You might have heard about the benefits of having a functional website for your business, but have you heard about storytelling through that same website?

Of course, we don’t mean you’ve got to weave a tale of intrigue and mystery or anything, but your website is often the first impression your customer will have of you and your brand. The story you tell and the information you provide have the ability to affect how strongly your user will identify with your brand.

Here are some things we’ve learned:

Infuse your Personality into your Website

In this age of information, especially when you’re doing some or all of your business online, your customers can have a hard time getting to know you. Social media is a great way to engage with them sure, but your website is the one platform that you own and have total control over.

For example, we could use language like this on our website:

Pulse Design Labs does Web Design, Graphic Design, Logo Design, Branding and Marketing at reasonable prices.

That’s nice and straightforward, and it gets the point across, but it lacks personality, doesn’t it?

Instead, we go with something like this:

We offer design and e-marketing solutions for small businesses and entrepreneurs that won’t break the bank.

For starters,  we cut down the laundry list of services while also making ourselves sound more flexible and less rigid. Then we cut out the use of the company name, which is already featured on the header and just say ‘we’. It’s a bit more personal, right? Then we talk about our customer- small businesses and entrepreneurs- so they know they’ve come to the right place and we’re ideally positioned to suit their needs.

Easy to Follow, Concise and Informative

Telling your story doesn’t have to be complicated. Standing out from the competition doesn’t mean you want to go with some kind of wild, outside of the box design. There’s a lot you want your customer to know about your business, but you’ll need to break the information down into bite-sized chunks.

Use a header bar with your logo on one side and a menu on the other. This way, customers can walk through each header, and then scroll down the page to see the information relevant to the header. They can do this at their own pace, and it makes the information so much easier to follow.

The fewer words you can use to get your point across, often the deeper the impression you will leave.

For example on our website we have said:

We offer customized services tailored to your specific needs. Be it web design, logo design, graphic design or even app design. We can put together a personalized package for your small business or startup that is exactly what you had in mind.

We could have made a different page going in depth with exactly what the different types of design entail, instead we chose to leave that opened ended so the customer knows just how customizable our services are. We show that it’s not about us- it’s about what they need.

Don’t be Afraid to Tell YOUR Story

Of course, you want to come across looking like the professional, polished and competent business you are. But people identify better with other people.

Don’t be hesitant to share things like inspiration, the story of your first sale, who is your core team and what are your goals.

For example, on our site we say:

Pulse Design Labs is a handful of things. We are forward thinkers, entrepreneurs, dreamers, and doers. We understand what it’s like to be a small business since we walk that same path ourselves. Our main priority is making sure you get the services you need at a price you can afford.

Here, we are letting you know we’re a small business and we like to dream big.

Use Humour!

We’re not asking for stand-up comedy or anything, but it’s well known the humour plays a big role in making something more appealing, engaging and identifiable. What might be less known is that humour injected into something informational can actually help with processing, retention, and recall of that information.

Does that sound like something that will help you stand out from the crowd of competition? It is.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts:

  • Do… use humour on a loading screen. The customer has nothing else to do but wait for content to load or a report to generate for them, they as well be amused in the meantime. They’ll come out with a positive emotion from the experience.
  • Do… use humour when introducing your team. If you’re going to have a page set up for details about your staff, let them bring their personalities into play. A Design Director wearing a superhero cape in his profile photo will bring in a lot more interest than a generic looking man with a bored smile.
  • Do… try different types of humour. Comparison, personification (i.e. a silly mascot), exaggeration, puns (research shows these helps create meaning in information, increasing retention), or surprise (a meme used on an error 404 not found page). When used in the right context these can be very appealing to users.
  • Don’t… be insulting to your customer. Like asking if they want to sign up for free business cards and instead of a ‘No thanks’ button you give them a ‘No I’m too stupid to see the point of business cards’ button.
  • Don’t… overuse sarcasm. This particular kind of humour can be hard to portray correctly with just text, without the inflection of tone. You might be taken seriously.
  • Don’t… lie or give misleading information. This is pretty easy to avoid just make sure your humour is easily identifiable as humour. This could lead to a decrease in trust which can be devastating to your business.

So… the next time you’re designing a website for your business remember to keep in the mind the story you want to tell. Consider how you can include your unique personality into the information you present, in a concise, easy to follow and humorous way.

Also published on Medium.

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