Good featured content tells stories that people can connect with. This is an effective way to promote your courses and research.
An effective way to promote courses, facilities and research is by telling 'stories', crafted for your audience. Using panels in Site Editor to do this allows you to highlight key elements of your marketing message and encourages users to navigate to more detail.
Image and video panels are widely used for feature content such as profiles, news stories and events.
Panels have an optional 'Topic block'. This can be used to highlight a general theme or topic that you are trying to promote. The image panel can contain a specific story that relates to the topic.
Telling stories is fundamentally human, one of our most ancient communication methods. Good stories have the power to change our attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors - they are motivating, immersive and build empathy.
Quote Harrison Monarth
A story can go where quantitative analysis is denied admission: our hearts. Data can persuade people, but it doesn’t inspire them to act; to do that, you need to wrap your vision in a story that fires the imagination and stirs the soul.Harrison Monarth Harvard Business Review The Irresistible Power of Storytelling as a Strategic Business Tool
You need a clear understanding why you are creating a story (or any content) in the first place. Who is it for? What does it aim to achieve?
An example user story
It may seem obvious, but writing it down helps you to focus and clarify the intent from a user’s point of view.
prospective undergraduate student,
I would like
to know what it like to be a student at Kent taking a degree,
So that I
can find out whether the course and the environment will suit me and provide opportunities for my future.
Once you have a valid case for a story (it serves a business and a user need), then consider the best way to present the content.
Strong imagery, video and editorial
Quality images, videos and editorial are needed to give your content the impact and punch it deserves.
These need to be maintained at a high level as part of the agreement in using the new template. This shows that we care about the people consuming the content and protects our professional image.
Profiles make for irresistible featured content. Humans naturally focus on faces, interpreting their expressions. Is this person interested or bored? Relaxed or anxious? Confident or hesitant? Friendly or distant? It only takes a moment to assess a person’s state of mind and their situation. And that, in itself, can tell a story.
Pull-out quotes provide another storytelling opportunity. Ideally these should not be too generic. A comment that sounds fresh and genuine is always more interesting and convincing to the user.. Profiles can also:
- help with ‘fit’ - if prospective students relates to a person’s profile, this aspiration helps them to picture themselves here
- carry credibility – these are stories about real people sharing their experience in their own words
- bring dry information to life by providing real-life examples
- inspire a deeper level of interest – we’re are inherently curious about other people
- portray a sense of community, for instance within a School.