For charities to win both hearts and minds, it’s important that they share the stories of those they help – and to empower people to tell their own stories. Storytelling needs to be powerful and authentic but it also needs to be actionable to work towards your objectives.
The most successful digital campaigns from charities are the ones that master storytelling in practical ways. Not only is the story relatable, but there’s also an action that people can take to drive deeper engagement. Remember first to define what your objective is so that you can choose how best to get people to take the action that will fulfill your objective.
Here are five ways to make your storytelling actionable.
Always have one call to action
It may sound obvious but how often do you have a call to action in your storytelling posts? Here’s a great example from Christian Aid where they’ve shown the need and then asked for people to ‘stand’ with them. Note how, even though the link takes you to a donation page, they don’t explicitly ask for a donation in this tweet. Instead, the language is compelling enough to make you want to click and when you do, you’ll find Kasthuri’s story as well as how the Harvest Appeal made such a difference last year and how you can help it make a difference again this year by making a donation.
Did you know…
43% of children in India are malnourished. And most come from excluded communities.
— Christian Aid (@christian_aid) October 6, 2019
Make a considered donation ask
When you have a compelling story, it’s tempting to just add a donation ask to it but we can’t always be asking our supporters for money. So think about using that precious donation ask for a very specific campaign that your supporters can really get behind. In this example, Street Child UK are asking their supporters to donate to their Mind the Gap campaign, which helps ensure more children around the world have access to education. The ask is even more compelling because donations will be doubled by the government.
125 million children worldwide are not in education and are being left behind. We won’t stand by and let this continue. Help us close the gap!
— Street Child (@streetchilduk) October 6, 2019
Think of your supporter journey
A story should take people on a journey. Sometimes your story is made up of lots of different stories so think of the whole story you want to tell and what journey you want your supporters to follow. Effective storytelling is not about just one post on social media. You might start with a post on social media but then direct people to a landing page where there’s more information and stories. Or you might send a series of emails, with a clear supporter journey for them to take an action at the end – such as signing a petition, making or donation or becoming a volunteer.
Use images and video that drive action
It’s tempting to always put your ask in your copy on social media but it can be really powerful to include your ask in your image (or video) too. Think about how people scroll on social media – an image is what stands out and what makes people then read your copy so make sure to include your call to action in it.
— Women's Aid (@womensaid) April 30, 2019
Involve your supporters in your storytelling
One way to make your storytelling more actionable is by asking people to share their own experiences or tips. After all, they are the experts. Plus it gives you amazing user-generated content to share throughout your campaign.
It's #WorldMentalHealthDay, and we can all do something to support a friend or loved one with a mental health problem.
By taking them seriously, listening and asking questions, you can help them feel more heard and supported. What's your top tip? pic.twitter.com/mukrJXExw5
— Time to Change (@TimetoChange) October 10, 2019
Looking to warm up your supporters this winter? Download our new and free Storytelling Guide!