In the United States alone, the amount of money spent on advertising on social media increased from 15.6 to 40 billion US dollars within a short span of 5 years, from 2016 to 2020! Statista Research Department also states that about 90% of U.S. companies are using or will be using social media to market their products and services.
Just imagine how much money countries in Asia are also pouring into social media advertising for consumerism.
These large numbers convey an undeniable reality – any company that wants to thrive on the market has to consider this form of interaction with their current and potential customers.
Furthermore, given that there’s fierce competition from other companies vying for the attention of social media users like you and I, advertising campaigns have to be inspiring, original, consistent, efficient, and user-oriented. To achieve all that, there’s one direct solution: companies have to engage in qualitative brand storytelling.
What Makes Social Media So Efficient for Advertising
As Edward Timkie, lecturer in Media Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, said:
"A common logic underlies all social media advertising: by getting social media users to do the digital labor of selling and telling, via their influence on others and through word-of-mouth messaging, advertisers find it cheaper and easier to spread their messages widely."
Social media advertising is indeed cheaper – not every small business can afford TV ads, while most of them can afford promotion on social media. Enabling the word-of-mouth system of information distribution is the fact that the post sharing functionality is embedded on these platforms and it’s one of the actions around which the life of many social media channels revolve (alongside the action of content creation).
Similar to how affiliate marketing works, a company could recruit an army of influencers that would take on the task of advertising, greatly increasing the outreach of any campaign. Most importantly, advertisers could be paid proportionally with their efficiency, using a “pay per click” approach – compare this with the effort and expense of a failed offline advertising campaign!
Another fundamental difference and a huge benefit of social media advertising is that it employs advanced digital technologies that can make it incomparably better targeted compared to traditional advertising.
“A person could type a query in Google’s search engine and a minute later, when opening Facebook, he/she will see targeted ads that are based on that query. When you add on top the ability of algorithms to predict your future actions (based on the choices made by other customers interested in the same product/service), you get a world in which many people actually believe that their devices are eavesdropping on them,”
- Marketing manager at Adsy.com, guest post service.
Key Considerations for Brand Storytelling
1. Share Stories Illustrating Corporate Responsibility Actions and Social Initiatives
There are numerous examples of how inspiring videos or posts about CSR gets millions of views. For instance, Lacoste's "Save Our Species" campaign was a simple but powerful idea that gathered Lacoste, the International Union for Conservation of Nature and [Paris agency] BETC around the same ambition—raising awareness on the condition of threatened animals. It is exactly this type of content that is maximally fit for the system of “word-of-mouth” propagation.
If you want to generate such viral videos that would promote your brand, avoid complexity – make them short or even better, split them into multiple parts delivered on a schedule – the latter would exploit additional properties of the social media algorithms responsible for showing your story or post to other users. Note that you always have the option to increase the number of views by promoting the content for money.
Image credits: Lacoste Save Our Species
2. Use the Power of Content Marketing on Social Media
Content marketing is the approach of creating 100% user-relevant content with minimal or no advertising whatsoever. The more original content that is posted on your website or blog and social media accounts, the more visible your brand will be.
The idea is to be in the eyes of the public and let consumers remember your name, logo, and impactful story.
You should always share the content posted on your website and/or blog on your social media page. From a consumer point of view, following a social media page is only one click-away. Having users like or subscribe to a page or join a group is equivalent to having them save the contacts of the company, and it will also allow your brand and products to appear on their timeline.
To increase brand awareness, it is instrumental to generate original content frequently. If you find this challenging, consider contracting external services to create exciting texts as part of frequently updated rubrics that would be relevant for your users. Nowadays, one can easily locate a content writing website or an essay collection resource to cover the demand for a great variety of such topics. Such services could be also useful in editing or proofreading content.
3. Employ Your Clients in Advertising
Getting your clients to give you a shoutout or testimonial makes your stories more unbiased, personal, and diverse; it could be achieved through a variety of actions:
Creative or artistic contests aimed at promoting your brand or a social cause
Sharing of personal stories involving the brand (for rewards)
Sharing real user reviews from social media pages, forums, etc.
Creating dedicated pages or groups where clients could share their experience with certain products and/or services, ask and answer questions (a community of user experts), etc.
Image Credits: Found8
4. Know How Your Audience is Distributed
The predominant categories of users differ from one social network to another. Hence, you need to consider which social media platform or a combination of them to use and reach your client.
For instance, Facebook is the ultimate tool that ensures the greatest outreach as it offers access to the most categories of users; Instagram or TikTok would be oriented more towards younger generations (your Gen-Zs).
Obviously, the popularity of different social networks differs distinctly in various regions of the globe – there are many local and regional stars, which means taking geography into account is instrumental. Even so, with the advent of VPNs that enable the “emulation” of a physical IP address in virtually any country, the borders often become more diffuse.
Social media is a powerful environment for brand storytelling, which is to a great extent due to how the technologies behind it work – you should master familiarity on these platforms and learn how to exploit them to achieve maximum advertising efficiency.
This post was contributed by Marie Barnes, a contributing writer to various websites. She is an enthusiastic blogger interested in writing about technology, social media, work, travel, lifestyle, and current affairs. Follow her on Medium.
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