Once people run into the concept of web stories they often wonder whether they should invest time and money into them. On the one hand, web stories do seem like a potent marketing tool. On the other, good ones seem to require a fair bit of knowledge and expertise to create. Therefore, it shouldn't come as much a surprise that people are still wondering what to do. Well, to banish those doubts, we will take an in-depth look into web stories and whether they are truly worth the investment.
What does it take to create web stories?
First, let's explore what does it take to create web stories. As it is now, a substantial number of people (even those that deal with marketing) believe that the only way to create story content is through social media platforms. And, while there are some benefits to utilizing Instagram stories, they are still quite limiting to what web stories truly have to offer. Luckily, with modern tools, it is easier than ever to create any type of web story you deem necessary and place them wherever need be.
Understanding what web stories are
Story content (aka web story content) is a combination of visual and written content presented in pages that succeed one another. The number of pages can range anywhere from one to over a dozen (if need be). The easiest way to see examples of web stories is to open a social media platform like Facebook or Instagram. There you can see that even in their basic form, web stories can quite vary. The abundance of quality and design choices give you a ton of ways to create the web stories you want. For more robust examples of what web stories can be, you check out Google's examples.
Using modern tools
When it comes to different types of marketing content web stories are relatively new. As we mentioned, for most of their use, story content was primarily used on social media platforms. Nowadays, modern tools allow you to integrate web stories in any aspect of your online presence. Anything from marketing posts to website pages and even QR codes can be made with web stories in mind. If you consider web stories in this multiplatform role, they are a surprisingly new concept made possible through modern tools.
Platforms like StorifyMe allow you to make top-grade web story content with relative ease. As we've learned what intuitive design is all about, we've managed to make our platform quite friendly to inexperienced users. And seeing that StorifyMe is one of dozen of such platforms, it should come as much of a surprise that web stories found wide use in modern marketing.
Should you hire a professional?
If you are an experienced content creator you've probably noticed the visual component of web stories. Namely, all web stories rely heavily on visual elements and their integration. And, when it comes to creating visual elements, you'll likely have to consider hiring a professional designer. While there are pros and cons to working with a professional, or advice is to first consider your expectations of web stories. If they will only serve as small, temporary promotions for your content, then you can likely get away with DIY-ing it. There are tons of visual elements you can purchase. With those, you can look to create fairly decent web stories. But, if your web stories will be the crux of your marketing, we suggest that you definitely hire a professional
While here at StorifyMe we try to make the process of creating web stories easier, we cannot create them for you. And, even if you believe that you have a knack for it, know that there are some things that only professionals can do. After all, designers spend years learning about visual design and how to combine different elements to invoke specific emotions. This is not something you can learn from watching YouTube videos, or by reading blog posts. So, if you plan on relying heavily on web stories, make sure that you at least consult with a professional designer before doing so.
Benefits of web stories
Now that we have a better understanding of what creating web stories entails, let's see what benefits they stand to bring. After all, there is little sense in investing in web stories if you don't first have an idea of how they will improve your online presence.
It doesn't take much research to find examples where incorporating web stories yielded tremendous results with online traffic. With more traditional methods, it can be quite a struggle trying to find and maintain sizable traffic. Especially if you are competing with an already established competition. But, a couple of well-made web stories helped them stand out from the competition and garnered them decent viewership.
Here we need to explore two ways in which web stories can improve your online traffic. Firstly, as we mentioned before, web stories are a fairly novel marketing tool. As such, they present an unclaimed playfield where your competitors have little to no advantage. Secondly, web stories can help boost your current content, and give a bit of a new flair. If you know how to make them, web stories can consider presenting what a certain post is all about. Therefore, they can serve an introductory view (a trailer if you will) for a more robust blog post or a video.
Since we've already covered web stories and brand development, we won't go into much depth here. The important thing to mention is that developing and promoting a brand is by no means easy. Even if you come up with a good core idea and you design a logo to support it, you still need to work heavily on promoting your brand and seeing that it is well properly integrated into your overall content. One of the main reasons why companies fail to develop their brand is not because their idea is bad. It is far more likely that they simply failed to engage their target audience in a meaningful way. Cracking that first barrier and making your audience interested in your brand is where most companies get stuck. Fortunately, this is where web stories can be of fair use.
Web stories, by their nature, draw attention. Due to being bite-sized, visually dependent and dense with the information they are your best bet in garnering a new viewership. Even if they are not interested in your brand, your audience can help but view your web stories. Especially if you make good ones. The sole fact that they viewed your web story benefits your brand. Not to mention all the customers that you will draw in simply by presenting your brand in a clear, informative way.
An easy way to improve SEO rating
If you are looking for a relatively easy way to boost your SEO rating with Google, web stories are your best option. With standard marketing content, it would likely take your months, if not years to crack through the barrier of obscurity. But, since web stories are fairly new and surprisingly supported by Google, they do stand out as SEO friendly content.
Web stories truly came into the spotlight only once Google started to make use of them. Therefore, even if they become more widespread, it is safe to assume that they will remain quite valuable when it comes to SEO management.
Combating the oversaturation of marketing content
The main goal of modern marketing content is not to present brands in a clever context, nor to inform the audience of what the company is all about. The true main goal is to garner the viewer's attention. Keep in mind that the modern viewer is bombarded with marketing content every time they go online. Whether they want to or not, they are continually forced to watch marketing content like YouTube ads or website banners. As you can imagine, this oversaturation of marketing content has caused viewers to ignore much of it. After all, without doing so, they would hardly be able to follow the content that they want.
But, here is also where web stories are surprisingly effective. Namely, one of the best features of web stories is that people don't react to them as they do to standard marketing content. The true reason behind this is still unclear. But, the engagement rates of story content clearly shows that viewers are more than happy to see what you have to say if you present it in a web story.
Can all brands make use of web stories?
Strictly speaking, yes. You'd be hard-pressed to find a brand that could find some use of web stories. But, it is one thing to post a story on your social media profile every once in a while or include a piece of personalized content in your emails. And completely another when you base your marketing on robust use of web stories. In the latter case, it is important to recognize that not all brands stand to base their marketing on web stories.
Brands that have a natural connection to visual marketing stand to gain the most benefit from web stories. All the visual elements that you would otherwise use for standard marketing you can repurpose for greater effect in story content. Imaged, videos, animated content... All can be easily integrated into the web story format. You can even add interactive elements to help connect the rest of your content to web stories. All things considered, it is far more advantageous for visually based brands to invest in web stories as both a new type of content and a new platform. By doing so, you stand to gain a powerful tool for your marketing arsenal.
With all this in mind, let's try to sum up whether investing in web stories is a good idea for you. While we will try to take as many aspects as possible into consideration you should remember that the final decision is up to you. Besides what we've mentioned you need to consider your target demographic and your niche market. Not to mention the precise marketing needs for your company.
How much will it cost?
Creating web stories of your own is, essentially, free. With StorifyMe you can start creating web stories at no extra charge. And with a bit of research, you can easily find visual elements that you can incorporate into your stories. If you are serious about using web stories, we would advise that you put some money into visual elements. After all, free stock images are fairly used in modern marketing. And if the whole point of web stories is to stand out, it doesn't make much sense to use visual elements that most companies depend upon.
When it comes to hiring professionals, you will have to take a couple of factors into account. Namely, an experienced professional will cost you between $65 and $150 per hour. But, you will likely use that professional for far more projects than web stories. This is an option that serious brands which rely heavily on visual marking should consider. But, even with the added cost of a professional designer, we still feel that web stories are worth it.
How much do you stand to gain?
This, as you can imagine, can be hard to quantify. It is fair to recognize that some brands will gain little from investing in web stories. If they don't do their research and learn how to create engaging stories, they cannot hope for a decent ROI. But, if web stories do naturally connect with your brand, you stand to gain quite a bit. Apart from increased online traffic, you will easily boost your retention rates and re-engagement options. Not to mention that you will have a brand new tool to utilize for personalized marketing.