The Evolution of Storytelling with Video: What Works on Facebook, Won’t on Instagram (Or YouTube)



Here’s some insight into what successful storytelling looks like on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and how you can create your own platform-specific videos.


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Successful social media content isn’t one size fits all. In 2019, telling the same story across all social platforms isn’t the most effective way to drive results. That’s why when it comes to crafting social videos that tell a story and stand out, it’s the platform that’s key.

Here’s some insight into what successful storytelling looks like on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, and how you can create your own platform-specific videos.

On Facebook, share news and updates

About  88% of Facebook users browse on their mobile device and most watch videos without sound. Additionally, most users spend about 10-to-12 minutes on Facebook per visit. So you’ve got a limited amount of time to stop viewers from scrolling past your content.

How do you engage the Facebook audience? Stick to news and updates.

Consumers on this platform are expecting to stay updated or learn something new. For that reason, it’s the right platform to talk about something new, like a product, offering, launch, or location. Also, keep in mind that square videos take up 78% more space in the Facebook News Feed. To optimize for engagement in the Feed, stick to square video.

On Instagram, inspire with eye-catching videos

Instagram is the up-and-coming platform on social. In 2018, Instagram showed higher engagement and ad spend than Facebook. Furthermore, in a recent survey, 48% of consumers said they made a purchase after watching a brand’s video on Instagram— that’s up 17% from the previous year.

So what kind of content resonates with the Instagram audience? Think visually stunning imagery, and inspiring stories.

When approaching video creation for Instagram, start with something visually striking.Tell a story that inspires or intrigues or share a memorable quote. Posting the kind of content your audience prefers to consume helps your brand stand out on social.

On YouTube, educate with longform content

While sharing a longform video on Instagram or Facebook may not hold your audience’s attention, longer video content excels on YouTube. And since its what viewers expect on this platform, they are more likely to stay engaged till the end.

It’s also worth noting that your YouTube audience is looking for specific information, and most likely watching with the audio on. So, share educational content such as how-to videos or top 5 lists (2 out of 3 of consumers favorite types of videos on social) that’ll provide value to your audience.

On social, the success of a story is linked to the platform on which it is shared. And, catering your video content to viewers on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube fosters a memorable connection to your audience. Incorporate these insights into your marketing strategy to create effective storytelling videos for each platform.

For more on effective storytelling with video, check out my session at Social Media Week NYC.

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