Have you ever watched videos on social media that seem to fall flat, and it feels like you just wasted those ten seconds of your life? I can almost guarantee that those videos were missing (at least) one thing: a story.
Videos get significantly more attention on multiple social platforms than plain text and even still images, they become exponentially more effective when they use storytelling.
Since Facebook video ads need to be shorter to keep customer retention up, videos are more effective overall when they can tell concise but relatable stories.
In this post, we’re going to go over why you should be using storytelling marketing, we’ll explain how to create video stories that are effective in just 60 seconds or less and how to make high-converting Facebook video ads (with several incredible real examples).
Why You Should Use Storytelling Marketing in Videos
We already know why we need to be using video in marketing, especially when it comes to Facebook video. Videos consistently yield higher engagement, clicks, and conversions on nearly all platforms (including landing pages) than still images or plain text.
Storytelling is what makes video so effective; no other medium can succinctly tell a story so quickly without overwhelming the user. Think about it: would you rather watch 60 seconds of a video, or view an enormous block of text on Facebook. If you’re like 99.9999% of users, you’ll happily watch the video but you’d be deterred by the huge block of text. And storytelling is important.
Storytelling in video allows you to convey your brand’s personality while appealing to viewer’s emotions. Stories are memorable, and create long lasting emotional connections. It’s why there’s such things as reported personal essays; people care much more about something when there’s a single human face attached to it, whereas they may have drowned out the staggering statistics otherwise. This is a power that you want to harnass for your marketing campaigns.
What Does Storytelling in Video Look Like?
Video storytelling might look a little different than what you’d expect. When we think of stories, we think of this:
Brand storytelling and marketing stories, though, can take a much different shape. It works by taking the same basic principles of any other type of storytelling and applying them to your brand and product. They should be used to help flesh out and build your brand, showing users not only what you do, but why you do it.
This does not mean that you should copy this video, which aggressively sells and lacks storytelling:
Marketing stories and videos don’t even have to be so on the nose. They can be videos that are relevant to your target audience and tie back to your business. LinkedIn’s content campaigns with tips for job searchers are an incredible example, as seen here:
How to Craft a Compelling Video Story That Can Be Told in 60 Seconds or Less
1. Choose One Simple Concept
This is important both for story impact and for the conciseness that is necessary to maintain viewer retention. Each video should contain one very simple concept that you’re exploring with a story.
This doesn’t mean you have to only include one person in the story; plenty of great videos talk to multiple different individuals throughout the video, but the individual stories all work towards one common goal.
Simplicity is just as important in a video as it is in an ad campaign. You should only be creating the video around one specific goal and one story, just like your ads should have one objective only. The video above seeks to establish Planet Fitness as a judgment-free zone that welcomes everyone, regardless of fitness levels, to help improve their health while giving off a “you can do it, too!” vibe.
2. Have a Beginning, Middle, and End
All stories absolutely always need three things, no matter what: a beginning, middle, and end. If you’re missing any of these, the video will feel incomplete and you’ll lose viewer interest.
Let’s look at an example video:
In this video, all three are included—they’re just seamless and hard to spot. The beginning of the video is introducing the little boy and his family to Avatar World, while the middle is him exploring the world and discussing it in detail. The end is the voice-over narration telling you to come and explore the world of Pandora.
If you lobbed off one, the video would become significantly less persuasive, it wouldn’t make as much sense, and you wouldn’t get the full picture.
3. Showcase The Problem & Solution
This one is especially important if you’re creating not only Facebook videos, but Facebook video ads.
Showcase a problem exactly how your specific audience will experience it, hitting all of their pain points. Then, after talking about how this product affects them, swoop in with a solution. Introduce the solution, and then explain how it can combat the pain points and completely solve the viewer’s problem.
This video for Curology is a fantastic example of how to combine problem/solution selling with marketing stories for a big impact.
4. Appeal to Viewers’ Emotions
Stories are most impactful (and memorable) when they appeal to viewer’s emotions.
Emotional impact doesn’t mean that you need to make viewers cry their guts out, despite what 99% of creative writing undergraduate students think; instead, it’s about eliciting an authentic emotional reaction of any emotion. That can mean joy, fear, sentimentality, guilt, sadness, anger, or relief. Our example video for this one goes a minute over, but you can still feel the emotional impact pretty quickly, so I’m tossing it in here anyways.
Our example video for this one goes a minute over, but you can still feel the emotional impact pretty quickly, so I’m tossing it in here anyway.
5. Use Compelling Characters to Showcase Brand Personality
Compelling characters are one of the best things you can do for brand storytelling because they can help convey your unique brand personality. This helps establish your brand, and it makes you memorable all at once.
Compelling characters can be real life people that you’re featuring in the video. Curology has another excellent ad where a woman swears, apologizes to the camera, and then swears again and it feels exceptionally authentic. They can also be off-the-wall, zany and unreal, which works well for quirky brands.
6. Incorporate UGC
If you have it, flaunt it, especially when it comes to user-generated content. If it’s possible to include UGC in your social videos (regardless of whether they’ll become paid ad campaigns), you should.
User-generated content is extremely appealing to viewers and can do wonders when it comes to engagement and conversions. The video below even combined UGC with influencer marketing to really knock it out of the park, while showing that you don’t need actual video from users to still make a UGC video:
The video below even combined UGC with influencer marketing to really knock it out of the park, while showing that you don’t need actual video from users to still make a UGC video:
With only a few exceptions, almost all videos are strengthened when they’re created with stories in mind. Brand storytelling allows you to build rapport with an audience that’s now much more likely to remember you and engage with you.
The key is to remember to keep your story brief, because all Facebook video (and realistically, most others) should be kept to 90 seconds or less, with 60 seconds being a safe sweet spot.
As long as you do that, you can count on seeing more clicks– and more conversions– as soon as you run your next campaign.
What do you think? How do you craft compelling, engaging short video stories? Do you use any of these tactics with your Facebook video campaigns? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!