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Are you telling your brand's story effectively? 1

Are you telling your brand’s story effectively?

It’s an old adage but still very true, people love stories.

Consumers don’t buy brands, they buy into a brand’s image, or rather, their story.

Every brand has a story, and if you’re a marketer, it’s your job to figure out what your brand’s story is, and then comes the fun part – getting your stories out there to your target audience.

Luckily, there are so many brilliant options across most of the most popular social media channels to help you tell your story in an effective and engaging way, and most importantly, reach the right audience.

In this post, we cover our favourites, sharing top hints and tips along the way.

Facebook Live

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Facebook Live is a great way to infuse authenticity and spontaneity (even if it’s secretly scripted and pre-planned…).

Remember Chewbacca Mom!? It was the most watched Facebook Live video in 2016 and whilst it didn’t contain branded content, it did contain three key ingredients to an effective Facebook Live story:

  1. Introduction – Candace (Chewbacca Mom) sets the scene by describing her trip to the Kohl’s store, sat inside her car, filming herself from her dashboard
  2. Confrontation – Candace is great at building the audience’s tension as she unboxes her purchase (you can’t get any more authentic than her excitement levels)
  3. Resolution – The hysterical laughter while wearing the mask, talking about how much she loved it and engaging with her live audience

Although it came out later that this video was in no way related and/or connected to the Kohl’s store, it did do a great deal in terms of store/brand awareness and Kohl’s followed up with the ‘influencer’ with a whole load of free Star Wars loot as a thank you.

Moral of the story? Whether you’re getting your brand/products in front of people via your own business page or via influencers, Facebook Live will continue to be an increasingly important asset to brands, especially as Facebook ranks Live videos much higher than other post types – a fact that’s very important to bear in mind as Facebook continues to tweak its algorithm to push business and publisher posts further down the news feed.

Facebook Canvas Ads

Another great way to tell your story on Facebook’s ad platform is with Canvas ads. Facebook’s Canvas ads provide a full screen immersive experience when users click on the ad rather than taking them straight off Facebook to your website.

Unlike Facebook’s other ad types, which are much more restrictive in terms of text, imagery and links, with Canvas ads brands can build multimedia stories. This is a great way to really increase engagement with Facebook users. With Canvas ads you can add image carousels, tilt to view panoramic images, zoom in to view images in detail, add text, and more. 

Get creative with your Instagrid  

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Instagram, by far the most visually engaging social media platform, is known for not only driving engagement, but also sales – especially for brands who are integrating ecommerce with their Instagram profile. Because of it’s ability to convert, it’s no surprise that brands are constantly coming up with creative ways to showcase their products and better engage with their audiences.

A great example of using the Instagrid in a very creative and engaging way is the Reynolds Kitchens account. Here, the brand took advantage of the massive ‘foodie’ community on Instagram by creating an Instagram cookbook that looks like an ‘endless table’.  With a mix of short recipe video posts and still images, the point of this account is to drive users to the recipes on the brand’s website.

This campaign involved collaborations with 21 different bloggers and instagrammers and the recipes were interlinked with other Instagram accounts where the individual ingredients featured. What’s more, the campaign was supported across all other channels as well, including print.

A really easy way to replicate this is by using the Instagrid or Pic Splitter apps. You simply upload your full photo, choose how you’d like to break it up and then you can copy and paste each individual image into the Instagram app to post. You can post them all at once or spread them out over a course of hours/days. Just be conscious of how your grid will look if you decide not to post them all at the same time – ideally each image should look great as a whole as well as on its own.

Instagram short videos

Unlike Facebook with their ‘feature length’ 120 min limit, Instagram videos are restricted to 60 seconds. However, this in many ways boosts creativity as it is much more achievable to conduct a 60 second story. And let’s be honest, not many people are going to watch videos that are much longer than this anyway – especially when scrolling through their Instagram feed.

Our top tips for creating the perfect short video for Instagram are to…

  1. Don’t lose focus on the point – with only 60 seconds to work with, keep it short, focused, audience appropriate and engaging
  2. Add on-screen captions (remember not everyone taps sound on, so you don’t want them to lose the message of the video)
  3. Utilise your caption! Captions provide a way to expand on the story in the video – and don’t forget to add all of your relevant hashtags to increase your reach
  4. Be square! Square videos take up 78% more space than landscape videos on a mobile feed and square videos perform much better in terms of views and further engagement

Instagram Stories

This one should be obvious – it’s right there in the name! There’s no limit to the number of Instagram stories you can post daily, although 10 stories in a 24 hour period is the ideal amount. Consider using one of your recent blog posts and re purpose as an Instagram story to draw attention to your main post and full profile.

With the ‘Highlights’ functionality, we like the idea of creating a series of stories posts to tell your brand story and then saving it to your highlights so any new followers/viewers of your profile can see your brand story right there in a fun and easy to consume format. This is a great idea for product launches and other stories your brand may want to tell as well. 

If you have over 10,000 followers, you can also add links to your stories when users swipe up – a new feature we can’t wait to use!

Take storytelling by storm (a tweetstorm)

Although Twitter has now increased the character limit for tweets by double (up to 280 characters now, whoop!), this is still quite limiting if you’re trying to tell a story. 

A ‘tweetstorm’ refers to posting a series of tweets in quick succession to tell a story. Up until December last year, you’d normally number your tweets to ensure the order of the story was followed when people come across your tweets, however, with the introduction of ‘threads’ you can simply reply in the thread to your previous tweet to keep them all together. 

User Generated Content!

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The best way to curate user generated content is by introducing branded hashtags into your overall marketing and advertising strategy. This is especially effective in coordination with events, competitions, or product launch campaigns.

However, it’s important to remember that from a brand protection point of view, best practice is to request permission if you’d like to repost someone else’s Instagram post. Just because their original post is public it doesn’t mean the best practice is to use their image without permission. This is a really good opportunity to build relationships with influencers and brand advocates as well – so definitely worth doing.

Want to get user generated content out their quickly, but don’t have the relationships or the brand power just yet? There are apps you can use to generate UGC as well, such as Tribe or Upfluence. Take a look at our recent post on Influencer Marketing for more information and tips.

Hopefully this post has given you some exciting ideas for how you can go about getting your brand’s story out there – and help increase brand awareness and engagement online with your audience. Have a story you’re ready to tell, but looking for some ideas and help sharing it? Please do contact our team.

Creator and co-founder of Ecrubox Digital, MBA student at Warwick University and mum of three.