Storytelling with Web Design
In addition to guest posting on the UpCity blog, Mystique Brand Communications is featured as one of the Top Digital Marketing Agencies in Canada. Check out their profile!
We all love a good story. Regardless, if it is a film, a book, or a play, we are suckers for a good yarn. Storytelling has the power to motivate, entertain, and educate.
And considering your website is often the first touchpoint with potential customers, it’s the perfect opportunity for you to put your storytelling skills to the test—grab attention, establish an emotional connection and make your brand more memorable.
Your website is built with many moving parts. And while great copywriting is crucial, it’s about so much more—every aspect of your website matters. Your decisions regarding graphic design, layout, visual elements, content matter, format, interactions, and more—must all come together to form the framework of your brand.
When it Comes to Brands, What Exactly is Storytelling?
Storytelling is how we make sense of the world around us. It helps us relate to others and maybe even understand ourselves better. When done right, storytelling helps us arouse and drive emotions and even influences how we think and what we do.
As in any great story, great websites develop a narrative to connect a brand to its customers. Linking what the brand stands for to the values shared with customers.
Storytelling elements include characters, setting, conflict, rising action, climax, and resolution. Creating these points allows your audience to follow along with a story easily—and remember it.
How to Use Storytelling Through Your Web Design
Make Your Customer the Hero of Your Story
While tempting, resist the urge to showcase yourself as the hero who saves the day. The main character or the hero in your brand story must be your potential customer.
Your customer’s goals and problems should be the driving force for your brand storytelling. Use them as the compelling hook that will draw them into your story. Satisfy the need. Once your prospect can see themselves and their problems reflected in the story you’re telling, they’ll be more receptive to your solution.
Solving problems for your customer is the driving force behind your business, and it differentiates you from the competition. It’s why you exist. Making customers look good is key to long-term business success.
Storytelling Archetypes Bring Clarity to Your Voice
Archetypes are primitive, universal symbols and character types that humans innately understand.
Branding agencies such as Mystique use brand archetypes to help clients build a framework to define how a brand should act, speak, and look. This brings clarity to your voice and messaging strategies, making it more relatable to your target audience’s and helping to deepen its connection with your brand.
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Storytelling is More Than Just Words
Your Brand’s Identity Sets the Stage for The Customer Experience
Think about your logo—the foundation of your brand. With the power to immediately influence a potential consumer’s opinion of your brand, does it convey the right narrative to your audience?
Every action and choice you make should be guided by your core brand strategy and your objectives for your company and brand.
Color Choices Also Affect the Brand Narrative
Have you ever looked at a color and smiled? Color can evoke emotions and feelings, thereby influencing the user experience. This makes color psychology an important element of the brand development process.
Using Typography in Visual Storytelling
When we read, we tend to think that it’s the words themselves that tell the story. But have you ever considered the role typography plays?
Effective typography can affect moods and emotions. Consider the following elements carefully, and how they affect the story you’re trying to tell:
- The font being used (including weight and size)
- The kerning (spacing between letters)
- The number of characters per line
- The leading (spacing between lines)
Telling Stories with Imagery
Hero images, illustrations, charts, infographics, and background images are essential to the narrative and can more effectively convey an essence or meaning better than a verbal description alone.
A good image can support your story, communicate emotion, express a mood, share an idea, and tell a narrative.
Design elements, functionality, animations, and interactions—like parallax scrolling—all come together to draw visitors in and keep them engaged.
Show Your Visitors a Path, But Let Them Navigate Your Story Independently
A critical aspect of website design is a clear and simple navigation system. When you use storytelling on your website, you want to give your visitors cues, signals, and emotional triggers to guide them while making them feel like they are in control and part of the story.
Interacting with your brand on your website should be straightforward and flow naturally. Map the ideal path you want visitors to take on your website, and guide them with signs and suggestions, not barricades and orders.
Use Brand Champions
The most compelling story you can tell won’t compare to a real experience shared by one of your previous customers when it comes to the influence it may have on a visitor.
Testimonials, case studies, and reviews will significantly enhance the impact of your website storytelling.
Your Story Should Have a Clear Takeaway or Call to Action
Studies show that a clear call-to-action improves website conversion. So, the final piece of the storytelling puzzle requires you to give the reader clear, explicit instructions at key moments throughout their website journey. If you’ve succeeded in connecting with them on an emotional level, they’ll respond. And let’s face it—that’s the goal.
Start Using Storytelling to Engage Your Target Audience
Building your website can no longer be looked at solely through a design lens. Your storytelling website should take shape around your brand identity and strategy.
Storytelling has the power to strengthen the connection between your brand and your audience. When you weave a compelling narrative using all the elements on your website, you create an engaging brand experience—one that touches emotions and leaves them wanting more.
About the author
Helping small and medium-sized brands find their voice… working with them to ensure that it's heard.