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February 19, 2018 Websites | Content | Research | Webranking

The challenge of standing out in the digital age

By Martina Scapin

In the social and digital era, excessive noise and the battle to stand out is a challenge for all companies competing for attention. Online communication can no longer ignore the rise of visual communication and the importance of user experience, which is also supported by the fact that 97% of the capital market respondents find page loading speed important, and 85 % thinks that it is important that the website is appealing.

There are more companies investing in digital than ever before, and as a result, it can be difficult for companies to ascertain the attention of their target audiences, whether they be the general public, investors, or prospective employees.

In the social and digital era, excessive noise and the battle to stand out is a challenge for all companies competing in the digital market. So in order for companies to win and keep the attention of stakeholders, they need to cater their communication strategies to best fit their expectations. Storytelling is also an effective means for reaching that end.

The companies that are best able to attract investors and job seekers are typically those that are strong communicators who know how to effectively narrate their message, matching visual and textual content to facilitate the message’s reception, and providing an integrated communications strategy, ensuring messages on other digital channels are directly correlated to those presented on the corporate website.

Storytelling is catching on

Experts and practitioners are clear that stories are useful in illustrating the most important corporate topics. Of our capital market survey respondents, 80% believe it is important to have stories of the CEO or company’s stand point on key issues. Storytelling done well helps companies convey their message in a more effective manner, because it provides the personal touch to what is often deemed abstract, and renders the content more relatable to audiences.

Visual communication is central to effective storytelling

Successful corporate storytelling techniques put users first, engaging them through real-life situations and relevant human experiences that employ text, images, and video that repackages complex information that can be difficult for readers to digest.

These communications must be seated in data and facts, crafted into a clear corporate narrative that expresses the message of the company, but dressed and presented in a way that engages stakeholders.

The companies that use visual elements as the basis of their communications are often the most effective communicators and are able to attract the best talent to their company. Based on the results of our annual survey to job seekers, 50% of job seekers feel that it is important to include employee stories and testimonials on the corporate website, while 40% of these prefer the stories to be presented via brief videos. Despite this, only about half the companies including in ou ranking (46%) have written testimonials from employees on their careers page, and still fewer (32%) have video testimonials from their employees on their corporate website.

Italian cable manufacturer Prysmian is one of the few companies that does this well. Its Side by Side campaign shows an innovative approach to employer branding by featuring its employees speaking on the company’s approach to diversity.

A good example from Generali

Italian insurance company Generali provides an entire section on the homepage of the corporate website dedicated to stories (Discovering Generali). The section covers a host of different topics that communicate the company’s stance on key issues like social mobility and sustainability. Another company to watch in this space is French global Insurer Axa (Stories of innovation).

Screenshot from generali.com

More good reads on this theme:

See also the results for Europe's 500 largest companies

Helena Wennergren

Helena Wennergren

Senior consultant


+46 70 971 12 10