When a user lands on your website, it’s not enough to just catch their attention. You want to keep it. The end goal, after all, is to create connections and ultimately lead them to book a stay or make a purchase. Now, how do you do this with so many other competitors on the market? The key is storytelling.
Storytelling can help you take your site to the next level. It takes the brand story and creates an interactive digital experience that will inspire people to keep scrolling. As they scroll, they learn more of your story and it keeps them interested. People naturally slow down when something sparks their curiosity– ever heard of rubbernecking? Now, you want to cultivate that same impulse to encourage people to become interested in your company and what makes you stand out from other businesses in your industry.
This strategy creates an enjoyable, engaging, and immersive experience for the customers who land on your site. Thus, it gives them a stronger desire to stay on your site and forge a firm connection to your story. Driving that interest creates a positive user experience that will generate good associations between your customers and your business.
If storytelling elements in your site design appeal to you, we will walk you through some critical steps to keep in mind as you get started. These ideas can help you see how this strategy might work for you.
How to begin brainstorming for your storytelling site
Before you get started brainstorming ways to incorporate storytelling into your site, you have to think about the look and feel that you want to capture. Step away from thinking in theoretical terms. Knowing that you want to have a ‘pretty’ site or an ‘engaging’ site doesn’t do much when it comes to actual design. Instead, dig deep about how these elements can be incorporated with your brand and how they will resonate with your audience.
Look at your brand guidelines
Begin by considering your brand guidelines. You developed them to capture what your brand will represent, so now it’s time to put them to work. The guidelines should offer directives you can use to guide key design elements, such as color schemes, fonts, and the graphic elements; such as patterns, textures, and illustrations, you wish to incorporate.
Your brand guidelines might also help you narrow down the type of story you want to tell and how you want to tell it. They might also guide the language you use. You can use them to help define the key message you want to communicate, including the mission behind your brand and what sets you apart. What makes you different from other businesses in your sector? Why should customers care about you in particular? What can you offer them?
Think about the elements that you want to include
To create your brand story your possibilities are seemingly endless. You have so many elements you can tap into! Scrolling features and interactive elements can be so much fun.
However, you do not want to only incorporate everything that looks interesting. You need to focus on accessibility for your site so that customers can still easily engage with your content.
*Here’s a little reminder as well that loading time impacts your SEO. Don’t overload your site and slow it down!*
Define what you want your brand to stand for
You also want to define what you want your brand to represent and the types of emotions you want to elicit with your design elements. Consider the following questions:
- What key demographics do you want to target?
- What draws your customers to your company?
- What is the background story of your company? Why was this particular organization founded?
- What role do you play in alleviating the pain points of your customers?
As you think about the answers to these questions, try to pair them with images or design elements that can help you communicate these target messages. Consider your customers’ emotional motivations when they seek out brands in your industry and how you can mirror those emotions in your storytelling.
Remember also that when storytelling in site design, you are not writing a newspaper article. Too much text can become cumbersome for people to read. If you get too long winded, people will start to tune you out, regardless of whether you are in person or online. You want to keep your message focused around eliciting key emotions in the customer by combining design elements, images, and critical text features.
The value of using model sites as you build your story
In this situation, it’s ok to peek over other people’s shoulders. Using model sites can be an excellent way to start brainstorming how you want to tell your brand story. These sites can help you identify the elements that will fit your brand messaging. You can also gain an example of how the different pieces fit together. Use the model sites to start to identify how you can use your site to elicit other emotions and recognize the look and feel you want to capture.
To get the most out of your model sites, zero in on what you specifically like about a given site. For example, you might find one website that has a fantastic layout that presents its brand story very well. Another site might do a good job eliciting similar emotions that you want to generate with your own site design. A third site might use an intriguing font or graphic style that you think will also fit well with your own brand story.
To find model sites to use for your site design, it can help to look at various examples. Look at your competitors, but do not limit yourself to those in your specific industry. You might find other good examples in businesses within different sectors, particularly if they target similar demographics as you. Think about the demographics you want to target, the emotions you want to elicit, and what other companies might have similar goals. Knowing your target audience can help you find sites that can give you great ideas for your own site design.
What should I do if I don’t know what I want with my website?
We’ve all heard of writer’s block, but designer’s block is definitely a thing, especially when you are new to designing websites.
Many businesses struggle to begin designing site elements for their site. They have a rough idea of what they want, such as a goal to create a storytelling homepage, but that’s where it stops. They don’t feel confident finding design elements that can help them bring this message to life.
Working with a professional design team, such as the professionals at Milestone, can be an excellent way to create a beautiful website. As designers, the team has experience taking target emotions and design ideas and then turning them into a site layout that customers appreciate.
Working with the Milestone team can help you build an entire digital experience for your customers, not just a website. With this digital experience, you will nurture the engagement that entices visitors and bring you more customers.
Building your storytelling website
Bring the story of your brand to life. Let customers know what makes your business unique and why you are the perfect fit to answer their needs. Storytelling in your site design can be a great way to connect with your target demographic and communicate your value. It is about more than just using images and colors. It gives you the tools to combine these elements uniquely and capture who you are as an organization.
I look forward to helping you get started!
What is storytelling in website design?
Storytelling in website design communicates your brand story and mission to visitors who land on your page. This strategy takes the core elements of your brand, including your mission and what matters the most to your organization, and uses them to create a story within the graphics and design of your page. This story can help people quickly understand the core elements of your organization, digest what you have to say, and remember the central message you want them to absorb. These elements then lay the foundation for your brand relationship moving forward.
What is the main purpose of storytelling?
Website design storytelling can help brands connect to customers on an emotional level. Rather than just providing potential customers with a series of facts or lists of services, the story allows the customer to absorb the core message and values of the business. When customers grasp the brand’s mission, this can help build a personal relationship with the customers, so they begin to trust the company and desire to do business with them.
Storytelling helps to build empathy between the business and the customers. It lets the customer know how this particular business will help customers resolve their pain points and what makes this business unique compared to its competitors. Humans have been telling stories to each other across cultures for thousands of years because stores help people absorb information, connect, and learn. Storytelling in website design puts these traits to work for the brand.
What elements are essential in website storytelling?
Website storytelling calls for businesses to pay attention to various elements used on the page, how these elements interact, and the story they tell when working together. Specifically, you want to pay attention to the following aspects:
- The colors you use on your page
- The type of images you use
- The graphic elements you select
- The unique features you choose, such as interactive elements or special scrolling features
- The use of whitespace
- The font you choose for the page.
Work with a graphic design specialist to learn more about how these elements interact and how you can use them to create the right story for your brand.
How do you create a website story?
To create a website story, you want to follow these steps.
- Consider your brand story and mission. Outline what precise message you want to communicate to the audience.
- Identify the emotions you want to invoke with your story. Your targeted emotional response will guide the language and graphic elements you select.
- Outline the elements that will help you invoke these emotions and communicate these specific story parts: research colors and image selections.
- Design a page that will tie these elements together in a cohesive way to help you tell your target story. Working with a website design team can help you do this effectively.
How do I write a web story?
Writing the text for your web story requires careful balance. Too little text can make it harder for people to move effectively from one element to the next. Too much text will drive people away and minimize the amount of your account they absorb.
It would be best if you worked closely with the design team to write a compelling web story for your site. Knowing the elements targeted by the design features and the elements you want to communicate can help.
As you begin writing, remember the importance of white space and easy-to-digest copy. Lists, bullets, and clear headlines can help people absorb your material better.
After you write your copy, interlay it with the page to see how it fits together. Test the site creation with potential users to see how they respond to the text and how much they read. Testing can help you zero in on elements that might need editing and what has emerged as a critical part of your creation.