, you probably know that one of the most popular formats is a tour. 

Tours are super easy to make and they look great on camera. They can be of anything from your bedroom to your hometown or even an entire country! The only limitation is your imagination!

The key to creating a good tour video is to make sure that it follows the same guidelines as any other kind of story: get it out there as quickly as possible, then keep going back with more information until viewers understand what you are trying to say.

Give a tour of an area, room, or place using maps or photos along with narration explaining what each thing represents (city streets vs buildings vs landmarks)

Use arrows or circles when pointing at things on screen so people watching can follow along easier and better understand what’s being shown off-screen rather than just telling them off-camera through voiceover narration explaining “This is where we went after dinner last night.”

Learn how to write video scripts that attract millions of views with our comprehensive guide on How to Write a Video Script That Gets Hit by Millions of Views and discover the storytelling techniques that engage and resonate with viewers.

5. Go Behind The Scenes

Sharing a behind-the-scenes tour of your favorite restaurant, art gallery, or store is a great way to give your subscribers an insider’s perspective into something they might not have had access to otherwise. 

This can also be done with your home or workplace and can be especially effective if you’re filming in an environment where there are lots of people around like an office party or neighborhood block party.

Give A Tour

A tour is like giving your viewer an educational experience at their own pace. You’re basically creating little bite-size lessons that people can watch whenever they want, which will help with engagement.

Because viewers aren’t forced to binge watch one video in order to get all the information they need from it. Share how-to videos here too (i.e., DIYs). 

Tour videos are also another great format for sharing experiences with others so that everyone involved will feel connected through shared knowledge!

6. Explain How To Do Something

You can use the explain how to do something formula when you want to teach or inform your viewers in a way that’s easy to follow and makes sense.

This is done by using a step-by-step process, explaining things visually and with clarity, and providing examples of how to apply what you’re teaching.

They explain how to do something formula works well because people are naturally interested in learning new information and improving their lives.

7. Share An Experience

Share an experience that you had: If you’re going to share an experience, make sure it’s one that resonates with your audience and is relevant to your topic. 

It should be something that happened to you (or someone else) in the past, but not so long ago that the memory is fuzzy or hard to recall in detail. It can be funny or sad; just make sure it was memorable enough for you or another person involved to want to share publicly with others.

Share an experience that someone else had: This isn’t as common as sharing personal stories, but there are some good reasons for sharing experiences from other people’s lives.

Especially if they involve celebrities because then many viewers will be interested simply because they know who the person is talking about!

Share an experience that you want: Another option when deciding what kind of YouTube story formula fits best is sharing a specific event or topic (for example “how I got into blogging” or even something more broad like “things I love about traveling”).

Writing a great YouTube video script is crucial for success. Check out our expert advice on How to Write a Great YouTube Video Script and unlock the secrets to crafting compelling and shareable content.

8. Describe Something You Learned With A Story

This is a great way to share an idea that went over your head before and make it interesting for the audience. For example, I once had a mentor who taught me how to read people by analyzing their body language, but at first I thought she was crazy! 

It wasn’t until later that I realized her advice was totally spot-on and could help me in my personal life and business dealings.

The key here is relevance: make sure the story is relevant to the audience. If you’re talking about how your mom teaches you about healthy eating habits, it won’t work if all of your subscribers are vegan or gluten-free (unless they actually have moms like yours). 

But if there’s something most people can relate to, like how we all have trouble staying motivated when we need to get work done or finish projects on time, then go ahead and share!

9. Share Your Ideas From The Future Or Past

When you share your thoughts and predictions, it’s easier for people to understand them. For example, if you’re talking about a new product you’re building, talk about how it will change your audience’s lives in 5 years.

If you’re making food videos, talk about how fun it would be if there was an emoji of your favorite food.

Consider sharing something that happened in the past as well. You could have made a mistake but learned from it and now have an important lesson for others to learn from as well. 

You could have tried something before and failed but succeeded on the second try with better results than expected because of what happened last time around!

Craft a winning video script with our step-by-step guide on Video Script Writing: How to Write a Winning Video Script and master the art of creating captivating narratives for your YouTube videos.

10. Highlight A Mistake You Made And What You Learned From It

One of the most important things to do when you’re sharing your story on YouTube is to talk about mistakes you’ve made. This one is so important because it shows that you’re human and makes people feel more connected to you. 

It also helps people who watch your video from making the same mistake themselves, which can save them lots of time and money.

If this sounds scary or like something that would make viewers judge you harshly for being imperfect, don’t worry! There are many ways to share this information without sounding judgmental or unprofessional—it’s all about how you frame it in your video.

For example, if someone asked me what my biggest mistake was at work (or just in general) and why I did it.

I would probably say something like: “I once made a big purchase without doing enough research first, which ended up costing me thousands of dollars over time as I learned how wrong I was about that product’s quality.”

11. Share An Idea With A Story From The Present

Think of your audience as smart people who can imagine things happening in the future or in the past. You don’t have to explain anything if you’re sharing a concept that people understand and can relate to. 

A simple example of this is the movie “Back To The Future,” where Marty McFly travels back in time to 1955 and has several adventures before returning home again.

Another way to share an idea with a story from present is by using infographics (images made up mostly of text). These are best for conveying complex information, such as statistics about global warming or climate change, which we’ll talk about next time!

Improve your video script writing skills to gain links and social proof. Our guide on How to Write Better Video Scripts: Get Links & Social Proof will provide you with valuable insights on enhancing the quality and impact of your YouTube content.


We hope you’ve found some inspiration for your next video. Remember, the key to creating good stories is to take the time to think about what you want to say and how you want to say it. 

Use these formulas as guidelines when writing or filming, ask yourself: Does this story work? Does it sound authentic? If not, try again.

Further Reading

How the YouTube Algorithm Works: Gain insights into the intricate workings of the YouTube algorithm and understand how it affects video recommendations and visibility.

How to Make YouTube Shorts Viral: Discover effective strategies to make your YouTube Shorts go viral and reach a broader audience.

YouTube for Writers: Learn how writers can leverage YouTube to build their audience, share their stories, and connect with readers in new and creative ways.


What factors influence the YouTube algorithm?

The YouTube algorithm considers various factors, including video watch time, user engagement, video metadata, and relevancy to user search queries.

How can I make my YouTube Shorts more engaging?

To make your YouTube Shorts more engaging, focus on capturing attention in the first few seconds, using eye-catching visuals, and delivering concise and entertaining content.

Can YouTube help me promote my writing?

Yes, YouTube can be a valuable platform for writers to share insights, provide writing tips, and connect with a broader audience interested in their work.

How can I optimize my YouTube video titles and descriptions?

To optimize your YouTube video titles and descriptions, use relevant keywords, provide clear and concise information, and consider the audience’s search intent.

Should I collaborate with other YouTubers?

Collaborating with other YouTubers can be beneficial as it helps to reach a new audience, build connections within the community, and create engaging content through different perspectives.