Instagram has Stories, and Yandex.Zen has a narrative. This is a small, flexible post adapted for mobile tape. The narrative consists of screens, the reader can flip through them one after another. Here you can place pictures, gif-animation, video, links, text.
ATTENTION: from April 7, 2020 Yandex.Zen will disable the ability to create narratives.
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Narratives do not disappear after a day, like Instagram Stories. But after 3-7 days they become outdated and appear less and less in the feed. However, high-quality narrative grabs the attention of users, thereby increasing the number of article impressions. The narrative improves the ranking of other publications, and the best posts go to a separate Yandex Zen recommendation feed.
In today’s article, you will find information about what a narrative is, why you need it, and how to create an interesting narrative yourself.
Read also: How to write articles in Yandex.Zen
What is narrative in simple terms
Narrative is a special post format. In simple terms, this is something like a slideshow or comic strip that tells an interesting, coherent story. The format is intended to cover a single problem or question.
The channel owner chooses the number of slides on his own (it is allowed to insert up to 12 pictures into the publication). The first screen can include GIFs, video, title and photo with a choice of title and background color. You can insert links and text on the following. Text can be positioned in the middle, right or left. It can be normal, bold, strikethrough and underlined.
Narratives are displayed in the general Yandex.Zen recommendations feed. Like other publications, they are ranked based on audience interests. In fact, they differ only in design and small text size. After the narrative has been watched more than 7000 times in a week with at least 40 seconds of reading, the developers will add an advertisement to the last block of the narrative – you will start to monetize the channel.
Related article: What is storytelling and why does a business need it
Why narratives are needed
Authors have different attitudes towards narratives. Some consider the format incomprehensible and unnecessary, while others see it as the key to the quick monetization of Yandex Zen. Proponents of narratives most often regard it not as an independent product, but as an element of the “narrative and article” link. Thanks to the narrative, they promote other material – they summarize the essence of the article in a slide show and provide a link to it. But there are also users who monetize their channel using only narratives (no articles).
The format has the following advantages:
- it speeds up channel monetization;
- combines a lot of media and little text that mobile users love;
- This is a good opportunity to diversify the content;
- a narrative can become an announcement of the main material, attract readers to it;
- improving article ranking by viewing narratives;
- popular posts end up in the premium feed.
Examples of articles with a narrative in Yandex Zen
A good example of quality narrative is the material on borscht from Women’s Health. The post is capacious, prompting to read the publication with the heading “Recipe for the perfect borscht” There is a handy list of necessary products and a step-by-step guide. On the last screen, there is a link to an article with the secrets of cooking borscht from the chef. All blocks are designed in the same style.
Another example is a narrative from Chip magazine that explains NFC. The author clearly explains the essence and scope of NFC. The publication consists of 10 slides, which allows you to monetize the narrative and tell everything that is interesting to the reader. At the end – a great appeal: “Come to our channel so as not to miss interesting things. Updates every day! “.
How to make a narrative in Yandex Zen
The first thing to do is go to the editor of your Zen channel. If you don’t have it yet, then you need to create it. Here’s the instruction: How to create a channel in Yandex.Zen…
Layout of the narrative
Now we create a narrative. After selecting the script and preparing the text, pictures, click on the plus at the top of the screen and select “Narrative”.
Next, you will see a section with blank screens to be filled with content.
The first slide is the cover. The title is inserted here, its size is automatically adjusted. You can also add gifs, videos and photos.
Fill in the cover of the post and other blocks. You will see a circle and a plus next to each block.
The plus is intended for placing content and links, the circle is needed to set the background color.
To add text, click on “+” and select “Text” (you can add up to three blocks with text). Text can be aligned, color and size adjusted, italicized and bold, underlined and strikethrough.
To insert a picture, gif or video, click on the plus and select the item. You can upload files from your PC or provide links. After uploading, you can stretch the image to fill the entire card and adjust the transparency.
Link anchors are written in a text block on the screen, and the link itself is inserted into the url field with formatting tools. Most often, the link is placed at the end of a narrative.
Working with screens
Slides on adjacent screens can be aligned. Drag the block and you will see lines along which you can align the screen.
The arrangement of the screens can be changed. To do this, hold down the panel at the bottom right under the active screen with the mouse button and drag it to the desired location.
Click on the icon with an eye – and you will go to the preview mode.
If you are satisfied with everything, click on “Publish” in the upper corner of the screen. Then you will have to design the publication card: specify the announcement, title and tags. Readers will see all information in the personal Yandex.Zen feed. In the settings, you can enable / disable the block with comments and ads. Click “Publish” and wait for the approval of the moderators.
Read also: How to quickly make a beautiful post picture
Recommendations for creating narratives
Finally, a few tips for using the Narrative format in Zen.
- The narrative must match the theme of the channel.
- It can complement the material, but it must have its own value.
- An ideal narrative is a set of theses supported by arguments.
- Use the services of a designer or learn how to make beautiful slides yourself.
- Choose topics that are not tied to a specific date – such content stays relevant longer. Weather forecast, breaking news and posters will not work.
- Give your audience new information with specific language rather than general phrases. Photo reports, narratives with a clear plan of action (“5 steps to wealth”), with lists (“10 books on marketing”) and those that answer the question “how” – how to educate, decide, do, forget, etc. work best. …
- Stick to the “One Screen, One Thought” rule.
- Use laconic phrases without water.
- Images must be of the same resolution and size.
- Type the text in the same font or fonts that go together.
- Make a short but meaningful headline that encourages reading – up to 25 characters.
- You don’t need to connect all 12 screens, it’s better to do up to 10. You will keep the audience’s attention and increase the percentage of reading.
- At the end, add a link to your channel or website. Explain where the link leads. For example, “More pictures of blooming lilacs – in the article on our website.”
That’s all! Do not be afraid to use narratives – thanks to our advice, they will become your powerful tool in promoting your channel on Yandex Zen.