How Google Web Stories are Changing Content Marketing
Content marketing can often times feel like you’re just riding waves of trends. There’s actually some truth to that. By now, you’ve probably used Facebook and Instagram stories to publish your business content. Did you know there’s a way to reach more potential buyers with vertical video and written content outside of your basic social media strategy?
How? Google Web Stories. Google is pretty obviously the largest search engine used by millions of people whether or not they’re on Facebook or Instagram. With over 6.9 billion queries per day, to be searchable through Google algorithms means that you will be noticed among the billions of searches in a given day, especially if you’re savvy about SEO.
Why are Google Web Stories a Big Deal?
You might have heard of this, or perhaps you have heard of Google AMP. They are basically the same. AMP has been rebranded to Web Stories and is now a tool the most forward thinking of marketers are trying to study and maximize to their benefit.
In a nutshell, it’s pretty similar to the Stories you browse on Facebook and Instagram where you can browse short videos and swipe to see the next page. But there is one big difference: each story has a URL and isn’t time-bound before it disappears. So why is this a big deal? Stories with URLs are shareable so it’s easier to send them to anyone anywhere online. This also means they can be found on Google’s search engine. That it isn’t time-bound means that you can reap the benefits of the marketing material for a longer period of time than your normal stories on Instagram and Facebook.
Another difference that may be noted is that these stories can be optimized through both mobile and desktop, which are two totally different formats. While mobile users are on the rise, there is no dispensing of the traditional PC/laptop users especially since there is so much that can be done on these devices that mobile phones cannot accomplish yet. Remember that many of your clients, especially if they are in the B2B space, still do a lot of work on their laptops or PCs.
The biggest drawback? Web stories are not on a social media platform, but on the Discover app on all Android phones. But because each story has its own URL, they can still be shared over social media apps.
Extending the Reach in B2B marketing
There are a host of other differences that can help you gain more bang for your buck for every vertical video you create. Explore those opportunities here. But for now, let’s get to what you really came here for: how you can use a very B2C marketing tool for B2B.
Stories’ formats have had a lot of success in reeling in B2C customers because they are engaging and exciting and people need to be compelled to watch in a few seconds. B2B marketing can be just as engaging, taking out the boring marketing spiels that have been used over the years. The best web stories’ examples can help your company become fun and sophisticated to appeal to business leaders and decision makers in the companies you want to target.
Forbes is one of the companies that have seen the appeal of Google Web Stories and now of its earliest adopters. As a company, Forbes’ main audience not only includes high net-worth investors and consumers, but also tech and business decision makers, wealth advisors, business owners, and C-suite, which uses articles produced by the company for their business needs.
However, take note that Web Stories are not the silver pill of marketing, but a part of a larger content marketing spectrum, and as such should be treated, developed and marketed as content. As Google has warned, using Web Stories as teaser content for pure traffic acquisition rather than as actual content will be penalized by the tech giant. Which is just as well to keep spammers and worthless content from flooding the space.
Creating unforgettable Google Web Stories
So how can you use Google Web Stories for your B2B efforts? Remember, stories are a way of making your company both sophisticated and interesting, so you have to keep it that way. Here are some tips and successful web stories’ examples that you can use:
- Use it to generate awareness – As any marketing tool, Google Web Stories is one way to make your mark in the world. When used well, your Story can help shoot your website to the top of the list of the search engine results page, especially as they are eligible to appear both on Google Search and Google Discover.
- Use it as a branding tool – Consistency is the key to the success of any branding strategy, and Web Stories are just another way of reinforcing the brand’s values, ideals, and message to your audience. Because Stories are usually focused on ephemerality and casual creation, you can bring the same tone to your messages while retaining your brand.
- Use it to tell stories that captivate your audience – The best brands tell the best stories, and nothing tells stories like brilliant short videos that say so much in the shortest amount of time. Including Hollywood elements like HP’s “The Wolf” or letting your clients tell their own success stories can give excitement and a sense of wonder to your Web Stories.
So what’s next?
It isn’t enough to recycle the stories you have created on Facebook or Instagram and put them on your Google Web Stories. It is important to have Google Web Storied integrated into your current marketing strategy while taking note of the differences that these platforms offer. When you consider the different features that Web Stories offer, you will find that you can have more freedom in your content and you can choose whether that content is ephemeral or evergreen.
After all, in the world wide web, you make the rules. And Google Web Stories help you do just that.
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