In 2014, the Facebook Marketing Science team published the results of a study that showed how brands that told stories before inviting people to action were much more effective than the ones who immediately encouraged people to take action. The Facebook audience still needs an honest approach. However, they also appreciate a brand’s effort to engage them.
The study compared the results of two campaigns. One of them featured creative image ads that were strictly focused on gaining more subscriptions. The other one featured sequenced ads that told the brand story, provided information about the product, and then invited people to subscribe. The second campaign achieved an 87% increase in people visiting the page, and 56% increase in subscription rates.
It’s clear: Facebook storytelling is the real deal. The only question is: how to do it? We’ll give you 10 rules to follow.
1. ENGAGE THE AUDIENCE THROUGH SEQUENCE STORYTELLING
This approach, also known as funnel-based storytelling, guides the potential customer down the purchase funnel through a series of connected messages.
2. INCLUDE “BEHIND THE SCENES” STORIES
A marketer can satisfy the curiosity of the audience by showing what happens behind the scenes of a business or product development. Zappos is one of the many brands that successfully implement this technique in their Facebook marketing. They often feature photos of their workers, and that helps us get the personality of this brand.
3. MAINTAIN PROPER STORY STRUCTURE
Have you heard of Freytag’s pyramid? It’s a classic story structure, which is often used in plays and movie scripts. According to this theory, the structure of a successful story is consisted of the following elements:
This is a great way to tell marketing stories. Jaguar’s high-suspense campaign featuring David Beckham is one of the most successful examples that implement it.
If you have problems understanding how this structure works and translating it into Facebook storytelling, you can rely on online writing services for help. The writers will deliver a script, and you’ll only need to turn it into a Facebook marketing campaign.
4. MAKE YOUR STORIES REAL
If you go through all examples of Facebook storytelling we mention throughout this article, you’ll notice one common element: they involve real people and events. The only way to make your message appealing to a great audience is to make it normal. You may use celebrities or ambassadors like David Beckham for that purpose, but “commoners” may work even better.
5. USE CLEVER, ATTRACTIVE PHOTOS
Facebook ads feature photos or videos. Those are the elements that tell your story. Of course, you’ll add text to the ads, but people will first see the visual elements. That’s why you should use clever collections of photos and videos to support your story. Check out the Facebook page of American Express. You’ll see what we mean when we say an image is worth a thousand words.
6. KNOW WHO YOU’RE TRYING TO ATTRACT
Who are you telling the story to? When you identify the specific needs and interests of your audience, you’ll be able to create a targeted story, or few stories that target different segments of the audience.
7. USE DIFFERENT AD FORMATS
Your story will go through different stages. During the stage when you’re telling the brand’s story, a video ad will work well. When you’re showcasing the features and benefits of your products, a video will also work, but you can also bring photos and infographics into the scheme. When you bring the audience towards the end of the funnel, you can provide a call to action in the form of a clickable button.
8. ENGAGE IN “PRIMING AND REMINDING” STORYTELLING
This approach is different from the funnel-based one. This is not a linear approach that guides the audience through a funnel. It’s based on the use of multiple ad formats that educate the people how your brand is useful and relevant for their lifestyle. In the first stage, you’re setting the stage with such information. Then, you keep reminding the people of the usefulness of your brand.
9. FOCUS ON THE CUSTOMER
Social media users need social proof. They want to see how happy other people are with a particular product or service before they start using it. When you infuse customer experience into your stories, you’ll offer that social proof.
10. INCLUDE A CAUSE
Zappos, which we mentioned earlier, involve the cause for pet adoption in their storytelling. TOMS is another great example of a brand that fights for a cause. This element of your story has to be honest. You can’t include a cause just because you want to attract more customers. Your brand should make a difference. That’s the only way to build a community around that cause and your brand.
There you have it: 10 tips that lead to effective Facebook storytelling. Where will you start?
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