Author: Lindsay Timperman
Executive Social Media Director @KPItarget
If brands want to truly capitalize on the benefits of social media, they must embrace the art of storytelling. Social storytelling can be most accurately described as taking info that is not that inherently exciting and making it feel important, impassioned and relevant for your brand. So social storytelling = the lifeblood of a company, the inside view on the culture, people and their priorities, nbd. Seems simple enough to pin down. But is it? The short answer is no. Sure you can try to tell any brand’s story via social media, but unless it’s compelling, no one will care. And to make matters even more complicated, now you need to be able to tell your story via social videos. So, what’s the secret to success? Check out what you need to know about social media storytelling through social videos.
- Make an immediate connection with your audience – As we’ve established, people don’t buy into brands, they buy into the story behind the brands. To effectively tell your story via social video, you must make an immediate connection with the viewer, because attention spans are SHORT these days! Leading with bold visuals and text can help draw your audience in and make them more receptive to watching more. Be concise. Tell your audience from the jump that they need to watch more.
- Know your audience – Now that you’ve got them hooked with your stunning imagery and bold, can’t-get-enough-of graphics, the next step is to be sure you know exactly who your audience is. Why is this important? Simply, because it’s the basis of all of your social messaging. You cannot and will not be all things to all people. If your audience in a group of millennials, don’t even think of using Facebook. All the Boomers will be tuned in and turned off by your millennial fodder. Instead, reach them where they will most likely be, Instagram and SnapChat.
- Don’t forget to tell a story – Even if you are telling a true, “real-world” story, you still need the essential story arc elements to keep your viewers engaged. Start with a hook that hints at the main climax or challenge, proceed to a brief introduction of the topic and characters. Then build to the climax—some challenge or issue that needs to be overcome. Finally, you reveal the resolution, and perhaps add a call to action if you are selling a product or trying to engage people with a charity or issue.
- Make your content episodic – So as the social landscape becomes more visual, and video content begins to overtake individual posts in our news feeds, how can brands create more long-form, creative video content that speaks to more than just a single moment in time? You’ve heard of the saying “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” Well, don’t put all your valuable content in one video! Instead, concept your videos in an episodic format, or a series of videos. When done right, episodic content will keep your audience coming back to tune into your series of videos.
- Optimize for mobile – Seems like stating the obvious, right? Here’s the lowdown. 75% of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video by 2020 (Cisco). That’s huge, right? It is imperative to consider what your video will look like on a mobile device when planning your production. As mentioned in my previous blog post, it’s all about the vertical videos optimized for mobile viewing. Pro tip: Do your audio mix for several possible platforms and listen to it on a mobile device before you release it!
- No videos are better than bad videos – The last bit of knowledge you’ll need to get started on your video storytelling journey is that NO VIDEOS ARE BETTER THAN BAD VIDEOS. So don’t jump the gun and just try to slap something together. Take your time to build your strategy, know your audience and present them with valuable content that will keep them coming back for more!
Still need some inspiration to get your creative, storytelling juices flowing? Check out The Play-Doh Show; you can find the link to the videos here: https://playdoh.hasbro.com/en-us. The Play-Doh show is a brilliant storytelling strategy; it speaks directly to the core Play-Doh audience (kids) and literally has them fighting for Mom’s cell phone. The videos are highly shareable, entertaining content that creates a lasting impression and gets people talking about all things Play-Doh…and keeps them coming back for more!