20 Creative Ways to Use Social Media for Storytelling

Posted by Alfred Lua

Storytelling has always played a part in successful marketing.

Stories enable us to build personality and create a connection with consumers. But can we actually tell a story on social media? Is it possible to narrate a story with social media posts that are supposed to be short and sweet?

It turns out there are many ways to use social media for storytelling!

In this post, I’d love to share 20 actionable ways to use social media for storytelling. 

Ready to dive in?

20 Ways to Use Social Media for Storytelling

Navigating this article

To make it easier to navigate this article, the 20 ideas are grouped according to the various social media platforms. If you prefer, feel free to jump to your favorite section by using the quick links below:

Let’s go!


Facebook

1. Write your entire story in a Facebook post

National Public Radio (NPR) studied over 3,000 of their Facebook link posts and found that shorter posts (those under 120 characters) had higher click-through rates than longer posts (those above 280 characters). But, that’s not the full picture!

Longer posts had more “Other Clicks” such as clicks to “See More”, which appears on long Facebook posts. This could mean that people got everything they wanted from the post itself without having to click on the link. That’s great if you are telling a story rather than trying to drive traffic to another site.

Longer posts had significantly higher adjusted click-through rates.

(NPR calculates adjusted click-through rate by adding link clicks and other clicks together and dividing that sum by post impression.)

The Humans of New York Facebook Page is a great case study for this. Most of the posts on the Facebook Page are long and require people to click on the “See More” button to read the full posts. While it feels like a hassle to read such Facebook posts, they actually receive incredibly engagement. I believe it is because they tell beautiful, captivating stories.

An idea to try:

If you want your Facebook fans to read stories about your customers or your company (instead of driving them to another site), it might be better to write longer Facebook posts. Instead of summarizing the story or just having the title, tell the full story.

2. Create a Facebook photo album

A photo tells a thousand words; many photos tell many thousand words. 😉

Creating a Facebook photo album is another great way to share a story with your followers. This tends to be perfect for events where you would have many photos taken to share. Here’s a bonus: I believe Facebook re-shares the whole album on the News Feed whenever you add new photos to it (e.g. Buffer added 3 new photos to the album: Buffer Meetups.). This allows you to share the album with potentially more people.

During our Hawaii retreat last year, we decided to share photos from teammates and their partners and families through a Facebook album. This gave people who were interested a chance to follow our retreat experience.

Buffer Hawaii Retreat Facebook Photo Album

(If you are curious, here’re our Facebook photo albums.)

An idea to try:

Whenever you organize an event, invite your colleagues and the event attendees to snap as many photos as they like and send them to you. Create a Facebook photo album with the best 10, 20, or 30 photos.

3. Produce a long Facebook video

Sometimes, even a collection of photos might not be sufficient to tell the story you have in mind. Perhaps you can consider videos if you have the resources and time. As Facebook videos can be up to 120 minutes long, they are great for longer stories. Furthermore, Facebook is tweaking its News Feed algorithm to prioritize longer videos that engage viewers.

Tough Mudder told a great story — many stories, actually — with its new promotional video for Tough Mudder 2017. It’s a montage of interviews with people who have attempted Tough Mudder on how the race have changed them for the better.

An idea to try:

Collect video testimonies from your company’s biggest fans or messages from your colleagues and compile them into a video montage to share on Facebook. For example, we did a Facebook video for Thanksgiving last year.

4. Go live on Facebook

Being authentic is a key aspect of storytelling, and there’s no other way to be more “real” than going live to engage with your audience. It is also a great way to reach your Fans since Facebook ranks live videos higher in the News Feed when they are live than after they end.

Candace Payne’s (as known as Chewbacca Mom) Facebook Live video was the most watched Facebook Live in 2016 (or perhaps ever). While it isn’t a branded content, it has a nice three-act structure (a model often used in screenwriting) we can learn from:

  • Setup – Introduction of the video where she describes her trip to Kohl’s
  • Confrontation – Build-up as she unboxes the Chewbacca mask
  • Resolution – Climax where she laughs uncontrollably

An idea to try:

It can be tough to go onto a Facebook live without preparation. Try creating a storyline using the three-act structure for the live video. This can be a live video where you share tips, a behind-the-scene video, or a question-and-answer session.

5. Sequence your Facebook ads

I learned about this amazing storytelling method on Social Media Examiner. It is such a clever way to tell a story and get results!

Refinery29, a fashion, style, and beauty website, partnered with Adaptly and Facebook to test the effectiveness of sequenced messaging of Facebook ads (or storytelling through Facebook ads). One of the test groups was shown three Facebook ads in a narrative sequence — introduction to the brand, an article from the brand, a call-to-action for an email subscription) — while the other test group was shown three Facebook ads with different creatives but same email subscription call-to-action.

Refinery29's Facebook ads — introduction to the brand, an article from the brand, a call-to-action for an email subscription

They found that the test group which was told a story through the ads converted at the highest rate.

Refinery29's Facebook ads study results

An idea to try:

If Facebook advertising is part of your social media marketing strategy, give this sequencing method a try. Introduce your brand with the first ad, share something about your brand with the second ad, and have a call-to-action on the third ad. Here’s how to sequence your Facebook ads.

Alternatively, you can use Facebook or Instagram carousel ads to create a similar effect. You can create carousel ads by selecting the “Multiple images in one ad” option when you are creating your ad.


Instagram

6. Create a narrative with your Instagram caption

While a high-quality image is important for an Instagram post, a captivating caption can help to complete the story by sharing a narrative.

Airbnb is one of my favorite storytellers on Instagram. This is because they not only use beautiful photos but also tell a short story through the caption of each photo.

With such an image and caption, I’m so intrigued to read the story! If you are, too, here’s the story.

An idea to try:

For your next Instagram post, share a short story about the photo with more than three sentences. It might be helpful to note that Instagram captions are limited to 2,200 characters, and after three lines of text the captions become truncated with an ellipsis.

7. Tell a visual story with your Instagram profile

A creative way to share on Instagram is to use several posts to create a huge image on your Instagram profile. When done well, it can look very appealing.

Herschel Supply Co. has been recently using this method of visual storytelling on Instagram to promote their newest collection of bags.

Herschel Instagram profile

An idea to try:

If it fits your Instagram style or if you want to experiment with new ideas on Instagram, create an image on your profile with three, six, or nine images. A tool to help you with that is Instagrids. If you prefer to use Photoshop or Sketch, the recommended dimensions for each square grid are 1080 pixels by 1080 pixels.

  • Three-grid image: 1080 pixels in height by 3,240 pixels in width.
  • Six-grid image: 2,160 pixels in height by 3,240 pixels in width.
  • Nine-grid image: 3,240 pixels in height by 3,240 pixels in width.

8. Curate user-generated content on Instagram

This strategy has helped us grow our Instagram account from 4,000 to 20,000 followers over the past year. (And it is a great way to get to know people from our community!)

We curate user-generated content by sharing short stories from our community through photos on our Instagram profile. Another way to curate user-generated content is to create a branded hashtag for a story that you want to tell. TOMS does this with its annual One Day #WithoutShoes campaign, and in 2016, this hashtag campaign generated 27,435 Instagram posts from its customers.

TOMS Instagram Hashtag Campaign

An idea to try:

Encourage your Instagram followers to post a photo on Instagram with your branded hashtag and promise to re-post a few of the best ones or send the person with the best photo a small gift.

9. Create a short video or boomerang on Instagram

Many companies have been using Instagram videos to tell short stories. (Here are 17 inspiring examples from HubSpot.)

Unlike Facebook videos that can be 120 minutes long, Instagram videos can only be up to 60 seconds long. But constraints can help breed creativity. Great stories can be told in seconds. One of my recent favorite video stories is from Nike.

Greatest ever. @serenawilliams #justdoit

A video posted by nike (@nike) on Jan 28, 2017 at 2:02am PST

An idea to try:

Create a short 30-second or 60-second video, sharing the history of your company. The video doesn’t need to have stunning footage to work. Nike’s video told a powerful visual story purely with words.

Here are four actionable tips from NewsWhip after the team studied the most successful Instagram videos:

  • Stick to the point (This doesn’t mean your videos have to be short.)
  • Use on-screen captions to help storytelling
  • Use text captions to expand on the video story
  • Square videos are more popular than landscape ones but experiment with both

10. Use a series of Instagram stories

And, of course, you can tell Instagram Stories (or Snapchat Stories). 😉

Even though there’s no limit to the number of Instagram stories you can post a day, we found that 10 stories a day are a good amount of us. With 10 stories, you can share quite a bit of content. Here’s a recent example from us:

An idea to try:

Turn one of your recent blog posts into a series of Instagram stories. You can use a mix of photos and videos of yourself talking or create graphics using a graphic creator such as Canva. The recommended dimensions for an Instagram story is 1080 pixels in width and 1920 pixels in height.


Twitter

11. Tweet a storm

Can’t fit your story into 140 characters or one tweet? Try using more tweets.

Tweetstorm is the practice of sharing a train of thought that is longer than 140 characters through a series of tweets. They are like mini-essays. Usually, the tweets will start or end with a number to indicate the sequence of the tweets.

Here’s an example from Ryan Hoover when he shared Product Hunt’s acquisition by AngelList:

Ryan Hoover Tweetstorm about Product Hunt joining AngelList

To string your tweets together, simply reply to your previous tweet. Apps like Tweetstorm and Storm It make it even easier to tweetstorm.

An idea to try:

If you have written a listicle recently, try sharing the key points of the listicle through a Tweetstorm. Remember to include the numbering in your tweets.

12. Create a Twitter Moment

According to Twitter, Moments is a new and dynamic way for people to tell their stories. They’re like tweetstorms but more beautiful and interactive. This creative format of telling a story could be a way to drive clicks and engagement.

Here’s a Twitter Moment we created to share the history of Buffer:

An idea to try:

Curate news and timely content relevant to your industry into a Twitter Moment to help keep your followers up-to-date with the latest happenings like Product Hunt did when Snap Inc. announced Spectacles. Here’s how to create a Twitter Moment and three more ideas to experiment with.

13. Attach multiple photos to a tweet

Research by Twitter has shown that tweets with photos get 313% more engagement. While most tweets with images have only one image per tweet, attaching multiple images to a tweet is a great way to tell a story. It helps to give more details to your story or allows you to tell a longer story.

Here’s a tweet with multiple photos by The New York Times during the recent Super Bowl. Having more than one photo tells people who saw the tweet more about the game than just having one photo.

An idea to try:

If you have hosted an event recently, share up to four of the best photos from the event in a tweet to give your followers a better idea of how the event went.

14. Create a GIF to share on Twitter

GIFs have become a popular form of content on Twitter. In 2015, more than 100 million GIFs were shared on Twitter. Apart from being popular, GIFs are entertaining and tend to perform well, too. CoSchedule found that their tweets with memes and GIFs receive far more likes and retweets than regular images.

Here’s a fun, short story told through a GIF:

Apart from telling a story through a GIF, another popular use of GIF is to spice up a tweet by adding an element of emotion or fun. Here’s an example.

An idea to try:

Try adding GIFs to your tweets to paint a more vivid picture of the idea you want to express — like how happy you are to have a full Buffer queue before a long weekend! Two GIF creation tools to try are GIPHY and gifs.com.

15. Spread your own hashtag

Hashtags can be a great way to curate stories from your community. Popular hashtags like #MyFirstSevenJobs, #LikeAGirl, and #ThisGirlCan became amazing collections of stories.

But you don’t always have to make your branded hashtag go viral. It can be meaningful enough when your customers and community understand the purpose of your hashtag and use it in their tweets, too.

At Buffer, we started using #BufferLove in our tweets last year to show our appreciation to people who shared our tweets, mentioned us, or gave us a shoutout. Gradually, our community began using it, too!

An idea to try:

Create a hashtag for your community, use it often, and encourage your community to use it whenever appropriate. #BufferCommunity is another hashtag we use often.

16. Tap into a trending hashtag

Instead of using a hashtag to curate stories about your company or community, you can also tap into a trending hashtag to share your brand story. It doesn’t always have to be a viral hashtag (though, it might be great). Most importantly, the hashtag has to be relevant and appropriate for your brand.

Since it’s legendary Super Bowl tweet, Oreo has been participating in relevant hashtag conversations such as #MarsAnnouncement, #NationalCookieDay, and #FathersDay with timely and entertaining tweets.

An idea to try:

Find a relevant trending hashtag in your industry and contribute to the conversation. #talkpay was a Twitter hashtag conversation we participated in last year.


Snapchat

17. Design a relevant Snapchat Geofilter

From our State of Social 2016 report, we found that only 5 percent of marketers and brands created on-demand geofilters in 2016.

If your audience is on Snapchat, Snapchat Geofilters could be one of the best ways to reach them. Entrepreneur Chris Hall was able to get $0.001 cost per thousand impressions (CPMs) for his Snapchat filter and generated over 10.5 million views of his filter in just seven hours.

In 2015, (RED) and Snapchat partnered for World AIDS Day to offer Snapchat filters in an attempt to raise funds for organizations fighting against AIDS.

(RED) Snapchat Geofilters

(Image from (RED))

An idea to try:

If you run a brick and mortar business such as a hotel, cafe, or clothing retail, experiment with a Snapchat Geofilter that allows your customers to share their experiences at your place, like Starwood did. Here’s everything you need to know about Snapchat Geofilters and how to build your own.

YouTube

18. Create a YouTube channel or playlist

Among all the different types of content (videos, social media posts, news articles, etc.), videos are the type of content that most people consume thoroughly, according to a research by HubSpot. Personally, I think it’s the best format for storytelling. Videos tend to capture my attention much more than articles.

HubSpot's research chart

Airbnb has a YouTube playlist, Airbnb Stories, which contains remarkable stories from the Airbnb community. In the playlist, there are videos created by both Airbnb and its community. Here’s a story of an Airbnb host, Michael:

An idea to try:

Interview some of your customers and share their stories and experiences with your company in a video. It doesn’t have to be a long video, one to two minutes long is great.

Others

19. Use an infographic

Infographic is a great format for visual storytelling. A study by Contently’s data scientists on 3,200 pieces of content created using the Contently platform found that infographics have a higher completion rate (73 percent) than blog posts (66 percent).

In the infographic below, Happify, a company that aims to help people lead happier and more meaningful lives, shares the importance of happiness and ways to make ourselves happier.

Happify infographic

An idea to try:

Use an infographic tool to turn one of your latest blog posts into an infographic. Here are seven powerful yet easy-to-use infographic tools to help you get started.

20. Create a SlideShare presentation

Over 70 million people visit SlideShare to learn new things, making it one of the top 100 most-visited websites in the world. SlideShare presentation decks make it easy for people to consume information as flipping through a deck and absorbing the information is faster than reading through pages of text.

We previously turned one of our blog posts, If Don Draper Tweeted: The 27 Copywriting Formulas That Will Drive Clicks and Engagement on Social Media, into a SlideShare deck. It has become one of our most-viewed SlideShare decks, with more than 600,000 views at the time this post was written.

An idea to try:

Convert your most popular article into a SlideShare presentation desk using less than 30 slides. To give you some inspiration, here’re the 10 best social media SlideShares of 2016.

Over to You

There are countless ways of telling stories on social media, and I hope these 20 ideas have inspired you to experiment with creative ways to tell your brand story.

As I’m sure you are much more creative than me, I’d love to hear how you have been telling your brand stories on social media. If you are up for it, feel free to comment below and share the link to a social media posts where you told a story. Thanks!

Hat tip to Fran Merlie whose article taught me about the three-act structure in Candace Payne’s Facebook Live video.


Source: Imported Articles20 Creative Ways to Use Social Media for Storytelling

Branding Success: How to Use PPC to Amplify Your Brand

Posted by purna v

Posted by purna_v

Here’s a question for you:

Do you think a brand can influence your behavior outside of purchase preference? Put another way, will seeing the North Face logo make you want to take up hiking in the snow?

A few years ago, researchers at Duke University conducted an experiment with 341 students. Their goal? Studying what makes a brand powerful and how we’re influenced by brands. As part of this study, the students were asked to complete what they were told was a visual acuity test.

During this test, either an Apple logo or IBM logo flashed on the screen for a second, so quickly that the students were unaware they had been exposed to the logo. The participants then completed a task designed to evaluate how creative they were, listing all the uses they could think of for a brick.

Are you surprised that students exposed to the Apple logo came up with not just more uses, but more creative uses? The experiment was also done using the Disney Channel logo and the E! logo – and the students were tested on their degree of honesty and dishonesty. Which logo exposure led to more honesty? If you thought Disney, you’re right.

This is evidence that subliminal brand exposure can cause people to act in specific ways. Branding matters.

For those of us who work in paid search, this whole “branding” thing, with its unintuitive KPIs, can seem nebulous and not something for us to worry about. We PPC-ers have specific goals and KPIs, and it’s easy for us to be seen as only a bottom-funnel channel. But we’re far more powerful than that.

Here’s the truth: Brand advertising via PPC does impact the bottom line.

I’ll share three key ways to build a framework for branding:

  1. Make choosing you easier.
  2. Show your customers you care.
  3. Make it easy to be a loyal customer.

Chances are you’re taking some of these steps already, which is fantastic. This framework can guide you to ensure you’re covering all the steps of the funnel. Let’s break down how PPC can support all three of these key points.

1. Make choosing you easier

Top brands understand their audiences really well. And what’s true of pretty much every audience right now is that we’re all looking for the fast fix. So if a brand can make it easy for us to find what we need, to get something done – that brand is going to win our hearts.

Which is why getting your ad messaging right is critical.

Something I notice repeatedly is that we’re so focused on that next advanced tactic or the newest feature that we neglect the simple basics. And that is how we get cracks in our foundation.

Most accounts I look at perform brilliantly with the complex, but routinely make avoidable errors with the basics.

Ad copy

Ads are one of those places where the cracks aren’t just visible, they’re also costly. Let’s look at a few examples of ads with sitelink extensions.

Example 1: What not to do

1_Almay.png

What do you think of this ad?

It’s a decent ad. It’s just not great. What’s hurting the ad is that the sitelinks are a broad – even random – mix of different paths and actions a person can take. We have a mix of product, social media, and spokesperson content. This is not likely to make anyone’s life easier.

Even if I had been interested in the makeup, I might be distracted by the opportunity to meet Carrie Underwood, reducing the odds of a conversion. In trying to please too many different audiences, this ad doesn’t do a particularly strong job of pleasing anyone.

Example 2: Sitelinks organized according to stage of interest

2_Clinique.png

Why not organize your sitelinks according to your customer’s stage of interest instead, like Clinique did here? This is brilliant.

Clinique is acknowledging that some shoppers are here just to buy the makeup they always order – so “Shop Makeup” is the first sitelink offered. But other visitors have come to see what’s new, or to do research on the quality of Clinique skincare, and probably everyone is looking for that discount.

Organizing sitelinks by your customer’s stage of interest also boosts brand by showing your customer that you care. We’ll talk more about that piece later.

Example 3: Sitelinks organized according to customer’s need

3_Harley.png

Here’s something smart: Organizing sitelinks according to what you already know your customers need.

Harley Davidson knows that a potential customer coming to their website wants more than pretty pictures of the bike. They’re ready to schedule a test ride or even estimate payments, so these options are right at the top.

They also understand that Harley Davidson is an aspirational product. I may want to estimate a payment or find information about my local dealer even before I know how to ride a bike. It’s part of the dream of joining the Harley lifestyle. They know this and make their customers’ lives easier by sharing links to learn-to-ride classes.

Example 4: Give them multiple ways to choose you

4_Sephora.png

For brands targeting by geography and who have a local presence, including call extensions and location extensions is a must.

As searches move from desktop to mobile, we know that local searches take the lead – and conversions on a local search happen within five hours of the search (source: Microsoft Internal research). Including call and location extensions helps shorten that conversion cycle.

What I especially love about this ad is that they give you two different buying options. You can visit the store at the physical address, or if that is deemed out-of-the-way by the searcher, the ad entices them to shop Sephora with a discount code for an online purchase. This increases the odds that the shopper will choose Sephora as opposed to visiting a more conveniently located competitor.

Indirect brand terms

When people are looking for your service but not necessarily your brand, you can still make their lives easier by sharing answers to questions they may have.

Of course, you’re already showing up for branded searches or searches directly asking for your product. But what about being helpful to your customers by answering their questions with helpful information? Bidding on these keywords is good for your brand.

For example, Neutrogena is doing a great job at showing up for longer-tail keywords, and they’re also working to build the association between gentle makeup removers for sensitive skin and their brand.

5_Neutrogena.png

And here, Crest is doing a fantastic job in using their ad copy to make themselves stand out as experts. If anyone has questions about teeth whitening, they’re showing that they’re ready to answer them:

6_Crest.png

This also helps you show up for long-tail queries, which are another increasingly critical aspect of voice search.

2. Show your customers you care

If you can anticipate issues and show up when your customers are venting, you win.

Professor Andrew Ehrenberg of South Bank Business School says that people trust strong brands more. They forgive your mistakes more easily. They believe you will put things right.

And what better way to show your customers you care than by anticipating their issues?

Be there when they want to complain

Where’s the first place you go when you want to look something up? Most likely a search engine. Showing up well in the SERPs can make a big difference.

Let’s look at an example. I did a search for complaints related to Disney, a brand with a strong positive sentiment.

7_Disney.png

Surprisingly, the SERPs were filled with complaint sites. What could have helped Disney here would be if they ran ads on these keywords, with the message that they were keen to make things right, and here’s the best number to call and chat.

Wouldn’t that diffuse the situation? Best of all, keywords like this would be very low-cost to bid on.

What about showing up when potential customers are complaining about the competition? You could consider running ads for keywords related to complaints about your competition.

I’d advise you to be careful with this approach since you want to come across as being helpful, not gloating. This strategy also may not lead to very many conversions – since the searcher is looking to complain and not to find alternative businesses – but given the low cost, it may be worth testing.

Cross-channel wins

As PPCs, we’re more powerful than even we give ourselves credit for. Our work can greatly help the PR and SEO teams. Here’s how.

PR:

As noted earlier, the search engine is the first place we go when we want to look up something.

This is so very impactful that, as reported in the New York Times, Microsoft scientists were able to analyze large samples of search engine queries that could in some cases identify Internet users who were suffering from pancreatic cancer, even before they have received a diagnosis of the disease.

This all goes to show the power of search. We can also harness that power for reputation management.

Broad-match bidding can help PR with brand protection. Looking through broad-match search term reports, a.k.a search query reports (SQRs), can help to spot trends like recalls or a rise in negative sentiment.

PPCs can send the PR folks a branded SQR on a regular basis for them to scrub through to spot any concerning trends. This can help PPC stand out as a channel that protects and monitors brand sentiment.

SEO:

Content marketing is a key way for brands to build loyalty, and PPC is an excellent way to get the content to the audience. Serving ads on key terms that support the content you have allows you to give your audience the info they really want.

For example, if your SEO teams built a mortgage calculator as value-add content, then you could serve ads for queries such as “How much house can I afford?”:

8_Mortgage.png

Taking this concept a step further, you can use high-value content to show up with ads that match the research stage of the customer’s interest. As PPCs, we’re often keen to simply show an ad that gets people to convert. But what if they’re not ready? Why should we either ignore them or show up with something that doesn’t match their goal?

Take a look at these ads that show up for a research-stage query:

9_KitchenIdeas.png

The first ad from Sears – while very compelling – seems mismatched to the search query.

Now look at the third ad in the list, offering 50 kitchen idea photos. This is a much better match to the query. If it were me searching, this is the ad I would have chosen to click on.

What happens to the conversion?

Well, the landing page of the “50 ideas” ad could feature some type of offer, say like what the Sears ad has to offer, and here it would be much more welcome. In this way, we could use higher-funnel ads as lead gen, with KPIs such as content impressions, lead form fills, and micro-conversions.

This is such a win-win-win strategy:

  • You’ve shown your customers you care for them and will be there for them
  • You’ve helped your colleagues get more exposure for their hard work
  • You’ve earned yourself cost-effective new leads and conversions.

Boss move.

Want more ideas? Wil Reynolds has some fantastic tips on how SEOs can use PPC to hit their goals.

3. Make it easy to be a loyal customer

Growing customer lifetime value is one of the most worthwhile things a brand can do. There are two clever ways to do this.

Smarter remarketing

You liked us enough to buy once – how would you like to buy again? Show your customers more of what they like over time and they’ll be more attuned to choosing your brand, provided you’ve served them well.

What about remarketing based on how long it’s been since the purchase of a product?

This tactic can be seen as helpful as opposed to overtly sales-y, building brand loyalty. Think of how Amazon does it with their emails suggesting other products or deals we may be interested in. As a result, we just keep going back to Amazon. Even if they don’t have the lowest price.

10_PowerProtein.png

For example, what if a sports nutrition company knew that most customers took three months to finish their box of protein shake powder? Then around the middle of month two, the company could run an ad like this to their list of buyers. It features an offer and shows up just at the right time.

The customer will probably think they’ve lucked out to find a special offer just at the right time. We know that it’s not luck, it’s just smarter remarketing.

Want more ideas? Check out Sam Noble’s Whiteboard Friday on how paid media can help drive loyalty and advocacy.

Show up for the competition

Remember when the iPhone 6s launched? Samsung ran very clever PPC ads during the launch of the iPhone 6s, and again when Apple was in the news about the phones bending.

11_Samsung1.png

12_Samsung2.png

Samsung used humor – which, importantly, wasn’t mean-spirited – and got a lot of attention and goodwill, not to mention a ton of PR and social media attention. Great for their brand at the time!

You can use the same tactic to run ads on competitors’ brand names with ads that showcase your USP. This works especially well for remarketing in paid search (or RLSA) campaigns.

13_Chevy.png

Here, Chevy capitalized on the Tesla Model 3 announcement-related search volume spike. They ran ads that reminded users that their cars were available in late 2016, with the unstated message that it’s much sooner than when the Tesla Model 3 cars are expected to arrive.

Give back

Engaging with the customer is the best way to make it easy for them to be loyal to your brand. Enhance that by showing them you care about what they care about for added impact.

Here’s one way to give back to your customer, and this particular effort is also a huge branding opportunity.

14_Loreal.png

I love how L’Oréal is associating themselves with empowering women – and most of their customers will like this as well. They’re giving back to their customers by honoring the women they care about. To create loyal customers, the best brands give back in meaningful ways.

Wrapping up

One of my favorite Seth Godin quotes is, “Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories that you tell.”

PPC is a wonderful channel to shape and create stories that will engage and delight your customers.

And now we come full circle, to that place where we started, wondering how in the world PPC can impact brand. Your paid search campaigns are a chapter in your brand’s story, and you have an unlimited number of ways to write that chapter, and to contribute to the brand.

Branding isn’t just for the birds. Have you found a way to use PPC to help grow your brand? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below.

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Source: Imported ArticlesBranding Success: How to Use PPC to Amplify Your Brand

Proven Instagram Stories Strategies from the Experts at Bustle – Hannah Caldwell [SSM030]

Posted by Hailley Griffis

Instagram Stories is quickly becoming one of the go-to marketing channels for some of the world’s top brands.

Take Bustle, for example, with more than 1.4 million followers on Instagram alone, they are seeing incredible results from investing in a consistent and thoughtful Instagram Stories strategy.

In fact, they’re seeing so much success that they’ve dedicated an entire position to creating beautiful Stories 5-6 times per week.

Behind those Bustle Instagram Stories?

Hannah Caldwell. Hannah shares her expert strategies on how you can create simple, yet beautiful and engaging Stories that will help to grow your account and “wow” your audience.

Hannah also digs into the nitty gritty of what it take to produce great content on the platform. A huge thank you to Hannah for jam-packing this episode with actionable wisdom and takeaways for social media managers and marketers alike looking to take their Instagram Stories content to the next level in 2017!

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In this episode, here’s what you’ll learn:

Hannah Caldwell shares her expert insights into how marketers and businesses can create unique and share-worthy Instagram Stories. You’ll also learn tips like:

  • The process of creating Stories from start-to-finish
  • Ideal length and format of their top Instagram Stories
  • Developing content ideas and executing on them consistently
  • How Instagram Stories helps to grow your overall Instagram account
  • The most important metrics to measure success and growth

Instagram Stories at Bustle

3 Key Takeaways for Marketers Looking to Create Quality Instagram Stories for their Brand or Business

In Hannah’s words…

1. Think about what you like to watch

What do you like to watch? That’s a great starting point for you to begin to create relevant and engaging Instagram Stories. And if you’re not within the demographic of your target audience, then you can talk to people who are about what they would like to see.

2. Make sure it feels native to the platform

Make sure that everything feels native and natural to the platform. For example, I use my phone to film and shoot everything for our Stories even though I am not a video producer. That helps it to feel native and organic on Instagram.

3. Let it change and grow

Let your Instagram Stories change and grow as the platform changes and grows. It’s a new thing and they’re launching new features all of the time which is amazing for marketers. Make sure that you move and change with them and adapt to the changing landscape that we’re all a part of.

A Great Moment

 

“It’s fun for the Instagram Stories to reflect a little bit more of what our site might look like. In other words, the experience you might get on our website is reflected in our Instagram Stories.”

– Hannah Caldwell

Awesome People & Stuff Mentioned in the Show

Favorite Quotes

Quote from Hannah Caldwell of Bustle on Instagram Stories

  • We’ll create Instagram Stories that are anywhere between 5 slides and 30 slides – total. The most important part is that it is based around what type of content it is.
  • To produce as much content as we do at Bustle, it’s definitely is a time commitment, but, truly anyone can create beautiful Instagram stories with just a few inexpensive tools.
  • Completion rate and direct messages are the metrics that I watch closely and the ones that I really trust. Some days the views are high because we happen to be at the front of someone’s feed that day because of how the algorithm works.
  • We’re trying to create content that we want to be watching. Our own employees at Bustle are the target audience, so we try to create Stories that we as a team would watch. And also, we want to have a direct link to our users through messages and connections.
  • You have to think about the platform and you have to consider what it allows you to do and what it doesn’t allow you to do. So if you only have 10-15 second clips, community well within that 15 seconds.

How to Say Hello to Hannah (and us)

If you’re looking for some awesome Instagram Stories inspiration – check out Bustle on Instagram! You can also say hello to Hannah on Instagram and read more about Sunny’s journey at bustle.com

Thanks for listening! We’d love to connect with you at @buffer on Twitter or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a rating and review on iTunes!

About the Show

The Science of Social Media is a podcast for marketers and social media managers looking for inspiration, ideas, and results for their social media strategies. Each week, we interview one of the very best in social media marketing from brands in every industry. You will learn the latest tactics on social media, the best tools to use, the smartest workflows, and the best goal-setting advice. It is our hope that each episode you’ll find one or two gems to use with your social media marketing!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.


Source: Imported ArticlesProven Instagram Stories Strategies from the Experts at Bustle – Hannah Caldwell [SSM030]