Narrative storytelling engages visitors, encouraging them to stay on your website. Stories help people emotionally connect with your company, product, and brand. Good stories are informative while easy to follow, honest and show personality.
Storytelling is essential
The word ‘storytelling’ triggers cynicism in those who immediately picture fictional novels and children’s books. If this is you, put the feeling aside and let us examine the case for using stories in presenting your healthcare product or life science brand.
Humans are hard-wired for stories. We are better able to process information presented as a logical narrative as opposed to a simple list format. Stories can also influence our decisions by tugging on our heartstrings and connecting emotionally. They are essential for communicating your identity, brand, and values to customers.
Your audience may not always connect with you on a one-to-one basis, so the goal of your website is to demonstrate your trustworthiness, reliability, and quality through your virtual personality.
Where website storytelling goes wrong
Whatever the medium, stories need a beginning, middle and end with characters and emotional language to connect with the customer. Stories should be told in a logical and easy-to-follow format, however traditional websites layouts present an additional challenge.
Some common mistakes:
- Walls of text - these are off-putting to new visitors
- Missing the big picture - providing specific information without context
- Assuming prior knowledge – What do they need to know to understand this info?
- No visual engagement - some people think visually, cater to their needs
People commonly find your site via search engine, so try to engage them when answering their immediate query. Demonstrate that you understand the big picture, their place in it, where your solution fits, and how you can work together.
Understand your customer’s journey
By taking a step back and seeing the big picture, you can define your customer’s challenges and map the journeythey need to make. What are the questions they will ask to make an informed decision on a solution?
This in turn helps build the website user design experience. To determine what works best for your life science website, you must assess your needs as well as those of the customer. Consider Search Engine Optimisation analysis to boost your website in online rankings and further help your customers find useful information.
The Home Page
Connecting with the customer on your home page is essential. Think of this like a table of contents with concise, emotive language about each story on your website, directing the customer to the information they need. Visual impact, unique style and strong branding on your home page all set the scene and trigger an emotional response the encourages the visitor to stay and explore.
The About Page
Developing trust with the customer starts with them getting to know you. You cannot converse with every individual that visits your site, but you can tell your story in a concise, engaging, and personable format. Humanise your biotech company or healthcare product and build trust by telling your personal story and the mutual goals/values you share with your customers.
Avoid Rabbit Holes
Having many sub-pages (or sub-sub-pages) can make navigating a website difficult. If the Home Page is your table of contents, each other page is a self-contained story that is linked to - but not reliant on - the other pages. Link to your other pages as necessary to help the customer find the next logical piece of information they require on their journey. Consider including 'breadcrumbs' as part of a sub navigation if your site is a considerable size.
Grabbing attention in a matter of seconds
You have only seconds to grab a visitor’s attention and engage their interest when they visit your website. People also have short attention spans, so keep your stories concise and engaging.
Every story needs a character. This is, in most cases, your customer. You must define their problem while introducing yourself as the guide who takes them to a solution. Sharing an example or case study to highlight your solution in action adds credibility and builds trust. Provide a Call to Action, something to get the customer to reach out to you.
Ask yourself these questions on each page to ensure your content is clear in a matter of seconds:
- Can you tell what problem my company solves?
- Is this information easy to read?
- Does this content answer questions or raise more?
- Is there a demonstrable example of success?
- Is there a clear Call to Action?
Keep it simple. Present information in discrete pieces that will make sense to the customer. Technical or in-depth product information can be difficult to weave into a story, but makes useful gated content tied to your Calls to Action.
Think outside the text box
Only about a quarter of people think exclusively with words. Many of us use visual and spatial cues to better understand or communicate concepts. Images can help break up text making it easier to process and follow a story, as well as describe complex thoughts or evoke emotions.
Stories are best told in parts to avoid information overload and keep the reader’s attention. Images underline the meaning of text and reflect the emotions it is aiming to evoke. Choosing which imagery to accompany your text on a website depends on your audience and how you want them to feel. The visual needs of an environmentally friendly biotech company will differ greatly from a revolutionary healthcare or biopharma company.
In life science, some concepts are not easily explained using words along. Infographics or illustrations can play into the visual and spatial reasoning of the brain, helping the reader understand a complex story and their place in it. Additionally, embedding video for complex examples can really help humanise and covey a tricky topic. A demonstration is often more engaging than a lengthy description.
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Life Science Business Consultant
complex information in a simple, informative way. Engage the customer and satisfy their curiosity while demonstrating your expertise. Keep these several tips in mind when creating content for your website:
- Ask: What is the customer looking for? What do they need to know?
- Keep it simple: one story to a page
- Continue the story while generating leads using Calls to Actin for gated content
- Balance words with images, infographics, and video
Arttia Creative is the UK's leading Website Consultants specialising in web design, User Experience and digital strategy for the Biotechnology, Life Science, Medical Devices, Lab Equipment, Energy and Pharmaceuticals sectors.
We plan, design, and build websites, helping companies like yours craft and share your stories to highlight your expertise and products, as well as aid your customers.
Belinda White | Creative Director