Storytelling on the About Us Page
The future of the most important part of any corporates website in the years to come.
In the beginning of time the Homepage was the most important page of a website. People typed in the URL and started their online journey there. Then Google came and messed it all up and suddenly every page was the start page and the most important page suddenly became individual for each site .
One thing that almost never change though, is that the least important page has always been the About Us-page. That was a page that the board cared about. We laughed of course and focused on the product page. But I think that is about to change.
First off, let’s look at the people who know what they're doing: hipster brands (when in doubt; always look at the hipsters as I always say). And by hipsters I mean 2-3 people doing things by their hands and selling it in small quantities. On their websites and in their language, they focus on the craft and they focus on the people making the products, as much as they focus on the actual products. The story of the company and how they work is as important as the products they sell. A very good example of this is Hard Graft.
Storytelling has always been the core of marketing. If we tell a story that is engaging enough then people will not only consume it, but retell it to their friends. But the way we tell stories are changing. A simple truth is that users have a very short attention span online, but this has nothing to do with the internet per se, as some people claim. It has to do with the amount of stories we are bombarded with constantly online. It has to do with that most stories we see are boring as hell. Banners, company websites, legal disclaimers are all very badly told stories. It is my strong belief that if we only tell a great enough story, people will listen. You know what’s a great story? The history of the Coca-Cola Company. So why is their About Page the most boring corporate piece of shit you have ever seen? Beats me.
There are some examples when this is put to use of course. When Facebook released their Timeline (thank you Feltron) it opened the door for companies to map out their whole company history, and most did. Because is was so easy to do. Focusing on a very immersive way of telling a story, gave New York Times a Pulitzer prize with their great piece: Snow Fall. Pitchfork is doing the same with their great cover stories. There is no quesion that this is they way stories will be told in the future, not just lenghty mammoth articles by respected papers, everyone will do it.
We are finally stepping away from copying the paper equivalent of written stories. We can’t have moving pictures and animations in a paper, we can online. We don’t have links and personalized content in magazines because it is impossible, it is possible on the web. The web is a much better place than the real world. For every day that goes by we are utilizing digital more and more to tell more compelling stories. This is happening now. We need to start doing it everywhere, not only in high budget news articles.
The reality is that we want to know as much of the product we are going to buy, as we want to know about the company that is selling them to us. Marketing is not just about selling a product anymore, it’s about promoting a company as well. We love Apple, as well as the iPhone. We love Nike as well as the Fuel Band.We love Hard Graft (if you don’t, you should) as well as their iPhone cover. The first two spend millions on building their brand story through advertisement and activation stunts, the last one do it through their websites About Page. Arguable they are not even comparable, but you get the picture.
The About Us page will be less neglected and much more important in future websites, time to think of the company story.
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