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Talking Content Marketing – Storytelling With Jessica Gioglio

Jessica Gioglio

The Talking Content Marketing interview series welcomes Social Media Strategist and co-author of The Power of Visual Storytelling, Jessica Gioglio.

Jessica has been a valuable contributor to the social media and communications teams at Dunkin’ Donuts, TripAdvisor, State Street and Comcast. In addition to being a featured speaker at social media and tech conferences, Jessica covers social media best practices for the Convince&Convert blog. She also founded and runs The SavvyBostonian, a Boston-based lifestyle blog. Jessica stands for visual content, storytelling and approaching social media with a community first mindset.

Why do you think storytelling has grown in precedence as a business communication tool over the past few years? 

The rise and popularity of social media sites have ushered in a new era in favor of storytelling. There are more social media channels than ever before and just like consumers, companies are embracing these platforms to share stories related to their products, services, values, corporate culture, events, and more on a daily basis. The key differentiator among social media sites over the past few years has been the rise of mobile and visual/video content. In the past, text may have reigned supreme, but now photos, videos, infographics, presentations and more are being used by companies to tell stories as a compliment to their marketing and communications efforts.

Ekaterina Walter mentioned in her interview (click here) that every company has a story to tell. Is the ability to tell human stories the way businesses can differentiate?

Yes, especially in competitive business environments. Consumers are looking for trustworthiness, reliability, differentiated services, or alignment with a key value, such as sustainable sourcing or giving back to the community. Stories move us, are incredibly relatable, memorable and inspire action. Shining a spotlight on key differentiators in a storylike manner has become a powerful strategy potential to enhance loyalty, strengthen consumer relationships, increase awareness, and more.

Before we jump headfirst into telling stories, how important is it to have a strategy in place?

It’s incredibly important. In order to be successful, your visual storytelling efforts must have a clear strategy in place with clearly defined goals in line with business objectives. It’s easy to think of this as limiting, but the reality is quite the opposite. Having a clear understanding of the role visual storytelling can play in achieving your company’s goals on social media is a creative catalyst to define your vision and strategy.

Do companies understand the culture and etiquette for each social channel or do they see social channels as a space to sell with the same message across everything they are part of?

It depends on what company you look at – there is absolutely a mix of both happening out there. My best piece of advice is to think about your community before you think about selling. If you can craft content that is fan centric versus sales centric, you’re going to be much more effective in your social media efforts.

It’s also important to consider personalizing messages by channels. This may not be scalable for every single piece of content, but it’s very likely that your audiences may vary by social media channel. As a result, the best practice is to understand who your community is on each social media channel, plus key conversation themes, times of engagement and features/capabilities of the platform. These insights will help determine how to best personalize your content by channel.

What are the channels you champion when it comes to visual storytelling?

The top channels for visual storytelling will vary depending on your company’s social media following and goals. For example, one company might find a lot of success with video demos, while another company may be using Instagram to offer a behind-the-scenes peek at an event. Each channel offers different opportunities for creativity. Personally, I see a huge amount of value in channels like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube in terms of reach, ad solutions and community size. I also have embraced the creative potential of “newcomers” like Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Tumblr and Slideshare because they each bring something different and special to the table.

Who are the brands you admire that tell a story well?

In researching our book, I came across so many! Here are a few of my favorites:

  • General Electric: General Electric (GE) does a fantastic job of visual storytelling across their key pillars of science, technology and innovation. A personal favorite campaign is when they launched six second science lessons on Vine to inspire people to try them at home. The stop motion feature of Vine really brought the magic of science to life, creating story vignettes that were both fun and inspiring. The campaign was so successful that GE brought it back again and asked fans to help them co-create a virtual science fair with the Vine content on the company’s Tumblr.



  • Benefit Cosmetics: Benefit is a cosmetics brand with a unique approach to social media storytelling and engagement. The company wants women to feel good about themselves, so they launched a #beautyboost campaignwhere they send make-up and beauty themed compliments to fans to perk up their day. The images are humorous and sweet, with one liners like, “You’re hotter than a curling iron,” making their fans smile and share them with their friends across social media. This ties in extremely well with the company’s mantra of, “Laughter is the best cosmetic…so grin and wear it!”

Talking Content marketing_Benefit 0 Intro - benefit image 7


  • The TSA: Part public service announcement and part hilarity, the TSA has taken to Instagram to share images of the prohibited items their agents confiscate from travelers. Images featured include some pretty outrageous items, such as bejeweled lipstick tasers, grenades and six-blade throwing stars, each tagged with the dedicated hashtag #TSACatch and the city they were confiscated in. In the photo caption, the TSA also takes the opportunity to reinforce important laws, such as, “All live grenades – or anything that resembles a grenade – are prohibited from both checked and carry-on luggage.”


TSA Instagram Throwing Star TSA Instagram Lipstick Taser



A huge thanks to Jessica and her storytelling insight. Why not find out more from Jessica:

Jessica on Twitter: click here

Buy ‘The Power Of Visual Storytelling’: click here

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