We’ve been talking about visual storytelling a lot – which isn’t really surprising, given it’s what we do every single day! We realised it’s about time we cover in more depth what is the true difference visual storytelling can make for you and help you grow your brand. We want you to be able to tell your story in the way that best suits you.
Let’s get started!
What is visual storytelling?
At its core, storytelling is the social and cultural activity of sharing stories, and it is most commonly recognised by its key elements: characters and a narrative.
So when we talk about visual storytelling, the main focus is to share a story using visual media instead of simply using a dialogue. And over the years, it’s consistently been proven that as humans, we want a personal connection in the way we gather information. We are far more engaged by storytelling than by just cold, hard facts.
Visual storytelling is what takes the power of story even a step further because of the variety it offers: video, photography, animation, music, voice, virtual reality, augmented reality, live video and all the possible combination make visual storytelling a powerful tool for everyone who wants to make their message heard.
The strengths of visual storytelling
Everyone can relate to a visual story
In the world of so many messages we’re faced with daily, it’s getting more difficult to find those that seem like they are made for us. It’s also not surprising that online messages like social media posts seem to perform better when they are accompanied by visuals – they simply stand out!
So exploring all the avenues of visual storytelling means you’ll have a unique opportunity to give a human, relatable touch to your stories, and stand out from the crowd of your competitors and the online noise.
When you make people feel something, you become memorable
Study after study shows that we remember up to 80% of what we see and do, compared to 20% of what we read and 10% of what we hear.
Don’t get us wrong: there are definitely certain benefits to written and audible content that are unique to them. For example, podcasts are perfect for consumption during a commute, and written content can work really well for educational purposes and getting across points based on data and examples.
But visual content is what has the true power to make the recipient feel some kind of way. There will often be a person involved whose story we want to hear. Other times, the immersive setup of video or virtual reality pulls us in and makes us the part of the story. All of this – and much more – makes us remember that story for a long time!
The brilliant thing about visual storytelling is that you can reap the benefits from it over and over again. One piece of visual content can be leveraged across different parts of your website, your customer emails, on social media, during live events, and in many other ways.
It all comes down to leveraging the strengths of each channel; for example, longer video may work well on YouTube, but a shorter snippet from that video may work better on Twitter. When you do this, that one investment into your visual storytelling can keep showing return time and time again!
It can be implemented in many ways
And finally, there are so many ways you can tell a story visually, and places you can leverage every piece of visual content once you create it – so let’s take a deeper look into some actions you can take.
How to use visual storytelling?
Your core story, behind the scenes, and what you stand for
With visual storytelling, you can dive deep into any aspect of your business that you believe is worth talking about and will resonate with your audience. You can take them behind the scenes, you can tell your core story, you can talk about what you stand for, and so much more.
As we already mentioned: you can simply be you and put a human face to your brand name, instead of just being another company in the crowd.
You can use this type of content across your website and reuse it accordingly when there is an event or a cause that aligns with your story.
Customer success stories
Customer success stories are what makes your core value proposition come to life. If your company exists to solve a specific problem – which is exactly the way it should be – letting real people tell their story and their transformation is the ideal way to show how you’re successful in your mission.
This will also help you show your product or service in real life and help your potential customers see the impact it could make in their own lives.
A great example comes from HubSpot’s customer success story:
Visual storytelling is much more than simply video. With an incredible range of visual tools we have today, like animation, 360 video, virtual reality and augmented reality, the options are endless. Combining these techniques and focusing on strengths of each is what will make the most out of every channel available.
So a great way to leverage visual storytelling offline is to use the immersiveness of these techniques and tell a story that relates to a live event your audience is attending. Think about it: what is it that they struggle with? What is the reason they are at this event in the first place?
Thinking this way, we worked with Barclays and BITC to tell the story about preparing businesses to face disruptions. We mixed 3D filmed scene and animation to tell this powerful story about resilience for businesses.
And finally, all the visual storytelling you do can be translated into the social media environment. This will work particularly well if you have other types of content – like blog posts or case studies – that you will use as the end goal where you want the visitor to go next.
Visual messages like video and animation will help you get their attention, and it’s the perfect way to direct that attention to a call to action that is valuable to you as a business.
A great example comes from Buffer, where they used this short video to draw RSVPs for an event in their industry where they will have one of their staff as a speaker:
And that’s it – we hope you now have a better idea of all the brilliant outcomes visual storytelling can create for your success. Are you curious to know more about getting started with your own storytelling? Make sure to let us know – we’d love to have a chat with you and see what stories you want to tell!