Strong website communication starts with a storyStories are some of the strongest communication tools we know. A good story can keep you on the edge of your seat... change your opinion... make you laugh or cry. While your business story may not necessarily be a page-turner, it does have something that all good stories have: the ability to establish an emotional connection. When you're writing for your website, step back and consider this:
What stories do you have to tell?
What is business storytelling?Simply put, it's how you connect with your employees, your customers or your partners. The goal of business storytelling isn't to be entertaining as much as it is to share something specific about your business. Determine that goal - perhaps to inspire action or to illustrate the depth and breadth of your experience. Now, instead of just saying "call us to learn more," tell a story that leads people to that conclusion all on their own. When those prospects call you - they've already established a connection with your business and are more likely to convert into clients.
Get inspired to write your business story by watching this TED talk from Andrew Stanton: The Clues to a Great Story
Why tell stories on your organization's website?Stories can share the vision for your business far more clearly than any vision statement. Stories can teach people how to use your product. Stories can show people how your service has made a difference. Consider stories as a way to illustrate your strongest feature/benefit statements.
Tips for storytelling on your website
- Determine the goal
- Develop context - the when, the where, the why
- Include action - all good stories have a challenge, a failure, a setback
- Appeal to the senses
- Tell the truth
- Finish with the big reveal - share the lesson
But what about the website copy rule that less is more?Find the balance. The home page isn't a place for a long story but it can be a great place for a headline that leads people deeper in the site to a story. Keep your top-level pages concise and enticing. Let those shorter statements and paragraphs lead the website user to a story. Then use that story to establish a connection and ellicit action.
You can also tell a powerful story using words and graphics. Look for a future article on that topic. It's a great way to balance the "open space" of a website design with the "emotional connection" of a good business story.