A few weeks ago, we talked about how the Stories format will continue to grow across Facebook and Instagram. This is big news for anyone looking to use social media for marketing purposes – and it should be a driving force behind any new efforts on either channel. Today, we’ll look at how the coming rise of Stories should influence our broader video strategy across social media.
We’re not arguing that all new content needs to exactly fit the Stories format. But if the future looks a lot like Stories, then we need to be prepared to take advantage of this format. And it is always better to be ahead of the change than scrambling to catch up later.
Storytelling in the Future
The key to understanding Stories in right in the name: it is all about stories and storytelling. That should be the defining characteristic of our attempts at social media marketing as we move into the future. Storytelling in marketing is not a new concept – but it is one that we easily forget in the press of analytics, sales goals, and budgets.
But the concurrent rise of video and Stories is pushing us back to the idea of marketer as storyteller. Data is still great, goals and ROI are important, don’t blow your budget, but in all that we need to have a compelling story with which to capture attention.
Practical Video Tips
So how can the Stories format help to shape our video strategy? Talk of returning to our storytelling roots is esoteric and hard to turn into practical tips – but that is the backdrop to most of the practical tips that we have included below.
Let Your Video Speak
As it currently stands, many businesses rely on text to introduce their videos and then provide a call to action. In this model, the video is just there to catch your eye while the text caption does the heavy lifting.
But the Stories format naturally limits the ability to rely on text introductions and calls to action. When crafting Story-style video, we have to be more creative – relying on the video to carry all the weight. At the most basic level, you can end your video with a call to action. But as we grow into this format, these needs should be woven organically into the content.
We’re past the time of debating how users are engaging with video content. The vast majority of your videos will be viewed on a mobile device. With mobile viewing, it’s time to leave behind the computer/TV focused 16:9 ratio and embrace either square or vertical video formats.
Going with square or vertical video greatly improves the real estate you capture on a phone screen – and that is critical when you only have one or two seconds to capture a viewer’s attention.
Less Sales, More Experiences
We all want to increase sales (or whatever your business goals are), but the shift to Stories teaches us that the sales pitch should always be secondary to the experience. In the mixed landscape of the news feed, we could include content that was entirely sales driven. This included product posts with ‘buy now’ calls to action.
But Stories is a more limited format – and that is intentional as Facebook looks to prioritize engaging content over sales pitches. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a sales goal, but you need to work it into content that fits within an experience- or story-driven style. Just slapping up a ‘video’ of a stationary pair of shoes isn’t enough. Instead, tell a story in which viewers experience your shoes – it’s more work, but worth the effort.
Live and Direct
One final tip: Stories are more about being present than about being perfect. While you might plan, script, storyboard, shoot, edit, and refine a video for the news feed; it is perfectly fine to be more impromptu with Stories. People expect Stories to be looser and more off-the-cuff. You should still have a plan, but the format frees you up to be more spontaneous with your video content.
But really this freedom should extend to all of your video content. Don’t get sloppy, but stop being a perfectionist. Tell your brand’s story, even if it isn’t perfect. Feature your strengths, even if someone might catch a glimpse of a weakness. Be vulnerable and open – it will win over customers with your story rather than your sales pitch.
The Future of Social Media Marketing
No knows what the future of social media marketing will look like. But if Facebook continues to have a say, it will look more like Stories than the current news feed. And we’d be foolish to not be prepared for such a shift.
But we know that just keeping your social media efforts above water can be hard for a busy business owner. That’s why Fusion Group USA offers social media management services for businesses of every size. Contact us today to learn more about our services!