In the world of print advertising, words are the foundation of any brand; the tagline, the slogan, and the mission statement come together to define, inspire, and differentiate.
In today’s digital world, visuals and design are on equal footing when it comes to a brand’s foundation.
Web Design Storytelling
Before your web designer jumps into color palettes or asks you to join the project Slack channel, hold up!
Make sure your designer has access to all of the following information to accurately design and share your brand’s story to drive maximum engagement.
As you supply your web designer with brand information, remember, they are not only a designer, they are a problem-solver.
Not only will they design a website that looks good, but they’ll design a website with a story that drives visitor engagement and interaction.It’s important to tell a story with web design Click To Tweet
The Target Audience
Who is your website designed to reach? What’s their age bracket, what device are they most likely to use to interact with your brand, and which online assets drive the most conversions? Give all of the content/copy that drives the most engagement from your target audience.
Target audience information and content will help your designer tell your brand’s story so that it not only speaks to them; it prompts them to engage. Most brand guidelines give too much information about the brand and not enough information about the ideal customer or client. Defining valuable target audience members is important to modern, storytelling web design.
The Customer Journey
Targeting a specific audience is no longer enough; knowing the customer journey and meeting them with the right website content (and design) will not only boost website visits but engagement rates & conversions.
Give your web design team an outline or an infographic that defines your ideal customer journey; where do they begin? What motivates them? What are some of the barriers they face when making a purchase or obstacles to the conversion process?
Answers to these questions and content pages that speak to the customer at each stage of the journey will set your website up for storytelling success.
Shareworthy Design & Content
Creating shareworthy content isn’t as difficult as it sounds. Even if your brand sells boring brown widgets, you can still find something interesting to share.
What type of communities does your brand impact? What kind of philanthropy initiatives does your brand support, and can you drive participation from your followers and audience?
If the Vatican can embrace the digital age and use technology and storytelling to drive engagement and participation, your brand can step and deliver something shareworthy for digital audiences, too.
Once you give an experienced website designer shareworthy content, they will have no problem creating an interactive design just for your brand. If they’ve never worked in the interactive experiences space, send them a link to our blog post.
Multi-Device Design & Content
Your brand’s story shouldn’t be inaccessible just because someone is on a phone or a tablet. At the end of 2016, web analytics firm StatCounter announced that global internet usage on smartphones and tablets exceeded desktop. Brands can no longer afford to have mobile users “bounce” from their site because of slow page load times, non-responsive design, or poor interaction options.Make sure your web designer knows your story, before they start designing Click To Tweet
Designing a website with device-friendly storytelling in mind isn’t difficult. Responsive web design is becoming a household name among web shops, and multiple studies show that interactive content like videos, games, and contests drive engagement.
A website designer who understands and embraces brand storytelling will incorporate a company’s interactive social media content, ensuring that visitors have easy access to the latest interactive content, no matter where it is.
Collaborative Design for Timely Storytelling
Brands make new stories every day. The problem in getting the website to reflect brand stories isn’t lack of content; it’s a lack of collaboration.
Once a new website is launched, a PR team can get a story featured on the front page of a website with a variety of website design tools.
- Plugins/Widgets for Twitter Feeds
- Feature brand news with a Latest Posts feed
- Display latest video thumbnails
Developers can work behind the scenes so that feeds and posts are updated automatically, or a member of the PR team can quickly upload the latest news or video.
Storytelling isn’t a “one and done” endeavor; website design should incorporate storytelling with future stories in mind.
Storytelling & Customer Data
When websites are designed with repeat customers in mind, it can make for a very successful content marketing initiative.
Give designers access to the most valuable conversion data; the device, the landing pages, the referring websites and ads, etc. The more customer data, the better.
Combine conversion data with customer journey data to show the designer where the repeat customers will go next, help them design a message architecture, and step back and watch the storytelling design flow.
Interactive invitations, aka the call to action, are the brick and mortar of your website. While the words and design will draw them in, the invitation to interact will keep your prospect pipeline full.
Start with the invitations that have worked in the past; are your website visitors more likely to sign up for a newsletter or download a free tool or resource? Review competitor websites; what invitations stand out the most?
Align these invitations with your brand’s best stories. Interactions are driven by emotions; which part of your brand’s stories is most likely to motivate a visitor, to speak to them?
Give this information to your designer; it will be very useful. If you aren’t sure, connect your web designer with one of the top sales team members. They will know exactly what prospects are after.
One Brand. Many Stories.
Unlike a tag-line or mission statement, a brand can have many stories. Each story can align with a buyer persona. A web designer can design key landing pages with click-through options that will appeal to each persona, leading them toward the story that is most likely to drive interaction from them in a format they prefer.
One story leads the website visitor to an interactive game, while another story leads them to a resource page with download options.
Use Expert Content Creators
Web shops frequently offer content creation (copywriting) along with their design services. If your web designer offers this service, ask them to use an industry expert, and give them the budget to hire one.
Brand storytelling isn’t as easy as creating a few blog posts or paragraphs; the messaging must resonate with your audience.
Now is not the time to slap together a few paragraphs with industry buzzwords; make sure your web design team understands this concept and doesn’t face budget constraints when hiring an expert copywriter.
Strong web design with brand storytelling doesn’t have to be complex or take months to build. As long as the design speaks to the right target audience and gives them options to interact at just the right places and times, the website will deliver results that aren’t steeped in high volumes of landing pages, word count requirements, or in-your-face messaging.
Allow the web designer to put the customer first, collaborate with the brand strategist for the story, and watch the marketing objectives unfold.