Mobile First StoryTelling

Let’s just avoid to the skinny: do you desire to take your marketing efforts (and service outcomes) to the next level in 2019? Then you need to master the art of mobile first storytelling!

The trend for mobile-friendly marketing is just growing as Google presented mobile-first indexing, implying it will change a site’s rankings based on how simple to utilize on mobile it is. This is requiring many brand names and businesses to reconsider how they tell stories in this mobile-friendly world.

The bad news is, a number of the techniques and methods online marketers relied on previously will no longer serve you in a more mobile-centered world. What’s been working for you in the past may not work for you in the future.

Fortunately is, the very same traditional storytelling concepts are still alive and well on mobile … We simply require to utilize some new methods to tell your business stories on the little screen.

And in this post, we’ll inform you precisely how to do it like a Pro.

Innovation is not the only thing driving these behavior changes though.

The real environment that mobile users are consuming your stories is different .

With a laptop computer or desktop, people are typically sitting at a desk, with headphones in and are usually (reasonably) focused.

On mobile, that’s not the case.

Individuals are out and about, sharing a coffee with buddies and carrying on a discussion while at the same time searching through their phone.

Users on mobile have less perseverance and much shorter attention spans than ever.

So how do we survive in this new mobile-centered world?

Understanding The “Mobile-First” Landscape

In this article, we’ll check out the 3 pillars of mobile first storytelling to reveal you how you can tell stories tailored for mobile that are interesting and influence action in your audience.

Before we dive into the nuts and bolts of storytelling in a mobile-first world, let’s have a look at what the rules are.

What Google Wants

Google has actually been promoting a “mobile-first” indexing over the last couple of years and has actually been increasingly rigorous in enforcing this.

As of 2018 this means they will index the mobile versions of your website before the desktop versions of your website. Even if you rely greatly on paid traffic to offer your items, you need to keep this in mind.

Google likewise keeps different “quality ratings” in its ad platform for mobile and desktop platforms.

You require to have a great mobile experience to keep your advertisements competitive.

What Facebook/Instagram Desires

Of all, no matter what the designers at Facebook desire, it’s crucial to acknowledge the reality of the platform. There’s a frustrating majority of mobile users.

Have a look at this information from Statista. The totals amount to more than 100%because it represents several device use.

Device use of Facebook users worldwide since January 2018 So, nearly everyone utilizing Facebook is accessing it from their mobile devices. That indicates any business excluding mobile phones from their advertising campaign is shooting themselves in the foot.

Facebook and Instagram are both highly visual platforms. We’ll go into the nuts and bolts on how to maximize that in the 3 pillars.

Mobile-First Storytelling Pillar # 1— Short However Sweet Text

The biggest impact that the mobile-first internet will have is on writing.

Overall you’re going to need to do a lot more with a lot fewer words to prosper on mobile.

Though you’ll have less area and less words to work with, your words are better than ever.

Readability First

Have you ever been searching on your smart device and arrive at a website that is not mobile friendly? It loads much like it would on a laptop computer or desktop. On your phone all you see is some jumbled black lines that might be text … however you need to pinch and zoom to see anything. This is a dreadful experience for mobile users and requires a lot more effort from them to stick around.

Your first priority in storytelling for mobile is to ensure your website and your message are easy to check out on a mobile screen. The design and use of your website should be smooth to your visitor so they can fret about the story you’re telling, not how to read it.

Have a look at this advertisement from Squarespace, the text is very simple and clear. They interact the power of their tool in just a few brief words, and reinforce their text with powerful images.

Here’s a number of fast suggestions for readability for ads and landing page design:

  • Usage only 2 font sizes: Utilizing 3 or more font sizes will make your website look untidy on a mobile screen.
  • Separate your text with lots of headers and bullets: Keep in mind people also act differently continuing reading mobile than they do on a desktop. They’re much more most likely to scan rapidly for info. So be sure to break up your text frequently with headlines and bullets to make your key points stand out quickly.
  • Usage brief sentences: A long sentence on mobile could use up the whole screen and make reading hard. Make sure to keep your sentences short to make a simple reading experience.
  • BeThumb friendly: Ideally your mobile site ought to be simple to browse using just your thumb to scroll up and down and click.


Headings have actually constantly been necessary for the success of any content or copywriting online. The shift to a mobile-first internet will only increase the requirement for an excellent headline.

Take an appearance at this ad from Headspace that provides a simple pledge and creates urgency revealing how it’s ending soon. They reinforce it with the leaking ice cream cone image.

Headlines for your material ought to follow these fundamental rules:

  • Interest feelings– You’re going to require to produce a psychological connection quickly to capture the attention of your audience. Make certain your headline can trigger the sensation you want.
  • Call out your audience– Make it clear in your heading who the content is meant for.
  • Say what remains in it for them– Your heading needs to make it clear what your readers will get/learn after they read your content/copy. Make it clear what the value of the article is right away.
  • Present a question– Phrasing a question that properly reflects and stimulates the interest of your target market is shown to drive clicks.
  • Develop urgency– You have actually just got a couple of seconds to record the attention of your audience and get them to do something about it. Try to produce a sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) to keep your audience participated in your stories.

Make material interactive and appealing

Instead of simply stacking more text onto your marketing to get your message throughout, inform your story with interactive material.

There are great deals of tools out there to create interactive material, however often they’re expensive, bulky, and puzzling to carry out. I’ve constantly been a big fan of things that are simple and elegant in their design and usage.

Online quizzes are among the most popular forms of interactive material. You see them all over Facebook:” Which Harry Potter character are you?” or” What’s your spirit animal?”and so on. But there’s a lot more to tests than the basic clickbait you see circling around your Facebook feed.

They’re an effective method to engage and understand the audience on your website.

Best of all, online quizzes look terrific on mobile with big images and brief text. Rather of having a hard time to consume a great deal of text, they are captivated and engaged with every concern and their own story gets exposed to them in the insights you provide in your test results.

Believe beyond your ads and landing pages

Take your whole experience into account with a mobile-first storytelling. Think of what they will see after your users convert or take an action. Are your “Thank you” pages enhanced for mobile? Are the emails you send out to follow up established to be quickly taken in for mobile? If you’re delivering a lead magnet, is that something that can be quickly delighted in type a smartphone?

Mobile-First Storytelling Pillar # 2— Let Your Audience See Story

As we found out in the last area, in storytelling for mobile we require to produce powerful experiences to record the attention of our audience with a lot fewer words to work with. This is a huge obstacle and we can’t count on great copywriting alone to prosper.

This is where visual storytelling can be found.

Usage Visual Storytelling

Visual storytelling leverages the same strategies and solutions of timeless storytelling, however communicates the message visually rather of with text. Visuals can make subtle cues in the minds of your audience and motivate the best concepts, feelings and desires to get them to do something about it.

Visual storytelling is the perfect compliment to the mobile-friendly text and headings you’re composing.

Usage visual storytelling to:

  • Reinforce emotions– What are the emotions you’re targeting in your headlines and copy? How can your produce visuals to boost and line up with that feeling.
  • Program a process or outcome– Visuals like before/after images, or comic strip design illustrations can reveal a procedure unfolding and communicate a great deal of info quickly.

Take a look at this advertisement from Daily Om. The skeleton is something that captures your eye quickly and draws you in with its somewhat unusual orientation.

Take a look at how Interseller does this on their mobile homepage by showing a complicated system and a problem in one image, then scrolling down and contrasting it with ease and simplicity with the next.

This enables them to drastically decrease the amount of copy they require to explain the issue and the solution, yet they still catch the core sensation of complete satisfaction they desire to convey.

Use the 3 Act Formula

There’s lots of storytelling structures out there. Some are very trustworthy, but can be too complex and bulky for the micro-stories you want to inform on mobile.

One of the most used (and reliable), The Hero’s Journey, can be distilled from its traditional 12-step formula into a basic 3 Act Formula to cover the fundamentals of storytelling.

Here’s a breakdown of the 3 Act Formula:

  • Act 1– The “old” or the current world is explained and an issue or confrontation that develops for the hero.
  • Act 2– This is the journey. The hero must find out a lesson or skill to conquer the difficulty.
  • Act 3– An essential choice is made, or a “brand-new method” of taking a look at things is discovered. The hero faces their worry, and they live happily ever after.

This structure focuses on the dispute and its resolution. The dispute is what keeps us interested, and its resolution is what provides us a sense of relief and complete satisfaction at the end.

Since you just have a couple of lines of copy on mobile to tell your story, I suggest a small variation. Show your audiences the world without the issue early to build the desire to continue reading your ad, or take further action. Move Act 3 in front of Act 2.

Here’s how that would look:

  • Act 1– The “old” “vintage” with all the pain and drudgery of an issue.
  • Act 3– Happily ever after, the world without the issue.
  • Act 2– Present your way to get to the option and the journey your customer will take with you.

By moving Act 3 forward, you provide your audiences the chance to experience the favorable emotions of their problem being resolved or their desires satisfied.

You may be asking, “How can I fit all of that info into a single image?” Let’s take an appearance at an example to see how it is done.

Here’s how Digital Marketer’s advertisement for their guide on constructing a rockstar marketing team captures this 3-act formula:

Know The Goal Of Your Visuals

Your visuals need to support a goal you wish to achieve. As soon as you comprehend your goal, it’s much easier to identify what feelings and messages you wish to convey to support the action you desire your audience to take.

  • Inform your personal story– Program your audience that you’re relatable and human. Individual images and vulnerability are essential here.
  • An inspiring manifesto– Get people thrilled about your huge vision for the world. Utilize high-energy, bright colors and great deals of motion.
  • A practical “how to” guide– Teach somebody something helpful. Usage minimal and practical visuals that assist clarify and strengthen your points.
  • Product promotion– Get people excited about your upcoming launch. Convey a mix of discomfort related to their existing problem and chance for a better life once it’s resolved.

Mobile-First Storytelling Pillar # 3— Use Video. Duration.

If you’re targeting more youthful demographics then video needs to be a core part of your marketing strategy.

Almost half of millennials are only viewing video on their devices. Without video, you will not hold their attention for long.

Facebook, Google, and other huge marketing platforms are aware of this trend too.

Youtube. is currently the second biggest online search engine online and Google weighs video engagement heavily in their SEO rankings. Facebook has been pushing far more video in their newsfeed, and should we discuss Instagram (and Facebook) Story?

Explainer and Summary Videos

There is a bit of a contradiction with the shift to a mobile-first web. Online search engine love great long-form content, but mobile users aren’t most likely to thumb through a multi-thousand-word post on your site.

One good tip if you create a lot of content like this is to establish brief videos for your content that a mobile user might view to get a summary of your material without needing to check out the entire thing.

This video technique can be used to several areas of your website where you would generally only rely on a good copy:

  • Develop a short explainer video for your homepage to make it simple for mobile visitors to find out about you.
  • Develop a video at the top of sales pages to make your offer without requiring your audience to read all the copy.
  • Include a summary to the top of long-form material to make it simple for mobile users to discover.

Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat Stories

Stories on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have actually quickly turned into one of the most popular forms of material, specifically for mobile. Individuals enjoy their vibrant feel and fast lane.

Mastering this format of material is important for marketers looking to remain appropriate in a mobile-first world.

  • Make quiet stories– If you develop ads or stories in this format, make sure you can understand across without any noise. The majority of users will see your stories in “silent’ mode so you need to ensure you inform a complete story utilizing only visuals.
  • Usage boomerang– A boomerang works similarly to an animated GIF image. It takes a brief video and loops it going back and forth. Utilize this impact where repeating is engaging and interesting (like pouring more coffee, doing a dance relocation, or sprinkling through a puddle)
  • Inform 95% of a story– Sometimes telling nearly all of a story can be more interesting than informing the entire story.

An excellent example is this story from Noom; we see a hammer about to splatter some eggs, and our curiosity is stimulated. Because we do not get to see the eggs smashed it feels unsettled and we want to click to discover out more.

mobile-first storytelling ad example Noom Animated-GIF

Image Source: Facebook

There’s so much to cover and master when it concerns using video in your marketing and storytelling. For a deeper dive into using video for your marketing, I suggest: The Ultimate Guide To Branding With Facebook Video

Go Live

While individuals nowadays normally have a much lower tolerance for lots of text-heavy sites, they are normally more available to “authentic” types of interaction.

What I indicate by this is you do not need to have a completely polished video to succeed in mobile storytelling.

Using Facebook and Instagram live for video is a powerful method to develop video content that’s engaging without a big spending plan. Individuals are normally more forgiving on a live video, so as long as you’re engaging and energetic you can make a few mistakes without losing your audience.

Let’s state you’re a physical fitness brand name; film a video like the one above to reveal viewers how your product works and people utilizing it. The idea is to get your audience thrilled and excited to attempt your item.

Being “on air” live, also enables you to get vibrant feedback from your audience.

Ask your viewers questions and learn what they want more of. See what is exciting them live and after that take that information to make better videos in “non-live” formats based upon your live discussions.


Storytelling for the little screen is your key to completing for attention in the rapidly altering world online right now. Make sure your text, visuals and videos are all optimized to get your message throughout on mobile.

Keep in mind the 3 essential pillars when producing stories for mobile:

  1. Keep your text short, to the point, and mentally engaging.

  2. Use visuals to boost your text and state more.

  3. Usage video to get your message to those who do not desire to read.

Finding out to leverage these mobile-first strategies will enable you to reach a larger audience and stay relevant in the rapidly altering marketplace.

Guest Writer: Kyle Gray is an entrepreneur and bestselling author who helps startups and little companies grow with storytelling and content marketing.

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