Powered by Google’s AMP Project, stories are a mobile-first, visual storytelling format for the open web similar to Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat stories. Stories provide an engaging and visual way to consume content in a full-screen experience. AMP stories can bring together images, video, and text in a beautiful and animated visual flow.
The major difference between AMP stories and stories found on social media platforms is that you can embed AMP stories directly on your website and link them to other pages within your website to drive views and engagement. Another key difference is that social media stories have a very short shelf life. Web stories on the other hand, live on your site indefinitely. This is an important distinction because over time, they add a lot of value in terms of SEO. More on that later.
The history behind AMP stories
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) project was launched by Google in February of 2016 with the goal of putting mobile performance above everything else on the web. AMP is an open-source project that was created in response to the fact that mobile users now spend more time on apps than in websites.
Fast forward three years later and Google introduced AMP stories for the open web. Initially they were beta tested by eight publishers including Vox media, CNN, Mashable and the Washington Post. Shortly after, AMP stories were opened to all developers.
AMP story inspiration
Benefits of using stories
- Unlike their social media counterparts, AMP stories live on the open web and are platform agnostic.They can be embedded on any website and/or easily shared without being limited to a single social media platform.
- Because AMP stories are a Google product and are written in HTML, they are indexable by search engines. They appear in the Google feed to the left of the home screen and also in the Google app. Google plans to bring AMP stories to more products across Google, and expand the ways they appear in Google Search. In other words, they’re good for SEO.
- AMP stories are engaging and offer your visitors an immersive and fresh way to engage with your content. AMP stories support videos, embed sound and even have built-in animations for text.
- AMP stories are fast. AMP is short for accelerated mobile pages. All the markup and CSS live on the page – making it much faster to load.
Should stories should be a part of your content marketing strategy
For marketers, AMP stories can be used to drive engagement in a number of ways. For example, a call-to-action within a story can be used to redirect to a product page or landing page to capture more information about your visit.
Marketers can use stories to announce a new product or service in a visually engaging way.
Stories can be used to promote a deal. Consumers face endless promotions daily. Now you can promote your deals in a fun, instant way that will break through the ad clutter.
Provide insights and details. The best way to learn about a product or service is through visuals. Thus, leverage the impactful visual of AMP stories to tell your brand story.
Stories as a case study. AMP stories provide the perfect opportunity to format your case studies in a fresh and engaging way.
How to get started with stories
Coding AMP stories from scratch
The good news is that coding amp stories from scratch is very easy. Anybody with basic knowledge of HTML and CSS can expect a learning curve from a few hours to a day. AMP is a web component framework. It reminds me a lot of jQuery mobile. Coding AMP stories from scratch will for sure give you the most amount of customization possible. To get started visit https://amp.dev/documentation/.
Using a drag and drop story page builder
There are many apps in cloud-based builders that don’t require any code. One of the most thorough ones is MakeStories.io.
MakeStories is a drag and drop zero-code amp story builder with over 75 features that make customization easy.
MakeStories allows you to customize your stories with background videos, animations, background animations, custom sound and custom fonts. After completing and publishing your story, MakeStories Allows you to export a zip, create a short link or emed to WordPress and Dupal.
AMP stories for WordPress
Google brought AMP story support to WordPress publishers via the AMP plug-in. In order to use the plug-in, publishers need to have the latest version of Gutenberg installed. Like the above drag and drop option, the AMP story plug-in for WordPress requires no code. The plug-in allows you to easily turn any WordPress page or blog post into a fully functional AMP story.
Should you start using AMP stories?
Amp stories aren’t the end-all and be-all. If content marketing is a cornerstone of your business, then incorporating AMP stories into your content strategy is a good idea.