Content marketing is “a type of marketing that involves the creation and sharing of online content (such as videos, blogs and social media posts) that does not explicitly promote a brand, but is aimed at increasing interest in its products or services. to encourage”. In other words, explicit marketing is simply saying “buy my stuff!” Whereas content marketing is the art of persuading people to do so by telling a story.
Storytelling is important because science has found that it causes the release of oxytocin in the brain, a hormone associated with social bonding. This is a powerful tool for social media (and content marketing in general) because it basically means sharing stories with all the important knowledge you need to support your ideal customers and ultimately buy from you, like and trust. Factoring helps. Looking for ways to incorporate this into your social media strategy? Here are 7 ways to do it:
1. Share Your “Why”
One of the best ways to share your brand story is to share a cause for you or your company. You can do this by sharing:
- Your company’s mission/vision
- What motivates you in terms of influence
- What was the first reason you started or started your business
It’s a valuable way to share your story because it helps you build deeper relationships and community with an audience with similar aspirations, goals, and core values- attracting your ideal customers.
2. How It Started vs How It’s Going
Another great way to share your story would be to share how it started versus how it went. These types of posts are essentially before and after posts, usually in the form of illustrations, that do exactly what they say on the tin—from where your company, brand or business started. Shows progress to date. The caption can then be an extension of sharing your why method by telling your audience how you started with an idea to achieve a certain goal and how you have progressed towards it since then.
3. Your Highlight Reel
Progress can also be demonstrated by sharing your successes (otherwise known as your “highlight reel”) such as:
- Positive Customer Testimonials / Case Studies
- Expansion such as new rent, product line or property/office spaces
- Meeting, hosting or sharing the stage with industry celebrities
- How your business is allowing you to manifest the life you and/or your family have always dreamed of
You can then incorporate the above techniques into your storytelling about these achievements by sharing why they connect with your why (the mission, vision, and impact you want to make in the world) or sharing why they are. Mark how far you’ve come. of progress. You can share the quote to others and only “piggy back” of them by sharing why you agree or disagree with the quote based on your personal experience.
“Storytelling is the most powerful way to convey ideas in today’s world.” – Robert McKee
4. Words of Motivation
One of the 3 strategies mentioned above is the fact that all of them can be considered inspirational and/or aspirational to your audience. You can take this aspect of storytelling further by sharing words of wisdom such as the lessons you have learned by reaching this point in your journey and making such progress, impact or waves in terms of success. By doing this you not only build brand loyalty, but you also establish yourself as an authority, expert and trusted solution to the problems of your ideal customers- making your paid content purchases without thinking.
5. Past Wrong Moves
Thomas Edison once said that “I haven’t failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” when asked about his wrong moves. I go on to say that often the lesson we’ve learned about the best path to success comes from the fact that we learned what not to do first. Therefore, it is important to share not only words of inspiration, but also the wrong steps that took you there. These can include (but are not limited to) past failures, poor judgment, mistakes and/or limited beliefs, and how you overcame them. In doing so, you:
- humanize yourself
- be more related
- Give your audience hope that if your process works for you it might work for them too
- persuade them to buy without being lazy or pushy
6. Case Study
I briefly mentioned the case study in the Highlight Reel section, but it’s certainly a storytelling tool that could be talked about in more detail. Case studies are the art of telling stories about the effectiveness of your products or services, but using the customers/customers as the main protagonist in the story (instead of yourself). You can do this by talking about the problem the client/client first approached you with for help, how you helped them and the positive impression they got as a result.
Doing so is really powerful because using yourself consistently as a case study can lead to doubts about bias and/or whether you can get similar results for others. However, using other people as case studies debunks those objections. Your ideal customers will also identify with the people in the story, see themselves as an ideal candidate for your services or products and, eventually, agree to buy from you.
Case studies are also a great tool for nonprofit organizations to use as a way to show how money is being allocated and making an impact in people’s lives. This will then encourage your current patrons to keep giving and those who are not yet patrons to support your cause.
7. Behind the Scenes
The final storytelling strategy to consider using is behind the scenes (BTS) posts. BTS posts usually take the form of a photo or video footage of the day-to-day background of your business and a caption explaining what it is and/or why it is important. examples include:
- PR appearances
- even more
BTS posts are great storytelling tools because they cover up your operations and represent your brand more clearly, creating a sense of vulnerability and therefore intimacy with your target audience. They can be inspirational or even aspirational, depending on what they portray.
Storytelling is a major content marketing tool, especially when it comes to social media. The better you are at storytelling, the more connected your ideal customers are to your brand. The more connected they feel with your brand, the more likely they are to invest in your cause, products or services. I hope that using the 7 storytelling tools above will help you see those benefits within your business, just as I have.