Strategy: Storytelling to increase user engagement

November 29, 2016

So why be a storyteller?


Visitors read at their own pace and stay in control

Understanding user behaviour is key to good online communication


Scrolling encourages users to stay on your site longer

Visitors become immersed in the story and want to read the whole thing


Great experience for visitors using mobile devices

Touch screens make scrolling through a single page easy


Improves user engagement, clicks and interaction

Create several hot spots in your content and key calls to action


Simplifies navigation

Removing distractions allows the visitor to focus

There was a time when anything "below the fold" on your website was considered dead man's land. A wilderness. That time has now passed and you'll be hard pressed to find a modern, responsive site that doesn't take full advantage of every square pixel. In fact recent studies have found that 66% of user's attention is focussed further down the page.

Developments in CSS and JavaScript, browsers and high-speed, multi-device connectivity has opened up new opportunities for site owners to fully exploit content and extend user engagement. Charities who master storytelling will keep visitors longer, get more social shares and drive more clicks.

Key rules for storytelling

  • Like any story, think carefully about your structure. A beginning, middle and end.
  • Edit content ruthlessly. Tell a good story!
  • Punctuate your content with images, graphics, sound, quotes and video.
    • Even though it's one page you still need to create a rhythm and landscape for visitors to navigate through
  • Use emotion in your text and other media

    People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel. Maya Angelou

  • Remember the most important test. Ask yourself "So what?"
    • What does this story mean to visitors and what do you want them to take from it?
  • Make sure they have calls to action!

An example of great storytelling by MAG

The Mines Advisory Group tell a compelling story, using a new template developed for their Treeline CMS, to encourage donations towards clearing landmines in Mosul.

View the photo story here

All images © Sean Sutton / MAG

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