Modern tools like StorifyMe give you an easy, intuitive way of creating web stories. Through them, you can easily incorporate various web story elements and design engaging web stories that are bound to resonate with your audience. But, at the end of the day, no matter how powerful it is, StorifyMe can't do everything for you. After all, it is only a tool. And as such, we often see people misusing it. So, to help you create truly engaging web stories, we will go over the common mistakes people make when creating them.
What people usually get wrong when creating web stories
The process of creating a web story is often filled with mistakes and oversights. While we all appreciate well crafted, professionally designed web stories, you should know how to recognize the subpar ones. Unfortunately, this takes some experience. And it takes even more experience to outline what in their design makes them so. Therefore, while we will outline the four most common mistakes, know that they aren't the only mistakes people make. The more you learn about web story design, the more you'll realise what mistakes you've made in the past, and how you can improve in the future.
Using only one type of content
Web stories give you a ton of content options to choose from when creating them. You can opt for a simple image + text. Or you can incorporate more intricate elements like:
- Interactive elements.
Within all these types of content, you have further options to explore and try out. And this abundance of choice often leads to a common mistake of only using one type of content. For instance, people start using only static images + text. This combination alone has a seemingly endless variety of options to experiment with. You can try different fonts, text placements, various images and the combinations of them all to no end. And while it may seem exciting to create, it will lead to you having a relatively boring story feed. Regardless of your target demographic, people like variety. This is why it is simply wrong to stick to one and only one type of content for your web stories. The more you can use different types to freshen up your feed, the better.
Animations are a common part of web stories. They are fairly easy to create while bringing a ton of flair and engagement to what would otherwise be fairly static content. But, while it is a good idea to use animations in your web stories, you really ought to avoid overusing them. Similarly to the previous point, there are a ton of animations to choose from. There are those that function within a single story page and give you fun ways to make the elements of that page more engaging. And there are those that function as a transition between story pages, making them easier to follow. Again, the combination of the two gives you limitless options on how you can set up your web stories, but, it is important to note that, once people discover animations in web stories, they tend to overuse them.
Using too many animations defeats the purpose of incorporating one in the first place. Ideally, your animation will highlight a certain aspect of your web story in order to make it more engaging and appealing. But, if you use too many animations, you only stand to confuse your viewers and make your stories difficult to follow. If you feel that a certain animation works well with your content, try to use it, and only it. Once it grows stale, consider incorporating a different one. But, don't add everything all at once.
Ignoring the SEO aspect
Web stories aren't (or at least shouldn't be) the end-all of your online presence. They are simply a marketing tool. And, as such, you need to use them as a part of a broader, deeper, more long-term marketing strategy. With this in mind, you'd be a fool to make one of the more unfortunate mistakes of ignoring the SEO aspect of web stories. Whether you are aware of it or not, your web stories will impact your SEO rating. And if you fail to properly incorporate them, they can even hurt it in the long run. The key points to keep in mind are:
- Keep your web stories high-quality. Empty, pointless web stories will likely hurt your SEO.
- Keep a short title. Anything below 90 words is fine, while we would recommend that you strive for below 70.
- Be aware of the noindex attribute. It will make Google ignore your web stories and not index them. This can be useful for experimentation, but keep in mind what effect it has.
- Add web stories to your sitemap.
- Make sure that your web stories are self-canonical.
- Follow the AMP story metadata guidelines.
While there are other SEO practices these should keep you in the clear.
Not making your content mobile-friendly
Before you set out to create web stories, consider who will view them. And, more importantly in this instance, consider what platform they will use. If you run a more tech-heavy website, you might have a part of your audience viewing your web stories on computers. But, having in mind that majority of visits nowadays come from mobile device, you will still have a large part of your audience viewing your content on mobile devices. Now it is feasible to view mobile-friendly content on larger screens. But it is far more difficult, and sometimes even possible to view content made for big screens on mobile devices.
Although majority of tools have mobile-first approach, our story editor makes sure your content is optimized for mobile.
Ignoring your mobile audience in the 21st century is a marketing mistake few companies can afford to make, which is what makes stories that improtant.
General practice for creating good web stories
What we've outlined so far should keep you on a good track for creating engaging web stories that actually bring the audience to your brand. But, to further assist you, we will outline a couple of general practices that content creators would benefit from. Ignoring them wouldn't be an outright mistake. But, we do believe that you would only do so to your own harm.
Web stories need to both be a part of and help extenuate your brand. Good web stories push the brand narrative further and help the viewer get the idea of what the brand is all about. Because they are so engaging, it is best to use web stories as makeshift "trailers" for further content. They can give concise ideas of what you want to say, and you later expand upon those ideas through blog posts and guides. But, for any of this to work, you need to keep your web stories in line with your brand.
Storytelling is a big part of creating web stories. Whether you are using storytelling for a single web story, or are using web stories as a part of greater marketing storytelling, you need to be aware of what it is. Storytelling and personalization are key aspects of modern marketing. This is why, if you seriously want to address them, you need to be well informed.
Outline the goal of your web story
The endless potential of what a web story can usually leave people stumped about how to design one. After all, should you use animations or stick with static content. Should you film a video, or present your info through text. There are numerous possibilities, and unless you have a clear idea of what the goal of your web stories is, you'll have a hard time navigating the creation process. Most web stories serve to draw the viewer's attention. But, do you want the story to draw attention to a certain product, to a specific offer, or to your brand in general? Do you wish your viewer to buy something, engage with your content, or simply absorb the information? The more you can outline what the goal is, the more you will know which elements to highlight and how to organize them within the story.
In the end, it is important to remember that you won't learn how to create engaging web stories overnight. Web stories, just like any other type of content, require experience and knowledge. The more you create, the more you will learn which aspects to improve upon, and which mistakes to avoid. If possible, consult with a professional designer and don't shy away from creating as many web stories as you can. The sooner you make your rookie mistake, the sooner you'll be able to avoid them.