Facebook Ads and Telling Stories: A Winning Combination

It’s interesting to look at the evolution of Facebook. In 2004, Facebook dubbed itself as “thefacebook.” “The” got dropped somewhere along the way, but the addiction to this social media game changer mushroomed, far exceeding the original “college kids only” approach of founding father (albeit a teenage father) Mark Zuckerberg. 2006 saw the advent of a news feed to the homepage, but that was replaced in 2009 by the live feed we have today. It was at this time the status bar began prompting us to engage by asking “What’s on your mind?” 2010 brought us Facebook pages for businesses and groups, and the following year the “snooping” feed was added, the feed that provides a bird’s-eye view of everything your friends do on Facebook. And then video chat, and most recently, Facebook Live entered the picture. But the one thing all the iterations have in common is a focus on storytelling.

Facebook is About Storytelling

Essentially storytelling is what Facebook is all about. It’s about telling your story and having your friends, family, acquaintances and even strangers, depending on how you setup your account, read and interact with your story. Some people get very involved and others just watch, perhaps getting involved in your story later on down the road.

Storytelling in Facebook Ads

There are many types of Facebook ads, but smart businesses looking to reach potential customers through Facebook’s ability to micro target can embrace the art of storytelling in their ads. By presenting compelling headlines and (ideally) original images to capture attention and then following through with engaging stories tapping into a person’s felt need, a business can strategically and economically use Facebook as part of its digital marketing strategy.

EnVeritas Group did this successfully with our client, Randolph Macon College. RMC wanted to target potential students with an interest in attending their equestrian program. Obviously, this is a niche of students, and selecting a school for equestrian studies is a challenging and momentous decision. Providing engaging success stories of current students served to potential students in their Facebook feed, with dynamic images of riders on horseback, was just the ticket for this type of Facebook ad. There’s an emotional connection to the image and story because the audience can see themselves participating and becoming a part of this college community.

We created other effective Facebook storytelling ads for a private elementary school: Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville, SC. Private schools depend on new enrollment, and the school sought to target families looking for a great education for their children. The task was to target the right demographics — parents most likely to be interested in this particular type of school in this location. We worked with CCES to craft stories about current families whose children are thriving as CCES students, highlighting key points about the school and the type of education offered. The ads target moms and dads who might be on the fence about commuting to school as well as those who aren’t sure how one school could meet the individual needs of multiple children in a single family.

Both of these campaigns have landing pages on the clients’ sites, which link to each specific story. The Facebook ads link to both the landing pages and the individual stories.

To really capitalize on the power of Facebook, with its ability to tightly target users based on demographics and psychographics, you must use storytelling. It’s what the platform is all about, and it effectively engages users.

Interested in learning more about how Facebook storytelling ads can work for you? Reach out to me today at bbay@enveritasgroup.com.

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