Crystallize logo

Long form storytelling for engaging eCommerce experiences

Psst: we are hiring frontend developers and backend developers.

Illustration of backend developer holding a laptop against a designer holding a picture of cat

You can use long form storytelling to increase engagement by creating authentic experiences. Learn from Patagonia and The New York Times how to build trust and grow your online audience. Emotional stories that inspire are more likely to be shared and if you are lucky even go viral. We have created an open source eCommerce boilerplate to get you started with long form storytelling.

Long form storytelling

What is long form storytelling?

The New York Times coined the long form storytelling format when they released the Snow fall story back in 2012. This is known as a pivotal moment in online storytelling with long form multimedia storytelling as opposed to templated news articles. If you have not read it check out the NYT Snow fall story.

Long form storytelling is basically a piece of content that goes in depth on the given subject with a combination of text, pictures and videos. Totally opposite of snackable clickbait known from the tabloid media.

The key to long form storytelling is to go in depth and engage. It takes more resources to create, but the reward is that it is more engaging for your audience. In an eCommerce setting this helps to build trust.

Snowfall New York Times

Why does long form storytelling work?

The core of long form storytelling is to spark authentic engagement with your audience. Connected to a brand in an eCommerce setting it is about how the audience gets inspired and envision them using a product rather than selling the product specs and price.

In social media we see clearly that authenticity is appreciated by the millennial generation. YouTube videos, Snapchat vlogs and TikTok stories are typically in depth, authentic and often un-polished. It is clear that the influencers are selling a product, but they still engage and the audience trust them.

Long form content is rewarded by search engines. If you create high quality content that engages your audience you are more likely to rank higher in search engines. Long form can be important for your eCommerce SEO checklist.

Long form storytelling works because it can:

  • Increase engagement with authentic content
  • Inspire the audience
  • Build trust
  • Create emotional experiences

Patagonia gets long form stories

Patagonia is a brand that really gets long form storytelling. Check out the Patagonia stories if you have not seen them before. It is a great example of how you can use storytelling to inspire and create trust with your audience. With your customers.

Patagonia is aso connecting their brand with activism and is working to drive positive social and environmental change. They are basically ticking the social impact in the elements of value, a great example of building a brand.

New York Times and Patagonia have long form storytelling in common. Content + commerce?


Long form storytelling eCommerce boilerplate

To help you get started with building engaging long form storytelling for your brand we have created an open source boilerplate in NextJS. Here you get a setup where you can combine juicy storytelling with products - a great starting point for your next level eCommerce that inspires.

Check out the live demo and the open source boilerplate for long form storytelling.

This eCommerce boilerplate is a starting point for using NextJS with a JAMStack strategy. It is optimized for frontend performance. Site speed affects Adword pricing and site speed affects Google SEO ranking, so make sure you stay fast by measuring core web vitals metrics.