Captivate your audience: How to craft compelling stories to convert visitors

April 15, 2024

Whether you're leveraging storytelling techniques as a means of acquiring new customers or keeping frequent visitors loyal, maintaining audience engagement can be a challenge. Without a solid content marketing strategy, you might find yourself publishing article after article without truly grasping what captivates your audience.

In this post, we delve into optimising storytelling as a tool for engagement and discuss why not all engagement metrics should be viewed equally. We'll uncover how grasping the mindsets and behaviour modes of your target audience can drive conversions and how a deep dive into your analytics to identify which content to rejuvenate could significantly pay off.

First, let's think about what it really means to stay relevant and resonate in today's crowded landscape. Established brands, news organisations, and media outlets, having enjoyed a period of engaged audiences, are now refining or reinventing their strategies to remain relevant. For these entities, innovation has become the cornerstone of their evolution. Utilising brand storytelling effectively, creating immersive storytelling experiences, and ensuring journalism is open, inclusive, and exciting, alongside producing dynamic digital media content is essential.

Finding your people

Effective digital storytelling begins with a clear comprehension of your audience. The way you narrate a story will, and should, vary depending on the individual. To aid in this, we often explore audience mindsets and behaviour modes, using research to empathise with our users and to ensure we understand how their thought processes may evolve. A one-size-fits-all approach doesn't cut it. Newcomers to your brand should not be treated as repeat visitors, and more nuanced scenarios must also be addressed, catering to users who range from sceptical and needing persuasion, to those who are passive in their consumption, and others who are proactive explorers, demanding experiences on their terms.

These differences in mindsets and behaviours mean you can expect different levels of interaction from each audience segment. By understanding the needs and goals of your audience, you can begin to identify the metrics necessary to measure success accurately. Not all metrics will apply across your audience segments, nor should the same levels of growth be anticipated, and for certain groups, metrics may not be measured at all. Accepting that someone sceptical about your brand or content might never convert is perfectly fine.

Here's an example of how you might start to categorise your audience, with each dot representing a user from a research interview. During this project, we asked users to place themselves on the diagram to best represent their views, serving as an excellent conversation starter and informing our personas. If conducting a qualitative research study isn't feasible due to time or budget constraints, these archetypes can still be plotted using customer feedback, analytics data, or by observing screen behaviour through tools like Hotjar or Clarity, enhancing your approach to data journalism and visual storytelling.

Making the most of highly traffic pages

Regularly dusting off old content is just like upcycling! By revisiting your most engaged content to identify themes or opportunities to transform older articles into evergreen content features or follow-up stories, you're practicing effective content curation. Grouping content around specific themes for distribution and using audience segments to identify interested recipients can optimise your content strategy. Considering whether users would value updates on new developments within these themes and providing them a way to stay informed is key to editorial planning.

To further enhance user engagement consider diversifying copy styles, incorporating quotes, bullets, and headings to create variation and improve readability. Strategically placing clear calls to action, such as prompts for email sign-ups or subscriptions, can maximise conversion potential. Cross-linking to key sections within the page aids navigation, guiding users to relevant information and extending their engagement. Pairing engaging imagery with text captures attention and enriches the visual experience, while a well-designed header encourages scrolling and further exploration. It's crucial to maintain a cohesive flow throughout the article body, ensuring visitors remain engaged.

Agreeing the right metrics

Deciding on a set of metrics to guide your product development is challenging. Agreeing on a concise list can be even more daunting. All metrics start as high-level aspirational goals. Some organisations adopt less tangible goals, like becoming 'an approachable and trusted destination for the inquisitive and curious,' while others may target more concrete goals, such as increasing web visits or converting users into subscribers. These goals can be broken down into objectives, marking the start of measurable indicators that reveal whether the experience is benefiting both the user and the business.


If a story is worth telling, it is worth every effort to bring it to life. Reward your visitors with the experience they deserve. Identify the best conversion points in your funnel to get them locked in for the long term and personalise experiences using your persona archetypes. Celebrate long-term successes and adopt a test-and-learn approach to achieve your goals. Most importantly, value the attention your visitors give your brand by eliminating any barriers to their enjoyment. Visit our About page to find out more about Furthermore.

All GIFs via GIPHY.

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