A step-by-step guide for using the power of storytelling to write Instagram captions that engages your audience
Gather around. It’s storytime.
A woman is on one side of the bridge.
There are many potential routes around them, but she’s stuck trying to figure out the next step they need to take to get where they hope to end up.
The other side of the bridge is where she hopes to end up, but she can’t see it from where she’s standing. The GPS stopped working, or she spilled Starbucks on the roadmap.
You, already on the other side, are screaming, “Hey, this way!”
But it falls on deaf ears because the woman can’t see the road ahead. Frustrating right?
If you’re feeling a gap between your content and your ideal audience, ask yourself if you’re laying out the directions, or are you just screaming into the void?
If your content isn’t connecting, storytelling can help.
Storytelling builds the bridge between you and your ideal audience.
What is Storytelling?
Storytelling is an art that is closely associated with fiction writing. You know. The classic tales we all heard growing up with an intriguing beginning, captive adventure in the middle, and a fairytale ending for our hero.
Compelling stories are instantly captivating, have a memorable transformation, and a wow-factor result that teaches a lesson or causes us to take action. These three factors are not just reserved for fiction writing or fairytales. They are also the elements of all great writing that engages audiences.
Storytelling in marketing or business writing means using a narrative to communicate a message. The goal is to make the reader feel something through relatable and memorable content. It makes the reader understand why they should care about the topic you’re talking about in the first place. It adds the human element that we all crave for connection.
“Storytelling marketing not only opens up a world of creativity for marketers, it enables brands to communicate key messaging in a way that needs no explaining. An authentic story is easy to understand, regardless of how old you are.” — Attest, a consumer research company
Why Storytelling Works
Humans have been telling stories since the dawn of time. Legends and lessons contained in stories are passed down from generation to generation. A compelling story stands the test of time and keeps us coming back for more.
But why is storytelling so impactful?
There is real science behind the process. According to the online marketing company Single Grain, storytelling increases Oxytocin levels, a hormone that promotes the feeling of love, bonding, and well-being.
As business owners, freelancers, and bloggers, we all want to form a meaningful connection with our audience, and storytelling forges the bond.
“When there are sufficient details and authentic emotions in the tale, the listener or reader is able to connect to a story easily – and brands can use this device to make people understand how their products add value to their lives.” — Single Grain
Benefits of Telling Stories
There is a saying that “Facts tell, Stories Sell.” And the term “sell” doesn’t have to be a product or service. You can sell someone on an idea or a concept. Storytelling is not a sales tactic, but it is crucial to building a beloved brand that people know, like, and trust.
Here are a few ways storytelling helps create brands that people know, like, and trust:
- Humanizes your content to foster a deeper connection
- Makes complex topics easy to understand
- Provides a compelling way to share information
How to use Storytelling to Write Engaging Instagram Captions
Here is a step-by-guide guide to creating an engaging Instagram caption using the art of storytelling. This method could also be applied to blogs, speeches, content, and copywriting.
The Hook (Your Introduction)
You don’t have to cut to the chase. Start with a bold statement or an intriguing question.
Plot (Your Message)
In fiction, this is the struggle or conflict. For a caption or blog, this could be the value your providing or the big takeaway of your post. This is your overarching message.
Structure (Readable Content with a Clear Start, Middle, and End)
A beginning, middle, and end. That’s what we are taught about story flow in elementary school. Instead, think about the flow in terms of the current situation/problem, the moment of realizing the transformation is possible, and the solution/end feeling.
The Hero (Your Audience)
The hero’s journey is a framework for crafting a compelling story. It charts the heroic journey of an ordinary person becoming a hero. The person telling the story is often the least exciting part of the story. This is your golden opportunity to invite your audience to experience the transformation you provide. Your product/offering is the tool for the transformation, not the hero.
Call to Action (CTA)
Don’t leave your audience hanging! The last sentence should invite readers/listeners/viewers to take the next step. This is referred to as a Call to Action or CTA. It could be to comment or sign up for your latest and greatest offer. This is your audience’s invitation to become the hero of the story.
Storytelling is building the bridge between you and your ideal audience. Plus, isn’t it just so much more to share stories?
Cyndi, Owner of Ascent StoryCraft
Let’s Get Social! Connect with Me On: