Facebook’s New Guide on Creating Effective Stories
Stories are becoming more and more popular across all the social media platforms which use them, and Facebook is no exception. CEO Mark Zuckerberg has declared that he considers Stories to be a prime feature of the platform, which is poised to enjoy significant growth in the near future, and which could even completely engulf its News Feed in time.
Figures released by the platform show that more than 1.25 billion people currently make use of Stories options every day, including the entire family of apps related to the feature. As Mr. Zuckerberg himself notes, ephemeral stories may be the fastest growing of all areas of online communication, and most users are probably well aware of that fact from their own experience. With more and more Stories being posted these days, considerably more users become interested in viewing the most recent vertical video update from followed brands, or from friends who frequent the platform.
Anyway you look at it, the rise in popularity of Facebook Stories is undeniable, and with that kind of popularity, it’s something that social media marketers simply must take to heart and incorporate in their marketing strategy. With this release of a guide detailing how to make more effective use of Facebook Stories, businesses and users alike should both be able to squeeze even more advantage out of making use of this already popular feature.
A good brand Story
There are a number of key elements which should be included to make Stories stand out and capture user attention. According to Facebook, those most important components of great Stories are very predictable, and should be included routinely so as to garner greater interest in your Story. First among these important components is the look and feel of your Story. An effective Story should use creative strategies and elements which are unique and distinct from other users Stories.
Business users will be particularly interested in effectively conveying their brands and products throughout their Stories, so as to gain recognition for their particular company, as well as for the products and services they provide. The format and execution of your Story is also critical to its success. Using a creative format and a style which is all your own, can be one of the most appealing ways of producing an effective story which others will want to read.
Look and feel
Look and feel incorporates such components as sound or no sound, interactive stickers and possibly some native elements, the specific placement of any overlays of text, and the general production quality. The best way to come up with an appropriate look and feel for your Story is to experiment with various aspects in this area. It’s a good idea to use stickers which can draw attention to your product, but if these are overdone, you might lose user interest.
One study which was conducted found that 83% of videos which included stickers did a good job of expressing important messages about a company’s brand or its products, and that the Stories performed better than those without any stickers at all. However, another study which focused on static creatives found that creatives with no stickers at all delivered higher conversion rates than those which included stickers. The bottom line on using stickers is that it’s worth experimenting with some to see which kind of results you achieve, and if those results are positive, you should continue using stickers to get across key points.
Other aspects within the look and feel area include formatting your material such that it maintains user attention by rapid presentation. This is important because people are consuming Stories at a much more rapid rate than any other kind of mobile format. It’s also to your advantage to enhance your Story with some kind of sound, either with a voice-over or with some kind of background music which adds to the user experience.
Brand and product
With regard to the brand and product presentation, the specific placement is very important, with the logo or brand ideally placed near the front of your Story, and then follow up logos sprinkled throughout the content. You may also want to include pricing information and to emphasize some type of call to action which will generate either a lead or a potential customer.
The best performing Stories with ads, always include their branding and their most important messages right at the beginning of their Story, which means your logo and other branded elements should be placed at the start. When you’re designing your story, make sure to keep your objective in mind. If your focus is to gain recognition for your brand, then you need to focus on people, and if your purpose is to gain conversions, you should focus on products and services.
Studies have shown that there is a very high success rate for stories which include an emphasized call to action which drives conversions, as opposed to those which don’t really emphasize a call to action. When you’re creating your CTA, you should experiment a little bit with components that detail the kind of action you want your users to take, and see how successful those actions are.
Format and execution
Format and execution relates to the video length, the aspect ratio of image display, the number of scenes being presented, and all the animations, video, and static displays which are included in your Story. One of the ways you can experiment with format and execution is to mix and match your static images with your motion displays. Studies show that campaigns which mix these two displays have a 75% chance of achieving higher value than those presentations which are limited to one or the other type of display.
You may also want to experiment with adding multiple assets that have different formats into a single campaign which includes multiple ad sets. The best performing ads as identified in the study, are those which have short and succinct displays, and scenes which are easily identifiable and recognizable. This is probably due to the fact that people tend to consume Stories content very rapidly, and this being the case, you should experiment with developing narratives which are both fast-paced and offer bite-sized, easily consumed content.