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Reasons why web stories are so engaging

Jana
6
minutes long

In our articles, we've mentioned numerous times that web stories are tremendously engaging. When it comes to both capturing and keeping the viewer's attention, they do wonders. This high factor of engagement makes web stories ideal for marketing, especially if your brand naturally connects to the story content. This is all well explained in our other articles. But, what we haven't explained are the precise reasons why web stories are so engaging. Well, we're about to change that.

Key reasons why web stories are so engaging

To fully understand why web stories are so engaging you need to have in-depth knowledge of modern marketing and psychology behind. The rising popularity of web stories is no mere chance, as various factors came together to enable web stories to become what they are. Our guess is that web stories are only going to rise in popularity as time goes by. So, if you are interested in the subject, and you want to make full use of web stories, we strongly suggest that you keep researching and take an even more in-depth look into this new marketing phenomenon.

We are naturally drawn to story format

While web stories are a new form of marketing content, stories as a medium have been with us since the dawn of time. Even since we could speak we narrated our beliefs and our lives through stories. As we evolved so did stories, describing our new views and aspirations. And the most powerful of the stories became religions.

A mother reading a story book with her child.
If you stop to think about it, you'll see just how important stories are for our everyday lives.

 

Why is this important? Well, it is important to keep in mind that our brains are wired to pay attention to story format. Whether we will pay attention to a random bit of information is dependant on a lot of things. But, we will pay attention to a well-written story, even if its subject doesn't interest us. The mere format tells our brain that there is something important going on. And it is precisely this effect that enables web stories to be as engaging as they are.

The era of bite-sized content

There are many ways you can describe the modern content consumer. You can make the case that they pay more attention to style than substance. And you can even argue that they value video content more than written content. But, if there is one thing that is not up for debate, it's that the average attention span of the modern content consumer is at an all-time low.

While the exact numbers do wary, it is safe to say that the modern viewer has little attention and even less patience. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that story content, which is often both short and engaging, is doing so well. A quick story is easy to follow and easy to pay attention to. While to read a whole blog or sit through a 10-minute video, you need to already be interested.

Combining different content elements

The format of story content necessitates that you combine different elements in a contextual form. While this is more difficult than writing a simple story or creating an interesting image, it does bring something valuable to the table. Namely, precisely because story content is comprised out of different elements, it has the effect of being far more engaging. When you put various elements together, they tend to do a much better job of catching our attention. This is one of the reasons why it is easier to play video games than to do programming tasks. And why it is easier to watch films than to read books. If multiple elements work together to tell you a story, they are much more effective as they encompass a bigger part of your brain.

A XRay vision of a human brain.
The more you look into it, the more you'll see that there are clear neurological reasons why web stories are so engaging.

Catching people off-guard

When people view story content, they usually do it on social media. Therefore, they don't tend to pay much attention to it. If they were on YouTube, they would already be prepared for commercials. But, since they are likely going through various social media posts with little attention, it is surprisingly easy to catch them off guard.

Good story content doesn't look like a commercial. After all, every marketing manager with half a brain can come with a commercial and shoehorn it into story content. Effective story content tells a story, that just happens to have a marketing message. Good story content is interesting and informative in its own right. And, as such, it will easily pass under the radar of people who tend to ignore marketing content.

A person going through their social media on their phone, showing one of the reasons why web stories are so engaging
While going through our social media story feed, we tend to pay little attention to what is and what isn't marketing content.

How to use web stories to your advantage

The question you are probably asking yourself is "Can I use story content to my own benefit?" Well, as with everything with marketing, you probably can. But you need to prepare properly and have a good understanding of your brand.

Understand your brand

Some brands have a natural connection with story content. Their subjects, their website content, their marketing... All can be easily shown in the format of story content. Unfortunately, there are brands that aren't as lucky. While they can utilize story content, they will have a significantly harder time incorporating their brand with the story format. The good thing is that, if they do manage to incorporate their brand, they will get much greater marketing results from story content.

Find a place for them in your marketing

While there are many reasons why web stories are so engaging, you should keep in mind that they cannot constitute the entirety of your marketing. Web stories are a marketing tool. And, like any tool, they have a role to play in a much bigger marketing picture. The best way to make good use of web stories is to consider your marketing needs, and see what purpose web stories can serve.


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