6 tips to improve your website storytelling

illustration: web storytelling, when done right, can inspire your customers

Customers are constantly bombarded with messages from businesses. To stand out among the constant chatter, you must write website copy that engages people on an emotional level and tells stories that are relatable, inspiring, and memorable.

The most effective website storytelling builds strong connections with your audience and establishes a foundation for brand loyalty and advocacy.

Keep reading to discover strategies for compelling storytelling and brand building on your website.

Tip #1: Write for your audience

To write relevant website marketing copy, start by thinking about what your target audience’s problems are and the products or services you offer that meet their needs. Focusing on your audience and their concerns will help you identify the most relevant keyword phrases to target in your website content—and that will improve your search engine ranking and make your solutions easier to find.

Tip #2: Choose your words wisely

Words elicit strong reactions from your audience, frame your message, and guide a reader’s emotional response. Various sentence structures and tones encourage different reactions, so choose the style that best suits your goals:

  • Short, conversational sentences establish a dialogue with the reader and emphasize authenticity. 
  • Active voice emphasizes clarity and portrays confidence in your knowledge and abilities.
  • Precision and detail create a message that supports informed decision-making.

While actively choosing sentence structures that support your goals is essential, it’s just as crucial to avoid structures that don’t. For example, don’t use expressions with sales connotations or overused words that give your products or services vague qualities, like “unique” or “best.” Although these words traditionally suggest a one-of-a-kind nature, companies use them so often in their sales pitches that they’ve lost their true meaning.

Tip #3: Take users behind the scenes

One of the most impactful stories you can tell is how your company came to be. Instead of focusing on corporate business goals (which will probably only interest your board), use your “About” section to reveal your mission, values, and the people behind your business.

Consider these methods to create your “About” section:

  • Tell your audience about the aha! moment where you came up with the business idea or how your company found its niche.
  • Talk about the frustrations that made you realize you had to do something about an issue.
  • Incorporate tidbits of information about your team, and add pictures to show the real people behind the curtain.

Emotionally-driven website storytelling about the why behind the what can inspire your audience (and create a genuine connection with your company). When done right, storytelling can transform your product or service into an experience and make every interaction with your company memorable.

Marketing spotlight: Burt’s Bee is an excellent example of successful website storytelling. Their company doesn’t have an “About” page. Instead, it includes an “Our Story” page where you can learn about how the founders embraced a new lifestyle and discovered beekeeping.

Tip #4: Look for common themes in user-generated content

Website storytelling isn’t all about you and your company. Your customers are just as important, if not more. User-generated content is a vital element of any website content strategy. Its use can shape and reinforce your branding.

  • User-generated content reveals a lot about how people perceive your business and the kind of stories they tell about their own experiences with your products or services.
  • Stories supported by user-generated content help potential customers when they research your company and make them feel more confident that they are making informed decisions.
  • Most leads view user-generated content as genuine and trustworthy, so it should be valued and nurtured as part of your online presence.
Analyze user-generated content about your company to identify common themes and stories. Look for ways to incorporate these elements into your website storytelling to create a cohesive narrative that brings you closer to your audience.
What if your customer feedback isn’t always positive? Get tips on how to deal with negative reviews

Tip #5: Give people a voice in your website storytelling

After you’ve analyzed user-generated content, you have an excellent opportunity to display and magnify positive customer opinions as testimonials. They make for compelling stories that you can feature on your site, which will not only heighten your credibility but also show that you value your customers’ feedback.

Take a look at a few website storytelling examples that utilize testimonials.

Customer quotes

Square specializes in POS and payment solutions. Their website uses short, impactful quotes from customers that highlight specific pain points solved by Square:

“Square adapts and adjusts on the fly to the complexity of multiple stores and multiple employees.”—Rehan Khan, Owner, Brow Shaping Salons

Patient stories

One of the most highly-respected orthopedic practices in the Midwest, OrthoIndy, provides leading-edge bone, joint, spine, and muscle care from multiple locations throughout central Indiana. They use compelling patient stories, told through short-form copy, to show how their services help people in pain get back to feeling like normal.

Read a Q&A to discover how OrthoIndy built their patient-centric and award-winning healthcare website

Video testimonials

CodeAcademy’s YouTube channel features video testimonials where students talk about how learning to code changed their lives. This showcases the company’s value and emphasizes its focus on customer satisfaction.

Hashtags

Hashtags make user-generated content easy to track and explore. GoPro’s different hashtags on Instagram, like #GoProTravel and #GoProLifestyle, give users access to a continuous stream of content where GoPro owners can share images and videos of their adventures and inspire others to do the same.

Tip #6: Stay consistent

Consistency matters. If your storytelling changes across your communication channels, you risk a disconnect between your audience and your intended messaging. That’s one reason why it’s so critical that you use your website to share the same messages—told in the same voice—that you are conveying through other channels, including emails, social media, PPC ads, brochures, and more.

Pro-tip: Your storytelling must also be mindful of the environment in which you are publishing content, whether it’s part of a campaign or in light of current events. With that in mind, be sure to establish your crisis communication strategy to help you stay both relevant and consistent in your messaging.

Website storytelling is more than just a marketing style. It’s a strategy that will help you build strong connections with your audience and improve your brand loyalty.

At TBH Creative, we know how important your website is in establishing your brand identity. We specialize in helping companies identify their voice and form storytelling tactics that showcase their values and goals.

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Joy

About the author | Joy Miller

Joy is the creative director at TBH Creative and uses her expertise to help clients use their online communications to build, design, and manage their brands. She likes to blog about content marketing in all its forms, the latest trends in digital marketing, and share tools with readers.

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