Brand storytelling isn’t just buzzword; however much it may seem like it. It’s actually a method that you can use to be able to tell your brand’s story on social media in a coherent and engaging flow. That’s how it earned it’s other name; sequential storytelling.

Before we get into the how to use brand storytelling to your advantage, we need to look at the why you should be thinking about it in the first place.

Why is brand storytelling important?

Your brand started somewhere; it has a unique story behind it. No matter how long you’re in business, your brand is constantly developing and you want it to go somewhere.

Brand storytelling is the classic storytelling you’ve always known. It has a beginning, a middle and an end. But unlike traditional stories, your end is always changing but we can follow the base principles to help share the important messages.

You started somewhere and have something to say right now. Aside from the actual story that you want to tell; tone and style is just as important. If the tone doesn’t match your brand then it won’t resonate with the audience and you’ll be about as popular as Mac & Me. Which is to say not very popular at all.

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How to tell your brand’s story

On social media, you’ll be pleased to hear that brand storytelling is actually easier than ever before. Use a platform like Facebook as this offers your brand the opportunity to split your story into the three fundamentals of storytelling.

The Beginning

The initial teaser to get people interested. The hook. The thing that makes them want to find out more. That video you’ve produced, we now need to get it to the masses and share it across the wonderful world of social.

For this phase of the story we need as many people to see the intro as possible. In order to achieve this, we would recommend a running a ‘Reach and Frequency’ campaign. This ensures that the maximum number of people see your video and become very excited about what’s to follow…

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The Middle – The exciting part of your story, building people’s interest

This is usually done through remarketing to people who have viewed your brand video, via a pixel, and serving them a relevant piece of content that aligns to their interests. Generally, the aim of the middle part of your story would be to drive people to an owned asset, a website or a landing page, even if it’s just for a casual browse.

You don’t need them to convert right now – although it’s always nice – but we’re going to remarket to them and prepare them for the end of the story. Like any good trilogy, the second film sets you up for an amazing ending. Most of the time.

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The End – The climax of the story

Your customer doing whatever you need them to do, whether it’s a sale, newsletter sign up or just making an enquiry – that’s the end.

In social media terms, the end is just the beginning of the journey for some people. For the lucky people who complete the story they’ll continuously be remarketed to and their data is going to be used to produce Lookalike Audiences’ and then the journey (story) starts all over again! A Lookalike Audience is a group of individuals who are similar to the customers that you have inputted into Facebook already.

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For this example, I’ve focused on Facebook but you can follow similar principles for other platforms. You could do a three-phase story on YouTube with interlinked videos, or follow the same process on Twitter and remarket to people who have either seen or engaged with your campaign.

Whatever the platform, adapt your social media strategy to cater for your audience (and potential fans) on Twitter, Instagram, Youtube… it’s endless! Remember people on different platforms don’t always interact the same as they would on another; so it shouldn’t be just a cut and paste job.

Does brand storytelling work on social media?

In short, yes.

Storytelling is in our nature and people want to be entertained (are you not entertained?). It’s just moving on from “traditional” mediums (remember paper books?) to your phone, tablet or computer.

The model we’ve presented does work effectively from a brand point of view, as you’re able to qualify your customer through each stage and serve them relevant content. And it also works for the consumer.

Me personally, as a consumer, was subject to this by sunglasses brand Tens and I went through each stage, pretty perfectly… apart from buying sunglasses (it is January, after all) but I did sign up to their newsletter.

Just don’t forget to plan. Planning is key to being able to tell your story correctly, and to tell it to the right people. Don’t rush it, take your time and step back. The easiest thing to do, because you’re often too close to the wood to see the trees, is to make it into something it’s not. Just keep in mind the three basic parts: the beginning, the middle and “the end”, and build out your brand story from there.

We all want to make our story a bit better; make it more interesting, twist it and create more and more, but at the end of the day the only people that really matter is the audience it’s intended for. In marketing, we’re writing and producing content for people to read, engage with, share or take an action. Just think about why your story is important to them and why they should take notice.

For a final thought, stolen from Pixar, probably the best storytellers of all time…

“Keep in mind what’s interesting to an audience. Not what’s fun to do as a writer. They can be very different.”

 

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If you’re looking at developing your social media strategy and would like help with your brand storytelling then get in touch with us via the website, phone or Twitter.

 

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