Publishers need to build a robust, multi-channel social media approach to their content strategy. And while some of them continue to experiment with many of the existing social media channels (something we covered last week in detail), we receive a ton of questions on how best to excel at Web Stories, an alternative to the siloed social apps that pioneered the Stories format within their walled gardens.
For those publishers who are still on the fence, we hope this post addresses many of the biggest reasons why now is the time to build and pioneer a content format that’s still on the rise. If you’ve any questions, feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of this post too.
Publishers are pioneers in the storytelling industry, and there’s no better format than Web Stories to tell your story.
Search is where you find news
Publishers create news. They generate breaking news (see the New York Times of the world — and our recent coverage of the most innovative), evergreen topics of interest (see Vox) and it all feeds into Search Engine results.
Unlike stories on every major social media platform (see a list of the latest five here), open web stories (pioneered by Google AMP and Firework) allows your content to be news-centric and search-centric on the open web.
What every publisher would like to do is rather than spend time, money and resources on ephemeral content that is viral for a brief 15 seconds (more like an ad), rather spend time on crafting and repurposing the news content that is their core business.
There are two major ways to do this:
1. Create new content
News publishers are in the business of creating news, and whether you are a local TV station or CNN there’s tons of news that are already being made but article and text-focused. Web Stories is a great way to augment your social media and news teams.
The best part is you can take the same content being created and add a Stories Wrapper to it, in ways that will resonate better with your audience, than just text or just tweets. It’s the same way that news organizations and brands built social media teams back in the day when Twitter was blowing up!
2. Repurpose content
For those teams that already have tons of news clippings and breaking news! Web Stories allows you to editorialize the biggest and most exciting news of the day, in a format that’s increasingly becoming the mainstay for a younger demographic that has grown up to Snapchat and Instagram.
All content leads to search. And while Web Stories is the easiest way for publishers to adapt their existing news content in ways that are more easily digestible by modern audiences. This evergreen content leads to mobile, which is over 60% of organic search traffic in 2019, and your search results.
And since Web Stories are a terrific way to tell your story on mobile, you’ll be best served if you spend a considerable amount of your time building out this new story format.
For the uninitiated, Google Discover is a content feed built with the help of AI and your search habits to surface a twitter like stream of content you’d find enjoyable that is also visually appealing. Best part of Open Web Stories is that they find their way to the top of Google Discover as well.
News is storytelling; news is web stories
We covered this in a recent post by Jason Holland on how Web Stories take us back to a more pure form of storytelling, using elements of advertising and filmmaking that come in handy to craft the perfect visual narrative to publishing news.
Build the chapters and connect the dots
Web Stories are the visual equivalent of twitter storms or tweet threads, and can easily be put together by your social media team or news team. Your written articles could form a template around which you build a quick web story. And the best part is that you can end every web story, with a direct link back to the original article.
Build brand stickiness
The best way to build a communication with your audience is to have them comment back and forth on your latest blog posts and news articles. Web Stories, similar to what we find on Snapchat or Instagram, bring the strengths of short-video to your news site.
Be a pioneer
Last but not least, Web Stories is still at an early stage of evolution. Besides, our very own offering, Google AMP Stories is the only other that allows for such experimentation but much like with prior innovation, whether it’s social networks, social media on platforms like Snapchat or Instagram, Web Stories are here to stay.
Be an early part of that evolution to the next wave of publishing!