Storytelling for Marketing: Components of a Great Social Story


So, if you have been following along the past couple weeks, I’ve been exploring the importance of storytelling when it comes to marketing. It’s a far more complicated topic  art form than I had expected. While the last two posts focused on storytelling in any form, this post is about storytelling on video platforms. Those include Snapchat, Instagram Stories, Instagram Live and Facebook Live. Even if you aren’t on any video platform yet, the required components still apply. However, some of the details will be specific to the platforms listed above. Let’s get to it!

Didn’t you see my post on Facebook?

You have to have context!

Have you ever had a friend start telling you a story, and you feel like you missed the beginning of it? When you ask them what the heck they are talking about, they ask you, “Didn’t you see my post on Facebook?” My boyfriend does this to me on the regular. The thing is, between algorithms and people having a life outside of social media, they are going to miss some of your posts! Or…in my case just forget who posted what information!

Why is context important?

Think about the questions that someone may ask about what you are showing them. Where are you? Why are you there? What is the takeaway? Consider an entire story instead of one video at a time. My freshman year, our Journalism 101 professor trained us to communicate by answering everything with the who, what, where, when, why formula. It’s still just as applicable.

When it comes to snippet videos like Snapchat or Insta Stories, it’s super easy for people to miss the beginning of your story! So make sure you are considerate of those following and give some context. Always do this at the start of your tale. Then if you are covering a day-long event, somewhere in the middle, recap where you are or what the heck you are doing. At the end of your story, think about a bookend. Wrap it up and let people know that the story is over.

As we talked about last week your goal is to convert your followers into customers. One of the key factors needed for that conversion to happen is trust. You can get people to trust you by making them feel comfortable and making them believe that you are thinking of *them*. So, make sure they can easily understand and follow the story you are telling!

“A Snippet platform” is any platform where you are limited to short clips of video 10-60 seconds long that are strung together to create a whole story.

What makes for a complete story?

So let’s talk about that intro.

Be clear about the point you are going to make or what’s going to happen in your story. Be confident about the hook you are using to pull in followers. Confidence always translates well. Also, be considerate that this may be the first time people are tuning in to see you. Introduce yourself and give a reason they should stick around.


The middle

Guys, this is the good stuff! The middle of your story is literally the meat and cheese of your sandwich. Give your followers something excellent and more importantly, deliver what you promised. How upset would you be if you ordered a BLT and the waitress only gave you lettuce? The same theory applies here. Make sure you have a tasty nugget of info or give the details of your promotion in those middle snippets.


The end

MAKE SURE you end your story. So many times we have stories that just fall off a cliff instead of being brought to a conclusion. Let your followers know the story is over for the day and let the customer know what their next step should be. Should they tune in again next week for more updates? Should they sign up to receive email updates? Should they be coming to visit your open house?

Let’s say you were giving a tour of new development, in the last few snippets, take the time to say, “That wraps up our tour, want to see it for yourself? Visit” Then post one last piece with the website visually written out. Watch the two examples below; one of us doing it without context or bookends and one with a clearer message. Which one feels more comfortable to watch?


<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

Of course, plenty of improvements could be made to video two.  We’re always working on improving this, but you can see from a viewers perspective how much easier the viewing experience is when you know what you are looking at and why.

Ready for some homework this week? Practice telling a story. Leave a comment and let us know your handles on the different platforms and we’ll be happy to follow along!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top