22 Dec Strategic Digital Marketing Storytelling
What story are you telling about your brand? Digital marketers have many tools at their disposal, whether it’s different social media platforms or the format they use, such as a single image post or a video.
To make your brand stand out from the competitors, it’s important to master the art of strategic storytelling to engage your audience and create meaningful connections with your potential customers.
The Impact of Storytelling On Social Media
Most social media pages — at least the ones that are effective — not only tell a unique story about their products, but also about their company vision and values. If you scroll through Nike’s Instagram page, for example, you won’t see images with a lot of text promoting a sale on their latest shoes or any other overly promotional content. Instead, their strategy is to tell their brand story by sharing high-quality photos of athletes. The result is that it creates a more aspirational feel to their feed. Nike’s feed invites you to put yourself in these athlete’s shoes (by putting your feet in Nike’s shoes). You could be just like these athletes if you interact with their brand and buy their products because the world’s most successful athletes wear Nike.
On social media, it’s important to create connections, not just promote your product or services. By being engaging and sharing valuable content, you’re building audience loyalty to your brand — and the story you’re telling. In other words, you’re getting audiences to “buy in” to your brand and what you stand for, before they even make a purchase.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you can’t share content about your products from time to time, but digital marketers must balance this with other types of content. One post might tell a story about how your vitamin product can enhance the reader’s health, while another post might tell a story about improving healthcare accessibility in rural areas.
Making Use of Your Entire Social Media Ecosystem
These days, most marketers build their brand’s online presence across many different social media channels, such as Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Just as it’s important to align your brand narrative with the values you want to convey, it’s also important to build a cohesive digital identity and persona across all of your social media properties. Consistency in storytelling builds a strong brand image. However, it’s not just about using brand colors and logos consistently, but also about how you address certain topics, the language you use, and the topics you share.
A good example of a brand that has built a cohesive social media identity is IKEA, the popular Swedish furniture brand. Take a look at IKEA’s LinkedIn page. This post highlights International Day of Persons with Disabilities and tells the story of one of their employees. They end the post by linking to their career page. While this post is promotional in that it’s directing readers towards the IKEA website, there’s a larger message here: IKEA, as a company, supports this particular day and they’re an equal opportunity employer. They value the contributions their employees make and want to shine the spotlight on them. As a reader, this tells us a lot about IKEA — its values, its goals, and how it views its workforce.
On the other hand, if you visit IKEA’s Instagram page, the company focuses more on specific products, but it’s done through a more inspirational lens rather than a promotional one. With Instagram being such a visual platform that emphasizes photos and videos, many people looking for interior design inspiration will find IKEA’s Instagram content valuable. Contrast this with LinkedIn, which is used by millions of people to search for new jobs, and you can understand why this platform in particular focuses on highlighting existing employees and its values as a company, and uses its hiring page as a key focus for the company’s LinkedIn page.
Storytelling Through Video
Moving to social media formats, video is one of the most effective ways to tell stories. It’s dynamic, interesting to watch, and comes across as authentic. For many brands, TikTok and Instagram have become their primary platforms to share video content. An example is Microsoft’s TikTok page.
When most people think about Microsoft, they may think of technology, software, and more buttoned-up social media content. However, Microsoft’s TikTok page leverages the latest social media trends in their content and features their employees with content that appeals to a younger audience.
It’s not just about creating a compelling story, but also the right one for your audience. If we shift our attention to Microsoft’s LinkedIn page, you’ll see a different “side” of Microsoft on this particular social media platform. It still has a friendly and approachable feel, but it’s more buttoned-up and the content is different. Contrast the company’s TikTok videos with this one on LinkedIn, and you can quickly see the different tones portrayed.
What Story Are You Telling About Your Brand?
Here’s a final tip: don’t feel as if you have to cram five important points about your brand into one single post. This is one of the biggest and most common mistakes we see on social media! What often results is an overly long, unengaging post that has too many “important” messages. Instead, focus on one (sometimes two) key messages you want to relate to your audience. As the saying goes, less is more!
Telling an easy-to-understand, compelling story is important. Not only does it build brand loyalty, but it can also rally your audience for important causes. Here’s an example! We worked with Engage and Change to promote their new initiative, Project Winter Survival. Our team led content generation, creating easily shareable, thought-provoking content to tell their story effectively.
The result? A 573% increase in organic reach and a 794% increase in organic engagements on Facebook, and, as the button below mentions, over 13 million hashtag impressions. Click the button below to read more!