The Art (and Importance) of Visual Storytelling in Marketing

Image by Teodor Hristov on Dribbble
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Content is King. Surely, you’ve heard that before. For nearly the last 10 years, content has been at the forefront of digital marketing strategies for nearly every industry. This began with forums, blog posts, and social media platforms like Myspace and has quickly evolved into Instagram Live, YouTube, and long form content. In short, we as people- as internet users have come to consume storytelling faster than ever before. With the world at our fingertips, we’re making more informed decisions and discovery more people, places, and things than ever before.

The relationships we build with brands are more personal (and arguable selective) than ever before. Thus, marketing had to evolve accordingly in order to stay in front of the potential customers closing the sale. In order to do so, visual branding is an essential step in branding your business online. Not only does it help your customers recognize you as a business, it tells them exactly who you are and what you stand for.

What is visual storytelling?

Visual storytelling is much like the traditional narrative format. It conveys a story to your users. Unlike traditional storytelling, visual storytelling relies on things you can see to convey who,what,where,when, and why.

This can be achieved through:

  • Pictures
  • Animations
  • Videos

The most common format seen across the internet today is the visual sales letter. This letter walks a marketing qualified leads through the customer journey. In short: it reveals their pain and shows how the product or service will alleviate that pain.

“Before this product, I was frustrated and unable to feel confident. After this product, I’m happy, confident, and able to focus on other areas of my life”

It’s highly likely you’ve seen this format before for ecommerce products, services, and more. Though many top brands are using it in more unique formats, this format can be found in sales letters on TV, Instagram, Youtube, and much more.

Why is it important in marketing?

Content marketing has been around for a while now. Which means the internet is heavily saturated with hundreds (if not thousands) of brands and businesses participating in the content marketing game. Unfortunately, this also means that your brand has hundreds of businesses to compete with. Standing out is hard- but visual storytelling can make it easier. Simply because it is easier for human beings to consume visual content than text content.

In fact, these statistics from B2Bmarketing.com outline exactly why visual storytelling is so effective:

  • 90% of information that is stored in our brains is visual.
  • 40% of people respond to visual storytelling better than traditional text.
  • 70% of sensory receptors found in the body are found in the eyes.
  • 90% of all human communication is nonverbal.
  • 83% of learners are visual learners.

Whether you choose to make a video or use a series of images to illustrate your point, it’s much easier to convey your message with visual storytelling. Not only will you potential customers be more likely to consume the entirety of your content, they will also have visual cues to remember your content by (and likewise- your brand).

If you really think about it, you’re leaving a ton of opportunity on the table by neglecting visual storytelling. Even those with no budget for creating content can still find clever ways to incorporate visual storytelling into their content marketing strategy. If you’re a novice, try…

  • Taking videos inside of the office on your cell phone to share to Facebook, Instagram, and so on.
  • Breaking up blogs with visuals that explain the text segments they proceed.
  • Abandoning traditional sales letters for video sales letters.
  • Creating slideshows to convey big concepts, such as sales decks or product walkthroughs.

These small steps will help you create a visual story for your business, products, services, or blog posts. As you continue to create more visual content, you’ll be able to drive down your message and measure your effectiveness. Make sure you try plenty of formats and keep an eye on your analytics so that your customers can tell you which they prefer. Once you’re able to find a format or instance that’s supported by the data of your followers, focus on that format. Try to perfect it.

Conclusion

Storytelling is the cornerstone of all great writing, media, and video. It separates the authors from the wannabe writers and the authentic brands from the brands hopping on the content marketing trend. Perfecting your brand’s story through visual storytelling will help you spread your message in a powerful and meaningful way.

Has your brand thought about visual storytelling as an avenue for communicating with customers? What were your struggles? Your strengths? Share your brand’s story in the comments.

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