Sure, storytelling is important for news or magazine articles, but is it really necessary when it comes to social media? Our answer? YES. Storytelling is essential for social media marketing. Crafting compelling narratives makes your brand more engaging, authentic, trustworthy, and memorable. Whether it’s your company’s origin story, mission statement, customer journey, or even a fictional tale, stories tap into what makes us human—they’re relatable. Here are 11 ways to build storytelling into your next marketing campaign:
11 Ways to Build Storytelling Into Your Marketing Campaign
1. Know your audience
Who are you speaking to? Who is your customer? Understanding your audience (both their demographics and psychographics) will enable you to cater your storytelling narrative to your target customers. Ask questions like: What do they want/need? How do they communicate? What resonates with them?
2. Define your brand voice and persona
Now, your story shouldn’t only cater to your audience. It also needs to reflect who you are as a brand. The tone, aesthetic, and content of your story should all align with your brand’s core values and standards. Ask questions like: Are you casual or professional, colorful or understated, quirky or classic? Make sure your story reflects those qualities both in the content itself and in how it is presented.
3. Identify your key message
Every essay needs a thesis statement—a concise summary of the main point of your paper. Similarly, every story should have a key message. Ask: What is the purpose of this story? And How can we make that clear throughout the entire story arc?
4. Start with a hook
There is SO much content out there on social media. It can be easy to get lost in the shuffle. The more compelling the start of your story is, the more likely people will stay to read or watch more. Grab their attention with a provocative question, striking visual, or even cheeky clickbait.
5. Tell a story
This seems obvious, right? Well, you’d be surprised how often people get this wrong! A story needs to have 3 parts: an introduction, a climax, and a conclusion. Without all three elements, we’re missing content, purpose, and resolution. Don’t forget to include the WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, and WHY. These don’t all need to be evident in every ad and post, but having a contextual foundation will build your story’s authenticity and depth.
6. Make it relatable
The reader/viewer won’t be invested in your story unless they can relate to or empathize with the main character. Creating emotional resonance is key. When the reader/viewer feels something in your story, they’re connecting to your brand on a deeper level than simply making a financial transaction. When they can imagine themselves in the story itself, they’ll be more likely to envision themselves being a customer of your brand.
7. Show, don’t tell
Let the reader/viewer experience your story through action, visuals, and subtext rather than telling them what they need to know. This tactic empowers the reader/viewer to come to their own conclusions even though you’re directing them in subtle ways.
8. Include a CTA (call-to-action)
A call-to-action does exactly what it sounds like…It calls the reader/viewer to perform some sort of action after seeing your ad or reading your post. This provides clear directions for your audience to follow (i.e. “Click to shop,” “Comment below,” or “Swipe up to save”).
9. Maintain consistency across platforms
Though each social media platform favors a specific kind of content (i.e. videos on TikTok, text on Twitter, etc.), your story should remain consistent across platforms. Seeing the same story told in new ways (video, image, text, etc.) makes it more memorable for the viewer. The Marketing Rule of 7 states that a consumer must interact with an ad at least 7 times before they buy the product or service.
10. Monitor and measure engagement
Use social media analytics to track the impact of storytelling in your campaign. Perhaps you notice an increase in engagement, a bunch of new followers, or greater sales as a result. If there’s a negative correlation however, go back through this list to ensure you’ve addressed all the key elements and catered them to your target audience.
11. Stay authentic
Our biggest advice is to stay true to YOU. You don’t need to imitate another brand’s image or make up an elaborate backstory to win over customers. Being you is enough. People want to know how your brand will help make their life better. Highlight the value your products or services bring to others. Sharing what you have to offer and what makes you unique is what will build brand recognition, trust, and loyalty in the long run.
No matter how nascent of a company you are, what you’re selling, or how big your advertising budget is, strong storytelling will take your marketing to the next level. And at Media À La Carte, we’re masters of the art of storytelling. Schedule a discovery session with us so we can start brainstorming your brand story—together.