A key skill for any E-commerce brand is the ability to market their products. Regardless of how they plan to orient the rest of it, they must have this basic marketing still figured out. Now, there are many ways one could promote a product. And in the modern era of bite-sized, personalized marketing we believe that web stories that showcase specific products present a potent tool. In industry, these are called product stories. So, let's take a closer look at how you, as an E-commerce brand, should go about creating compelling product stories.
Creating compelling product stories - what's it all about
While at first glance product stories may seem straightforward, it is important to note that proper product promotion takes a lot of work. Before you even start promoting your product you ought to:
- Develop a clear idea of what your brand is about. This not only includes the core idea behind your brand but also the stylistic elements that represent it (logo, colors, fonts, etc.).
- Grow to understand your audience. No modern marketing is possible without an in-depth understanding of one's target audience. Only once you have a good idea of who you are trying to target and what content they prefer can you look to properly market yourself.
- Outline the emotional appeal necessary to engage your target audience. Only once your stories have a distinct feel (be it humor, awe, excitement, etc.) can you hope that they will engage your audience. This is one of the reasons why it is useful to have a professional create web stories (or at least web story templates) for you. Due to their experience, they will be able to properly integrate emotions into marketing content.
- Figure out which products best represent your brand and are interesting to your customers.
- Outline KPIs and set up the necessary metrics for following the performance of your product stories.
Only once you have this figure out can you hope to yield the desired results from your product stories.
Ideas for product promotion
When people consider creating compelling product stories they usually focus on single iteration, rudimentary web stories. But, seeing that web stories can be animated, interactive, and connected it should be obvious that there are numerous ways in which you can use them. To highlight this, let's outline a couple of ideas for product promotion.
Crafting a narrative
It should be fairly obvious that web stories can be just that. Stories. Namely, instead of simply putting a picture of your product with a catchy marketing phrase under it, you can use web stories to craft a narrative. This is, essentially, what marketing storytelling is all about. And if you want to have an impact on the modern audience, you really ought to consider it.
The way to go about it is to develop a story structure that introduces a problem or need that your target audience can relate to. This problem will be the catalyst for your product's introduction as the solution. Once the audience sees that you relate to them, they will be far more likely to hear you out. We can separate most narrative web stories are separated into three parts. Introduction, promotion, CTA. The promotion part can be as long as you like. But, the introduction and CTA (call-to-action) should be to the point and engaging.
Create an engaging hook
Another way is to use web stories as a hook for the rest of your marketing. To do this, you need to begin your web story with a compelling idea to grab your audience's attention. It could be a question, a surprising fact, or a relatable anecdote that sets the stage for the product introduction. Then, once you have the audience's attention, it is only natural that that story should relate to other content.
User testimonials and case studies
It shouldn't come as much of a shock that modern audiences don't trust brands. After all, it is only natural to assume that brands will embellish their product to yield better sales. So, how do brands get over this obstacle? Well, one of the most effective ways of doing so is to rely on UGC (User Generated Content). Audiences will always perceive your customers as more trustworthy than brands. So, why not use this to your benefit? Use web stories to share real-life stories of customers who have benefitted from your product. Doing so will add authenticity to your narrative and demonstrate the product's value.
Show, don't tell
A common mistake of people who are new to marketing is that they focus too much on telling. They believe that their content should serve to outline the features of their product to convince their audience to buy them. While this is serviceable to a degree, you should opt to show more and tell less. As a rule, showing things has a far more lasting impact than merely telling people. Demonstrations use cases, or before-and-after scenarios, long-term effects... These are all viable things you can show to showcase the quality and the value of your products. And what better way to show than through product stories?
Another way to show and not tell is to focus on the production aspect of your company. Namely, what you can do is offer a glimpse into your product's development process. Emphasize the care and attention to detail that goes into making it as well as the quality of materials used. Doing so can go a long way in building trust with your audience and having them feel comfortable doing business with you.
If you make any changes to the production aspect of your company, make sure to feature them in your story content. By doing so you will first reassure your audience that your company is doing well. Second, if you phrase your web story properly, you will give your audience the impression that they are an integral part of your brand and that you are grateful for their loyalty. Such posts, if well crafted, can go a long way in ensuring customer loyalty regardless of what your brand is about.
Another way to motivate your audience to engage with your brand is to incorporate interactive elements. Things like quizzes, surveys, or polls will engage your audience and encourage them to actively participate in your web story. By doing so, they will feel more like a part of your brand, and not simply as mere customers. Now, of course, simply putting interactive elements in web stories isn't enough to achieve any long-lasting connection between your brand and your audience. But, it is a start.
Afterward, you can look to engage your audience on social media and open active discussion where they can provide input about your products. Whether or not you will listen to their input is up to you. But keep in mind that modern audiences greatly value when they feel heard and when their input is valued.
Creating web stories
To make any of the ideas we've outlined possible you must create quality web stories. Like all content, it is both the quality and the nature of the content that will dictate its success. And while web stories are engaging by nature, they still need to have a degree of quality in order to be effective. From a visual standpoint, there is a strong case to be made for hiring a professional designer. After all, interacting with all the brand elements with various visuals can be tricky, to say the least. Mind you, modern tools like StorifyMe do make creating web stories far easier than it otherwise would be. So, the most cost-effective course of action is to hire a visual designer to create templates for all the web story formats you plan on using.
If any of the ideas we've listed seem interesting to you make sure that you go over them with the designer and have them outline a template. That way you will still have room for individual elements of specific stories while keeping in line with overall design.
Now, let's outline some technical aspects of creating web stories.
Call to Action
Unless your web story has a purely narrative or informative purpose, you should look to include a CTA. Ideally, you will conclude your web story with a clear and compelling call to action that is in line with what the story was about. Through it, you will encourage your audience to take the next step, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or sharing the story with others. Some eCommerce brands look to develop a unique CTA that will help them stand apart from the competition. While this can be done, it will require a fair bit of marketing ingenuity. That is why others chose to stick with tried and true CTAs for their marketing.
Optimize for Mobile and Web
In order to tackle modern eCommerce, it is paramount that you maximize your mobile marketing. Doing so is the only way to reach a wide enough audience and have them interact with your store. Therefore, you need to ensure that your web stores are optimized for mobile devices. Keep in mind that this not only means designing them so that they are vertically oriented. You should also ensure that they load quickly and that the interactive elements are easy to navigate.
A/B Testing and Optimization
Whatever idea you have in regards to product promotion via web stories, you ought to set it up for A/B testing. This means continuously monitoring the performance of your web stories and seeing whether they actually help you sell the product. The better you get at A/B testing, the easier it will be to outline which elements help contribute to improving your revenue. Therefore, it is well worth your time and energy to tackle A/B, even if it doesn't yield immediate results.
Feedback and Iteration
Lastly, it is important to follow the feedback of your audience. Both explicit and implicit. Try to see how they react to different web story templates and figure out which one suits you best. Also, try to collect feedback from your audience and use it to make future marketing decisions. Iterate and refine your storytelling based on what works best and see whether changing the products you promote may help your brand grow.
As you can see, the process of creating compelling product stories has a lot of steps. Even if you have a good understanding of your brand and your target audience, you still need to have web story optimization skills, as well as a knack for visual design, to put that knowledge into practice. But, don't let that deter you from experimenting. With sound advice from a professional designer and a couple of templates, you'll be able to start creating product stories with surprising ease. After a while of A/B testing, you'll be able to figure out which product stories perform better than others. Before long, you'll create effective product stories that both highlight your product and help boost your brand.