If you run a WordPress site, you know how powerful the world’s array of plugins are, yet how tricky choosing the right ones can be. When it comes to plugins that aid your Brand Storytelling, it’s no different. There are so many of them. Some have the ability to make your site 10x better… faster… cooler… But how many is too many? How do you know if they’ll work or continue to get updated?
I love Plugins and the potential they bring to my brand storytelling, but I’m also super-picky.
Because too many plugins slow your site down, which is bad news indeed. So many do the exact same thing, with a slight twist or variation. So many are free, but with hidden costs. It’s a minefield to say the least.
I’ve used lots-and-lots over the years, and I write to you today with a list of plugins that’ll rock your brand storytelling. Most of them aren’t aimed at brand storytelling per se, rather internet marketing in general. But as I’ll explain, they have the power to make your brand storytelling easier, better, and more effective, because it isn’t as simple as telling stories, oh no.
Brand Storytelling is much more than that, as it focusses on your business’s big picture.
21 AMAZING PLUGINS TO IMPROVE YOUR BRAND STORYTELLING
The following list contains plugins I use, have used in the past, or are on my radar for the future. But please-please-please approach with caution. Don’t just download them!
Plugins slow your site down. Even if you delete them, they leave code on your system that bogs everything to a stand-still. They don’t all play nicely with each other. Like I keep saying, it’s a minefield, so instead, I ask you to visit their sites, research them, and ask one super important question: Will this plugin help MY brand storytelling ways?
There’s no rush, so take your time, and if you think its a good fit, download. If not, save it for another day. With this in mind, here are some of my favourite brand storytelling plugins…
Divi isn’t a plugin, rather a WordPress Theme by Elegant Themes. I’ve included it, because out of all the themes I’ve tried, this one gets a gigantic thumbs up from a brand storytelling perspective.
It’s drag-and-drop builder makes storyboarding your site a breeze, and ensures you create a constant and attractive style throughout. This current site’s built using Divi, and for the first time ever, I haven’t tinkered with a smidgen of CSS. I don’t know about you, but for non-developers, this is HUGE!
Brand Storytelling is all about crafting a memorable journey, and a consistent and meaningful message. When it comes to DIVI, it ticks all the boxes I wish it could tick. I’m serious, if you’re on the look out for a new WordPress Theme, I suggest you browse Elegant Themes and their array of offerings. For the price, you can’t go wrong.
In particular, this review provides a great insight into the Divi world.
There’s a lot that goes into good brand storytelling, but in my opinion, consistency is the most vital aspect of all. When I write a novel, consistency remains on my mind throughout, because if my characters aren’t consistent, and the plot, and the journey each person takes, everything unravels.
When it comes to brand storytelling, it’s no different. When I work with a client, it’s no different. It’s all about creating consistency, because a consistent messages make it easier to develop relationships and trust with your audience.
Blogging and brand storytelling go hand-in-hand these days, but staying consistent isn’t easy. CoSchedule helps by organising all your blogging needs into a single plugin, which you access from within your Post Editor.
I Review CoSchedule Here, so check it out for a more in-depth view into how I use it. Simply put, it allows me to organise all my social sharing at the same time I write my posts, and drag-and-drop-and-organise via it’s super visual calendar. I love it, and it’s helped take my brand storytelling and blogging to the next level.
3: SHORTCODES ULTIMATE
I can’t believe this plugin’s free. Quite frank, it’s awesome sauce!
Shortcodes Ultimate houses dozens of cool shortcodes in a single location, meaning you can add tables, notes, videos, buttons, tabs, and a whole host more without a single worry of code. If consistency’s key in brand storytelling, Customisation is its other important ‘c‘.
This is your brand story, so whenever possible, customise the heck out of things and ensure they emphasis your style. This is where Shortcodes come in handy, because they transform a stale page into an epic one. This review offers lots more reasons why you should use this plugin, and the many features on display.
4: CLICK TO TWEET
Click to Tweet, developed by the same guys at CoSchedule, places the power of tweeting in your hands, ensuring your audience share a message that aligns with your grander vision. Although I recommend placing your story into your customer’s hands often, sometimes it’s important to guide them in the right direction.
Sure, you can ask them to share the good-word, but who knows what they’ll say. With Click to Tweet, you choose the message… the hashtag… whether to tag your handle or not… and the exact link (which makes tracking a far easier task).
This review shares a great deal more about getting the most out of this plugin. I’m a big fan, and use this feature every time I write a new Post, Page, or Project of some kind.
Podcasting’s on the up, and I have a sneaky feeling it’ll become a primary means to share an epic brand story moving forward (more so than video?). Powerpress ensures you get the most out of your podcast and audio files, meaning you customise the experience and take it to the next level.
I’ve started to utilise Powerpress of late, and linked it to platforms like Libsyn, iTunes & Stitcher. It’s taken my podcast to the next level, although this review shares more, and provides a far better overview.
There are other options though, which leads me to…
I haven’t used Audello yet, but I sense I may in the not too distant future. As a relative new kid on the block, we’re still in the early adopter stage, but they’ve certainly captured the attention of a few big-time podcasters.
It comes back to customisation, and sharing the very best of your story at all times. Audello provides this and more, visualising your entire podcast experience, and taking your audience on a memorable journey.
This article from The Audacity Podcast delves into Audello deeper, and as someone yet to use it, I can’t say much more. There’s loads of hype though, and great people say great things about this tool. It reminds me a lot of Leadpages, and how they took Landing Pages to the next level.
In my opinion, podcasting needs a tool like this, as it takes the listening experience into new realms, ensuring a grander brand storytelling adventure is had. I’m excited, and can’t wait to see more…
Much more than a mere plugin, Wistia provides an alternative to Youtube and Vimeo. In the same manner Audello whisks audio away into new realms, Wistia does the same with video.
Again, customisation’s your friend, and although I love platforms like Youtube and Vimeo (especially the large communities and audiences they offer), it’s hard to stand out and ensure your brand storytelling shines.
When creating video for brand storytelling purposes, it’s less about going viral, and more about immersing your audience deeper into your world. Through it’s bespoke colours and design, through to its email integrations, and the calls to actions that seamlessly slip into your video and brand, Wistia offers a lot.
I’m a relative newbie to Wistia myself, but excited to implement it deeper into my brand storytelling throughout 2015. This article shares more, and if you fancy taking your video to the next level, I suggest taking a look.
8: EWWW IMAGE OPTIMIZER
If you follow this site, you know how much I value Visual Storytelling, and although I’m a writer, I rarely use writing in my Brand Storytelling (especially when working with clients). Images and videos are great, but unless you’re careful, slow your site to a near standstill.
A speedy site matters, especially when it comes to brand storytelling. Your story reflects you (and everything you do), so if someone’s first impression is a slow, stuttering, static website, it’s time to worry.
EWWW Image Optimizer minimises the size of images and other files, meaning they don’t bog down your website. I use this, and love it, and even upgraded to the Cloud Version, ensuring speedier speeds are had.
This post shares more and if you plan to use visuals in your brand storytelling, I suggest taking a look.
Developed by Elegant Themes, Monarch’s my Social Sharing Plugin of choice. Oh yes, when you see a Twitter or Facebook button this site, it’s the Monarch Plugin’s handiwork.
There are plenty of alternatives, such as Flare, Digg-Digg, and Add This, but I love Monarch for its customisable options.
I know, I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but customising your brand storytelling experience truly does matter. This post goes deeper into what Monarch does and doesn’t do, so be sure to have a peek. I’ve tried most of the alternatives, and so far this gets a hearty high five from moi.
10: AESOP STORY ENGINE
As you may have noticed, storytelling’s gotten rather popular of late. Maybe this is why you’re reading a post about brand storytelling plugins, because it’s the new ‘cool‘ thing to do.
Storytelling isn’t new, but certain platform are, which strive to take the way we share them to new levels. Platforms like Tumblr and Medium focus on sharing good stories, but what about your own site? What if you wish to keep everything in-house?
Aesop Story Engine is here to help, and although I haven’t used it myself, I sense I may in the future (especially for certain clients). I’ll introduce you to this review, which shares a great deal more about the plugin and tool. It excites me, because although I love WordPress, it isn’t the best platform for killer storytelling (at least, not out of the box)
Compare the layout to something like Medium and it isn’t even close. A plugin like this… well, it could be the ideal solution.
11: NEXTGEN GALLERY
I cannot lie, I love using visuals in my Brand Storytelling, and I urge you to embrace the visual love, too.
A picture says a thousand words, after all, but organising galleries and slideshows and thumbnails can complicate the heck out of your brand storytelling experience. Fear not, for a plugin like NextGen Gallery helps.
I’ve played with this plugin in the past, and although there are other options, it seems like the most complete. Simple by nature, it customises your visual storytelling, and ensures a quick, simple, and clear journey’s had. Remember, it’s all about consistency and customisation.
As I mentioned in a recent post, I believe a timeline is one of the best ways to share your brand story. For businesses with years of heritage, this can be rather daunting, so a plugin like Timeline comes to your rescue.
This article goes into more detail, but it’s a rather simple tool.
The thing I love the most about timelines is, they’re ever-evolving – just like brand storytelling. Your brand story never ends, so as new events occur, you can implement them into your timeline. No mess. No fuss. Easy-peasy.
13: SUMO ME
I include Sumo Me (masterminded by Noah Kagan and his rocking team), because it provides a varied selection that continues to grow. As I hope you notice by now, brand storytelling isn’t about creating a story page, rather a new, innovative, and forward-thinking approach to brand development.
It’s deep, and delves below the surface of your business, so good brand storytelling considers aspects like email, conversions, and everything else that relates to online marketing.
I use Sumo Me, and although I don’t use all the tools on offer, I think there’s something for everyone. In terms of customisation, it’s okay (although not great), and provides a great starting point for most folk. The best part is, Noah continues to add new features, so it’s sure to get better-and better as time goes on.
These days, social media plays a large role in your brand storytelling – not just the messages you send, but those your audience do, too. The problem with this is, these messages are spaced all over the online sphere (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…), so hardly helps you communicate your story.
Storify collates these varied messages and brings them together to form a single narrative. Like I say, this isn’t only good for bringing your own social media messages into a single location, but those of your customers, too.
This review shares more, but if you interact with your audience across various platforms, this is a tool to consider. The plugin itself doesn’t get great reviews, but the software does.
15: SEO YOAST
I’m not big into SEO, but at the same time I appreciate how valuable it is for your brand storytelling. Although producing quality content matters above all else, having the right keywords, and the right structure, and playing nicely with Google’s bots… it all helps you reach more of the people you wish to reach.
After all, your audience most likely uses Google to figure out their issues in life, just like the rest of us. You want to be there, front-and-centre, ready and waiting with a helping hand. When it comes to a single plugin that provides an overarching set of sweet features, look no further than SEO Yoast.
A big part of brand storytelling is community (the third ‘c’ of Brand Storytelling??). It’s not so much about storytelling, rather story-making. It’s about placing power and freedom into your audience’s hands, and asking them to take it to the next level. When it comes to a WordPress Blog, the best place to achieve this is the comments section.
I no longer turn my comments on, but when I did, I used Disqus and loved everything about it. I prefer to continue the conversation on Facebook and Twitter these days, but it’s merely my preference, and if you already have a thriving community on site, I recommend using your comments.
Of course, you can take things to the next level, which leads us to our next brand storytelling plugin…
As you may have noticed, I like social media, and platforms like Facebook and Twitter. BUT what if you could create your own, ensuring your brand storytelling ways hogged all the limelight at all times? Well, you can, and Buddypress shows you how.
It allows you to create your own social network, which I find rather exciting, especially if you have an existing and thriving community. I see it as a cooler version of a forum, which many brands already use, and have done so for years. Forums are fine, but a social network connects with today’s social society on a far deeper level.
I haven’t used Buddypress myself, but under the right circumstances I sense I will. This review shares more, so delve deeper into its possibilities. If you’re like me, your creative juices may go wild…
If you utilise video, this plugin helps organise everything you do, and showcases them in their best light. Not used Vimeography myself, but I consider it a great alternative to a tool like Wistia.
If you spend a lot of time and effort producing great videos, make sure you showcase them in style, and in a way that aligns with the rest of your brand storytelling. It comes back to our good old friends, customisation and continuity.
This review offers more info about Vimeography, and if you plan to use lots of videos in the future, it could be the ideal plugin for you.
Brand Storytelling never ends. Your story evolves with you, and more important, with your audience. As such, you’d be crazy not to consult your customers whenever you can, constantly asking how you can better serve them, better communicate with them, better their lives in every possible way.
Typeform doesn’t just create surveys, but intuitive, attractive, and fun surveys. When you compare this to something like SurveyMonkey… it isn’t even close.
Not a plugin per se, but a tool I just had to share. It’s super easy to implement with your WordPress site, so check out this article, which delves deeper. This is a tool I intend to use a lot moving forward, and I hope you’re as excited about it as I am.
20: IDEA FACTORY
Following on from the above, Idea Factory lets your audience vote, submit, and share ideas and opinions. Remember, brand storytelling isn’t black and white and static. It’s colourful and ever-moving, and if you want to stay relevant tomorrow, you must interact and involve your audience today.
Consult with them. Share everything with them. Urge them to be part of your journey, and delve as deep as they wish. Give them the freedom to do so, too, and the tools that makes life easier.
21: ONE BOOK 3D
Storytelling and books go hand-in-hand, but it’s taken this far for me to mention them. I’ve done so on purpose, because for your brand storytelling to shine, you need to get away from this outlook. Storytelling’s far grander than words on paper, and hopefully by now, you see the light.
Saying this, I love books, and I love cool, sleek, and interactive books that kick your brand storytelling up the butt. In my opinion, One Book 3D achieves this.
It’s a rather simple tool, which lets you craft attractive online books – you know, those flip books you’ve no doubt come across many times before. There are other options, but this plugin has a certain it factor. I like it, so check it out to see if you do, too.
BRAND STORYTELLING PLUGINS TO ROCK YOUR 2015 AND BEYOND
A lot of these plugins aren’t dedicated to brand storytelling. They’re the kind of plugins you see in a standard online marketing blog post, and this is the point.
Brand Storytelling is a popular beast these days. More brands adopt it, but more and more simply gloss over the surface. They assume a story page is enough, but it isn’t. I see Brand Storytelling as a forward-thinking approach to brand development, and one that focusses on your audiences’ emotions.
As such, it covers a wide array of your brand, and delves deep into your business. Good brand storytelling requires a lot, but if you focus on consistency and customisation, you’ll do okay. These plugins help. They help ensure you stay on the right track, share a consistent story, and customise it around YOU.
I hope you enjoyed this list of brand storytelling plugins, but please don’t download them all. Think about them. Research them. Consider if they’re right for you. If they are, go for it. If not, find one that does. Cheers for reading, and be sure to get in touch and let me know which ones you like. Do so via TWITTER or FACEBOOK, because this is where the conversation continues.
And if you think I’ve missed a great brand storytelling plugin, don’t be shy…
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