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Connect to Site Visitors with Little Stories

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Storytelling continues to boom as a marketing technique. In the article excerpted belows, Joseph Carrabis of Next Stage explains how to use a story to turn your web site visitors from tourists into locals. The whole article is well worth reading. I've only reprinted about half the rules.

iMedia Connection: Usability Studies 101: A Little Story by Joseph Carrabis

The research project I mentioned above studied how a number of people from a variety of backgrounds responded to various attention getting and attention keeping techniques, all with the hope of touching people that magical three times in order to get them to remember the brand and associate it with a product line.

What we discovered works best is a simple animation that tells people a story. This shouldn't come as a surprise as pretty much the same results have come from similar studies in cultural anthropology and knowledge management. Here are the rules that apply:

  • Initial visitors need to be slowed down just enough to pay attention to the story without realizing they're doing so.
  • The story must be short enough so that it doesn't interfere with the visitors' continued navigation through the site.
  • The purpose of the story is to get the visitor branded.
  • The way to brand visitors is by getting them to associate something you (the site owner) do or offer with whom and what you are....

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