Can you think of a great story that evoked a strong emotion? Storytelling is as old as the human language. 40,000 years before social media, humans were writing their stories on cave walls. Stories are the way humans have connected and communicated for much of our history. Good stories have survived through word-of-mouth alone for thousands of years.
Brand advertisers have understood the power of stories for a long time. Forbes went as far as calling brand storytelling the future of marketing. But for all it’s merits, storytelling is often underutilized in Facebook marketing.
Think back a little. When was the last time you came across an ad that told a story you couldn’t stop reading? Chances are it’s been a while. And it’s understandable why.
There are great tools that allow highly targeted ads on Facebook. On top of that, algorithms and compliance guidelines can change overnight. At worst you run the risk of getting your Facebook ad account banned.
It can be tempting to play it safe and just put your offer in front of an audience without the story. With the right message in front of the right people, that approach can guarantee some sales. A good copywriter, however, knows how to use storytelling to boost results.
Pandora, for example, ran a successful branding campaign on Facebook. It managed to capture a special moment from a woman’s life in a short 15-second clip. The results? A 61% increase in sales and a 42% increase in the number of customers.
If you need further proof, here are 3 reasons why you should use storytelling in your next Facebook marketing campaign:
Competition on social media channels is fiercer than ever. In 2019, Facebook had a reported 7 million active advertisers on its platform. No matter your industry, chances are that someone out there has a similar offer to your own.
Businesses are in a constant fight for a few seconds of customer attention. People scroll through similar messages daily. On top of that, 40% of people dislike Facebook adds according to a Hubspot survey of 1,055 online browsers. Add all this up and it’s clear to see why quality brands have a hard time standing out.
It used to be enough to offer a quality product or service. But today people can choose what content they consume and are more skeptical of ads.
If your message doesn’t come across as different, people will overlook it. So how can you set yourself apart from the competition?
Add storytelling in your Facebook content. People might have come across offers like yours before. They might have heard more impressive facts or statistics from your competitors. There’s nothing you can do about that. But what you can do is make your message unique by delivering it through your story.
To quote Simon Sinek, “People don’t buy what you do. They buy why you do it.” By telling your story, you avoid comparison to others. Instead, you resonate with the beliefs of your target audience.
You are not shouting in a crowded place and hoping that the right person hears your message. You are speaking in a way that grabs the attention of people who want to listen to you.
So, when thinking about your Facebook content, go back to your brand's core values. What does your campaign stand for? How are you helping your audience? Once you have the answers, use them to craft a story around them.
Another big advantage of storytelling is that stories build trust. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, 81% of people “must be able to trust a brand to do what is right.” What’s more, a majority of people prefer to buy from similar brands that they trust,
Trust is a resource that we can no longer overlook. So how can storytelling help you gain the trust of your audience? As humans, our brains naturally respond to stories.
When we engage with a story, the brain produces a cocktail of hormones. This cocktail has a major influence on the way we act and feel.
And the secret ingredient you need- emotion. Emotion is what puts this whole process in motion. This should come as no surprise. You, no doubt, know how a movie can make even a grown man cry.
We make most of our buying decisions based on our emotional experiences. Storytelling is one of the best ways to create such experiences.
Coming back to the cocktail analogy, the ingredients you put in it change the taste. The effect your story has depends on the emotions you trigger.
Tell a rags to riches story and dopamine makes us more motivated. Humor creates endorphin which, in turn, relaxes us. And if your goal is to build trust with your audience, what you want to aim for is empathy.
When reading your posts or ads, you don’t want your audience to see just another faceless entity. Find the human element in what you do. Who are the people you serve? How is your company adding value to people's lives?
Humans empathize best with other humans. This should be the core of your story.
Nothing is more engaging than a good story. Look no further than Netflix binge culture for proof. Why do you think people can't stop watching, even when they should be going to sleep?
It turns out, there is a reason behind that. When we hear or read a story, our brains fire up the same way as if doing the activity described.
Once it grabs our attention, we want to see the story come to a satisfying conclusion. And after that, good storytelling sticks with us. We are 22 times more likely to remember a brand's story than a company's facts.
Most of your audience is not at a stage where they will buy on the spot. Storytelling, however, can nurture them for future campaigns.
People remember how a good story made them feel. This makes them more likely to do business with you in the future. But there’s a catch: You can’t tell flat and boring stories. There needs to be something within the story that hooks people.
All good storytelling has characters, conflict and a resolution.
The characters are the connection between the storyteller and the audience. Your readers must be able to empathize and relate to them. Otherwise, the reader will lose interest.
That doesn’t mean they need to be an exact reflection of your audience. But don’t tell the story about meat-lovers to a vegan. Be more strategic in your storytelling by remembering who your audience is.
Conflict is what drives a story. It’s the challenges the characters face and the changes they go through.
On Facebook, you have a precious few seconds that need to convince someone to pay attention. As a rule of thumb, set up the conflict as early as possible.
And finally, all stories need a resolution. The conclusion should provide context to the message and wrap up the story in a way that provides meaning - something to be remembered.
This is your chance to guide the audience towards your goal. To do that you need to tie in the resolution with your brand or offer.
Regardless of what your product or service is, it’s got a story behind it. This is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal. But like any tools, the results depend on the one using it.
A good writer will know exactly how to write a compelling story. They'll be able to leverage the power of storytelling in your marketing campaigns. Hire a dedicated copywriter today, to help you with your brand storytelling strategy.
Adrian Lantos is a writer for Copywriters.com and a freelance copywriter. Using his knowledge and expertise, his goal is to bring an authentic and value-orientated approach to all of his marketing endeavors.Hire Adrian