Stories are the latest growing trend in social media. First introduced by Snapchat back in 2013, Stories let users put together images and videos in short segments, showcasing anything from their everyday lives. The unique format also means that each story is swipeable, and disappears after 24 hours. It didn’t take long before other social media channels caught on, and soon the Story format had extended to Instagram and Facebook. Naturally, marketers soon caught on as well. And turns out, stories work for brands as well. Part of the story format’s success lies in the way the information is delivered.
When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.
Traditionally, creating story videos was something unique to Instagram, Facebook, and TikToks of the world. Well no more! Google has recently launched ‘Web Stories’ now giving content creators an alternative to having to use their phone to make compelling stories. And you can now include them in your blogs or other pages on your website. Below is my first attempt at using this plugin (and yes, the information about text messaging is true!).
The Web Stories for WordPress plugin provides a drag-and-drop, WYSIWYG interface for making full-screen, linkable content that’s synonymous with Instagram and Snapchat. This content today is found in Google Search and Discover. It entered beta earlier this year, and version 1.0 is now available. View the plugin page here.
There are various templates, while Google partnered with Unsplash to provide users with a photo library, as well as free stock video from Coverr. Advanced customization tools are also available: comprehensive visual editing capabilities, a re-envisioned visual media gallery, image masking, gradient editing, and saved colors & styles.
Now what we’d really like of course is to create a story once and publish it everywhere, much like I advocate with blog posts. The problem is that currently all “Story formats” on social media (Instagram Story, Snapchat, Facebook Story, Tiktok,…) are based on images or video files. If you want to do animations or text overlays you have to edit images or video files. If you make a typo, you have to edit the original video and re-upload the story.
Google AMP Storys are HTML like structured data, which makes it easy to reuse and edit them. If you want to change a typo in an AMP Story video overlay that’s doable within the same Story (I know, I made plenty of mistakes creating my first story). Plus, with AMP Stories you have the ability to get a premium position in Google search. And the content originates on your website instead of Zuck’s closed systems.
Here’s the thing about stories: as you’ve likely gathered, they’re essentially the same across all platforms. They all work the same, appear the same, and feature the same aspect of brand messaging: storytelling. That means one story can easily be repurposed to different channels, which is great news for brands – why not kill multiple birds with one story?
While it’s a great idea, Instagram Stories are not transferable into AMP Stories and vice-versa. Since Google Stories can be edited, the solution is to create the story with Google on your own website, then save screenshots (and video clips) and upload them into a social network platform.