Google published an article and a video that instructs on how easy it is to begin publishing Web Stories and monetizing a new channel for traffic. The video walks through the process of planning a web story to publishing it, from beginning to end.
The video claims it’s possible to create a web story in five minutes. But in my opinion it may take significantly more time.
Nevertheless, publishing web stories is within reach for most publishers and that’s the major takeaway from the video and blog post that Google published.
Screenshot of a Web Story Visual Editor
Web Stories are a new form of content that is designed to serve short and informative bursts of content. The targeted user is someone who might be on public transportation or has an idle moment and wants to consume content but not commit to a long article.
Google’s Web Stories developer page describes it like this:
“Web Stories are a web-based version of the popular “Stories” format that blend video, audio, images, animation and text to create a dynamic consumption experience.
This visual format lets you explore content at your own pace by tapping through it, or swiping from one piece of content to the next.”
Web stories can be thought of as a new channel for gaining web traffic that can be shown advertising.
It is not however a way to funnel traffic to your regular content.
Google may take punitive action against publishers who abuse the Web Stories format by using it to show just a little bit of content in order to tease users into clicking through to the regular part of the website.
Web Stories should thus be considered as its own kind of content just like video or podcasting content is considered independent channels for capturing more traffic and advertising revenue.
Web Stories are promoted on Google Search, Google Discover and Google Images.
How to Create Web Stories
There are s five steps for creating web stories
- Step 1. Choose a visual editor
- Step 2. Draft the story
- Step 3. Find the visual assets
- Step 4. Create the Web Story
- Step 5. Publish the Web Story
Step 1: Choosing a Visual Editor
A web story consists of panels that are like pages that a user swipes one to the next. Each panel contains short text, images and even video.
A visual editor is the software, plugin or online services that helps a publisher create the web stories. The editor contains a graphic user interface that allows the publisher to design each panel of the web story.
Publishers using WordPress may opt to use the official Web Stories WordPress plugin.
Google has a list of other Web Stories tools that help publishers create webs stories.
Screenshot of Engaging Visual Effects in Web Stories
Step 2. Draft the Story
Google recommends creating an outline showing what will be in each panel of the web story. Google’s recommendation is to create a narrative.
A narrative is like a story. A story has a beginning, middle, and end (often a resolution) and maybe even an epilogue to give a summary to wrap up the narrative. The point is that the best web stories are crafted like a story with a beginning and an end.
Google offers a very simple PDF template to help with crafting your narrative that is called, Web Story – Script Template (PDF)
3. Find the Visual Assets
The next step involves gathering images and videos that will be used within the web story. Important to note that the web stories format is vertical, like the screen on a mobile phone. This vertical format extends to the videos which themselves must be vertically formatted.
Screenshot of Web Stories Visual Editor and Visual Assets
Google provides a video showing how to integrate your videos into a web story.
Video on Integrating Video into Web Stories
4. Create the Web Story
Google recommends using pre-made templates that are provided by the visual editors. Once a publisher’s gained experience they can branch out and create their own unique templates to incorporate any kind of website branding or unique visual identity.
5. Publish the Web Story
Once you’re satisfied with the web story it’s time to publish. Regardless of tool or plugin, according to Google it’s as easy as clicking the publishing button.
According to Paul Bakaus in the accompanying video:
“Now, the story is in the wild and can be linked to and indexed by search engines just like a regular web page.”
Web Stories – A New Channel for Traffic
Web stories are an opportunity for gaining a foothold on a new source of traffic that quite likely competitors may not be aware of.
I like first mover advantage because all the benefits are up for grabs without competition. Whether a site is about personal injury, web design tips or hardware products, there are opportunities for building awareness and promoting your site with this new format.
Read Google’s Blog Post
Five Steps to Create Your First Web Story
Creating your first Web Story in less than 5 mins, from start to finish
How to Manage Your Online Brand?
You might be asking yourself, “Why do I need to manage my online brand?” It’s a valid question, especially if you’re not sure what managing your online brand means precisely.
In short, managing your online brand is the process of taking control of how others see you and your business online. This can involve creating and maintaining a strong presence on social media, developing positive reviews and testimonials, and monitoring your web analytics to track progress.
By taking the time to manage your online brand, you can improve your chances of success in today’s digital age.
In this article, we’ll explore some key reasons why managing your online brand is essential.
What is an online brand, and why do you need one?
Your online brand is the way you are perceived by others online. This includes your website, social media profiles, online reviews, and all other digital real estate that represents you when someone searches for you or your business.
It’s important to have one because it helps your potential customers get to know, trust, and like you before they buy anything from you. A strong online brand can also help you attract new customers and grow your business.
It’s good to remember that your online brand is the first thing people will see when they search for you, so it’s important to make sure it represents you and your business well.
How to manage your online brand for success?
Your online brand is your reputation. It’s how people perceive you when they see your name, read your work, or interact with you online.
A strong online brand can help you attract new clients, collaborators, and opportunities. But how do you create and manage your brand for success?
1) Consider what you want your online brand to convey.
Are you an expert in a certain field? A thought leader? A creative visionary?
Once you know what you want your brand to communicate, be consistent in everything you do online.
Use the same name, photo, and bio across all of your social media platforms. Post regularly about topics related to your brand, and make sure the tone of your posts is consistent with the image you’re trying to convey.
2) Interact with other people online in a way that reinforces your brand.
When someone mentions you in a post, thank them publicly. If someone leaves a negative comment on one of your posts, don’t delete it – instead, respond politely and professionally.
By managing your online brand thoughtfully and proactively, you can set yourself up for success both online and offline.
3) Monitor your web analytics to track your progress.
Use Google Analytics or another web analytics tool to track how people are finding you online and what they’re doing on your website. This data can give you insights into what’s working well and what needs improvement.
For example, if you see that most of your website visitors are coming from Facebook, you might want to focus on creating more engaging content for that platform.
Or, if you notice that people are spending a lot of time on your blog but not your sales page, you might need to work on driving traffic to your products or services.
4) Make sure your website represents your brand well.
Your website is often the first thing people will see when they search for you online, so it’s important to make sure it’s up-to-date and represents your brand well.
Update your website regularly with new blog posts, photos, and products. Use attractive visuals, easy-to-navigate menus, and clear calls to action.
If you’re not sure how to create a website that represents your brand well, consider working with a web designer or developer.
5) Pay attention to your social media presence.
Social media is a powerful tool for managing your online brand. Use it to connect with your audience, share your work, and promote your products or services.
Be sure to post regularly, interact with others, and use hashtags and keywords that will help people find you. You can also use social media ads to reach a wider audience or promote specific products or services.
6) Monitor your online reputation.
Use Google Alerts or another tool to monitor your online reputation. This will help you stay on top of what people are saying about you online and take action if necessary.
For example, if you see a negative review of your business, you can reach out to the customer directly to try to resolve the issue. Or, if you see someone spreading misinformation about your work, you can correct it.
7) Manage your online brand proactively.
The best way to manage your online brand is to be proactive. Be thoughtful about everything you do online, from the content you post to the way you interact with others. By taking control of your online presence, you can set yourself up for success both professionally and personally.
By following these tips, you can create and manage an online brand that will help you achieve your goals.
The benefits of having a strong online brand
Let’s look at a few benefits of having a strong online brand:
1) Stand out from the competition.
With so much noise online, it can be difficult to stand out from the crowd. But if you create a well-defined brand, you’ll be better able to cut through the clutter and attract attention.
2) Build trust and credibility.
A strong online brand can help you build trust and credibility with your audience. If people know what to expect from you, they’re more likely to trust and respect you.
3) Connect with your audience.
By definition, a brand is a way of differentiating yourself from others. But it’s also a way of connecting with your audience on a deeper level. When done well, branding can create an emotional connection between you and your audience.
4) Drive traffic and sales.
A strong online brand can help you drive traffic and sales. If people are familiar with your brand, they’re more likely to buy from you. And if they trust and respect you, they’re more likely to tell others about you.
5) Increase your visibility.
A well-managed online brand will increase your visibility online. When people search for you or your business, you’ll be more likely to show up in the search results. And when people see you frequently in their feeds, you’ll be more likely to stay top of mind.
6) Attract media attention.
A strong online brand can help you attract media attention. If you’re known for something specific, journalists and bloggers will be more likely to write about you. This can help increase your visibility and reach even further.
7) Enhance your career prospects.
Your online brand can have a big impact on your career prospects. If you’re looking for a new job, employers will likely research you online. And if you’re an entrepreneur, investors will want to know more about your brand before they invest in your business.
8) Make a positive impact.
Finally, a strong online brand can help you make a positive impact in the world. If you’re passionate about something, you can use your platform to raise awareness and advocate for change.
The importance of staying consistent with your branding strategy
As you can see, there are many benefits to having a strong online brand. But it’s not enough to just create a brand—you also need to be consistent with your branding strategy.
When it comes to branding, consistency is essential. Your audience needs to know what to expect from you, and they need to see that you’re consistent in your messaging and your visuals.
Here are a few pointers if you’re not sure how to stay consistent with your branding:
1) Define your brand.
The first step to being consistent with your branding is to define your brand. What do you want people to think of when they see your name or your logo? What do you want your brand to represent?
2) Create guidelines.
Once you’ve defined your brand, it’s time to create guidelines. These guidelines should include everything from your mission statement to the colors and fonts you use in your branding. By having a set of guidelines, you’ll be able to ensure that all of your marketing materials are on-brand.
3) Train your team.
If you have a virtual assistant or team, it’s important to train them on your branding guidelines. Make sure everyone knows what your brand represents and how they can help you maintain a consistent brand identity.
4) Monitor your brand.
Once you’ve launched your brand, it’s important to monitor it. This means paying attention to how people are reacting to your brand and making sure that you’re still presenting yourself in the way you want to be seen.
5) Be prepared to adjust.
Finally, be prepared to adjust your branding strategy as needed. As your business grows and changes, your branding will need to change with it. By being flexible and willing to adjust, you’ll be able to ensure that your brand is always relevant.
A strong online brand is essential for any business or individual. By definition, your online brand is the way you’re perceived by others online. And while that may seem like a superficial thing, the reality is that your online brand can have a big impact on your business or career.
If you’re not sure how to create a strong online brand, start by defining your brand and creating guidelines. Then, train your team on your branding strategy and monitor your brand over time. And finally, be prepared to adjust as needed.
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