Google search results are more crowded than ever, with more than seven million blog posts published daily. And, of course, everyone is competing for that top spot.
How do you stand out from the masses?
You can continue with your tried and true content marketing approach by publishing consistent high-quality, SEO-friendly content every week. And you might even throw in an infographic now and again.
Yawn. There has to be a more exciting way to spruce up your content marketing strategy. Let’s explore if Web Stories are worth adding to your content marketing arsenal.
Image Credit: https://wordpress.org/plugins/web-stories/
What Are Web Stories?
Web Stories are similar to the tappable experiences in some social apps like Instagram Stories but they don't disappear after 24 hours. They are part of the open web and you can try them on your own website free of charge. Web Stories appear in Google search results and as carousels in Google Discover. You can also add them to a newsletter, share them on social media and embed or link them to your website.
With fixed placement on the web, your audience can discover and share them indefinitely. They're a great way to showcase your company's personality and value and they may even help you appear higher in searches.
Use Web Stories as a fun way to engage viewers. The best performing Web Stories include:
Video, animations and eye-catching visuals
Interactive quizzes and polls
Take this ordinary blog on stock trading apps, for example. They could improve their content marketing by creating a Web Story with videos about investing and news updates about popular stocks. Or they could engage their audience with a poll asking questions such as "What stocks are you most interested in?" or "What key features do you look for in a trading app?"
Bringing in tappable Web Stories to your website creates a more interactive experience that helps you stand out from the crowd. They are also perfect for this mobile-only generation.
Four Reasons to Create Web Stories in WordPress
1. Leverage the power of visuals
According to HubSpot, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support. Stories are a quick and easy way to meet these growing customer demands.
Stories are multimedia packages that blend video, audio, images, animation and text. Videos are memorable and allow viewers to retain more information than ordinary text. Dynamic visuals can make it easy to understand a topic quickly.
Stories present a new kind of opportunity for creative expression and customer engagement. Google explains that your content will perform better with fun visuals, like heart, arrow and star vectors, emojis, GIF stickers and other interactive buttons.
2. Improve search engine ranking
Because Stories are individual pages on your website, they're indexed and appear in relevant search results. You can even feature them as unique pieces of content within your website by embedding them into blog posts (just like YouTube videos).
With Stories becoming more prominent in search engine rankings, don't be afraid to leverage this new channel to reach a wider audience. For instance, if you have a finance blog, you can still focus on keywords like "how old do you have to be to get a debit card" or "how do you apply to college scholarships." But now, you have the option to present the information in a more interactive, immersive and approachable manner rather than through a one-dimensional blog post.
3. Increase website traffic
Web Stories are part of the open web, allowing for sharing and embedding across sites and apps that avoid the confinement to a single ecosystem.
They are an exciting new format that allows you to create your content in an interactive, engaging way. They are easy to learn and use and powerful enough to drive engagement and increase traffic and shares across the internet.
Web agency XWP (Pantheon’s strategic partner) worked with the COWGIRL magazine to explore the new multimedia format. Here’s how they moved the needle on engagement.
4. Easy integration into WordPress
Download the Web Stories plugin, and you're almost off to the races.
All you need now is a conversion service like Quicktools by Picsart to adjust your content to the correct format for posting. And voila. Custom stories that are sure to drive traffic to your site in no time. And if you already have Google Analytics set up for your website, you can enable tracking to measure your Web Stories performance.
Image Credit: Google of Creators
How to Monetize Your Web Stories
The gaming industry often uses a product-led growth strategy, where the game itself drives the success and growth of the company.
Take Fornite as the perfect example. The game is a free-to-play game that drives millions of users to the platform. Epic Games makes money by charging for exclusive access to new maps and downloadable content for characters, such as the Catwoman pickaxe or the Bruno Mars skin.
The media industry is ripe with Web Stories. CNN, BBC and the Washington Post - all want user engagement and newsletters may no longer be the best way to drive a subscription campaign. Publishers can invite readers to subscribe with a story ad - a single page that appears within a Web Story.
Web Stories is a great marketing opportunity for brands to create compelling content highlighting cross-selling opportunities such as enhanced features and exclusive access. And these Stories are easily shareable across the internet, which is the marketing muscle behind some of these companies' success.
Is This the Right Fit for my Business?
Installing the WordPress plugin is easy and so is weaving Web Stories but you have to appreciate all the complexities of making video first. A creative vision, editorial labor, a visual assets library and its management, as well as technical resources to build individual pages for Web Stories and take care of image optimization and loading speed, are just some of the things that require time and experience.
Once you start publishing Web Stories, your audience may expect you to do it regularly, just like blog posts. Visual storytelling is an art and marketers need to plan carefully how much they are able to explore this avenue.
According to the Wyzowl State of the Video Marketing survey, 86% of businesses use video as a marketing tool. Explainer videos rank highest with social media videos not too far behind.
Poignantly, 87% of video marketers reported that video gives them a positive ROI — quite a shift from 33% who felt that way in 2015.
So perhaps it’s time to break out of your walled gardens and engage your site visitors with Web Stories right there on your website.
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Topics: Content, WordPress