How To Use Storytelling In Your Facebook Ads

Lisa Scheiblhofer
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Why should you use storytelling in your Facebook ads? That’s an excellent question!

You see, people love stories. Since early childhood, we get used to hearing them. It might start with fairytales. Then we start watching movies. Finally, we become more and more interested in the success stories of others.

Storytelling - when done right - engages and fascinates the reader. People are naturally interested in hearing other people’s stories. It’s simply the way our brain works.

If you can, connect your product or service to an inspiring story. Chances are, you will get more engagement and sales. People will remember you and your product much more easily.

Facts and figures might vanish from our brain but we remember stories forever. Storytelling speaks to our emotions, which are much more powerful than cold facts.

It’s like hanging a picture on a wall. If you do that without any nails or glue, it won’t stay. But if you hammer in a powerful nail, it’s there to stay. Stories and emotions are that powerful nail.

Below, you’ll find out exactly why stories work so well and how to apply that to your Facebook Ad campaign.

Why Does Storytelling Work?

The short explanation for why storytelling works: psychology.

Now, what do I mean by that?

Studies on the human brain showed something remarkable: For the brain, it’s no different if we read a story or actually experience it. So when you read a story, you live it.

Stories touch us on the deepest of levels. They inspire or educate us and make us want to act. If you can connect your product or service to a good story, you absolutely want to use that. Don’t fall into the trap of listing features and benefits.

Those lists don’t excite anyone. They are boring. But, if you tell a story in which the protagonist faced adversity, people want to know how they overcame it.

“The human mind is a story processor, not a logic processor.” - Jonathan Haidt, social psychologist

There is another reason why storytelling works. It’s great for advertising because it’s less aggressive.

Even if somebody isn’t looking to buy from you, they can still enjoy your story and read it anyway. You have to understand, on Facebook most users are very alert to people who want to sell them something.

People love to buy, but they don’t like to be sold. Stories, however, can bypass the critical thinking of the reader. Their mind tells them, "This is just a story, no need to be alert."

So maybe they didn’t plan to buy from you - or maybe they don’t even know you. They can still enjoy your story. Through reading, they connect with your brand and your message. Maybe they will buy from you later.

Most people buy out of emotion (even if they justify it with logic later). In fact, 85% of our decisions are controlled by our emotions. That’s why stories are perfect to grab a prospect’s attention and lead them further along the buyer's journey. Most prospects are naturally curious.

Quick Tips on Storytelling

If you’ve never done storytelling before, here are some tips on how to start.

To tell a powerful story, first establish a routine. Then break the routine and have something or someone change. There has to be a moral to learn from the story.

What does that mean? Let me give you an example:

“An old man was living in the woods. He was always alone and had nothing much to do. In his loneliness, he started creating origami paper cranes. One day he decided to let some of the cranes swim down a river. Further down the river was a spot where local children used to play.

The cranes fascinated them. So, they decided to walk up the river and find out who created the origami. They found out it was the old man. They decided that from now on, they would visit him often - to learn how to make origami cranes themselves. The old man was no longer lonely.”

This is just a short story but it works. Let’s break it apart and analyze it.

The 3-Step Formula for Great Storytelling

In the beginning, I established the routine: an old man who is lonely and makes origami every day.

Then I broke the routine: He did something different than usual - he put the origami in the river.

Finally, his life changes because he made new friends. From there I could transition from the story to introduce my offer to the reader. Keep these three points in mind to craft stories that hit.

If possible, tell a real story and connect it to your product. You might have to change some details, but, in general, real stories are more powerful than made-up ones.

Who Did It Right?

Let’s have a look at social media marketing campaigns that nailed storytelling. What did they do and why did it work?

Humans of New York

Humans of New York started as a photoblog by the photographer Brandon Stanton. He started in 2011 and his Facebook page has now 18 million fans.

How did he achieve that? By excellent storytelling.

He takes portraits of people all over the world and lets them share their stories. He shows real people with real emotions who overcame all kinds of hardships.

Most of the stories shared on Humans of New York are actually pretty long. Still, people love to read them. If the storytelling is engaging, no story is too long for the reader.

Dove

What is Dove selling? Actually, it’s just soap. But do they give you a list of the ingredients of their soap? No.

The marketers at Dove are masters at storytelling. They know that features and benefits don’t evoke any emotions. But, they repeatedly manage to tie their comparably “simple” product into powerful stories.

In 2013, they had a heartfelt campaign on men who want to be good fathers. In early 2019 they focused on people with skin conditions.

They use social media to show real people and their stories. They keep it down to earth and relatable.

Dollar Shave Club

Again, the product Dollar Shave Club sells is very simple: razors. But their marketing strategy comes alive with the interesting stories in their ads. They also have this amazing story on how their brand actually got popular.

Also, the product stories are entertaining which makes them easy to share. The founder Michael Dubin has some great advice:

"You need to start by telling your story well through great advertising, then when people reach your website you need to continue to present your story in the right way."

Conclusion

If you use storytelling in your Facebook ads, people will remember your product or service.

Ads about features and benefits might be forgotten. They make you look like any other company out there. But an ad with a good story will be remembered and you'll stand out from the crowd.

People don't just buy what you do, they buy why you do it. Stories speak to their emotions and they'll feel connected to your brand. It doesn’t matter how simple your product or service is. If you can connect it to a powerful story, then people will love to do business with you.

Now, maybe your Facebook ad campaigns lacked punch in the past. Maybe the conversion rate wasn't living up to your expectations. Luckily, copywriters.com can provide you with a proven, professional Facebook ads copywriter.

Hire a professional copywriter today.

Lisa Scheiblhofer

Lisa Scheiblhofer believes that the most important part about copywriting is human emotion and connection. Because of this, she focuses on making your message speak to the heart of your audience.

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