The Obsession with visual storytelling for business

Have you mastered the art of visual storytelling yet? In our picture and video saturated world, the use of visual storytelling for business is essential if you want to capture new leads, attract new customers and ensure your existing customers remain fiercely loyal to your brand.

If you decide to ignore visual storytelling completely and bore your audience with plain text posts and a complete lack of visual elements, you will eventually have to face the consequences. Unfortunately, the consequences aren’t pretty.

If you think about the most successful brands of today you’d be hard-pressed to find any that don’t completely immerse themselves in visual storytelling.

Examples of Well Known Businesses Who Use Visual Storytelling Successfully

Coca-Cola uses images of people enjoying time with friends, family and doing things they love in their marketing to ignite feelings of love, happiness, and nostalgia. As a result, people usually think of those feelings when they think of Coca-Cola products.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3s3lAAE8yk

Old Spice uses humorous imagery and visual storytelling to encourage men to buy their personal hygiene products. They’ve created a brand identity that sticks in the mind of consumers, because no matter how hard you try you can never remove the image of the Old Spice model transforming a set of tickets into diamonds or riding on a horse on the beach. It’s different, but it works because of the visual storytelling element.

The Proof is in the Statistics

If you don’t believe that visual storytelling is the fastest and most effective way to grow your leads and revenue in 2015, check out the following stats published in a post on the Hubspot blog.

  • 4visual storytelling - pictures lead to purchases0% of people respond better to visual information than plain text
  • 46.1% of consumers say the design of a company’s website is how they judge the credibility of that particular company
  • 21% of people who use Pinterest have purchased an item after seeing it on the site
  • Social posts and blog posts that feature embedded video will earn three-times as many links as text posts.
  • Potential consumers are 85% more likely to purchase one of your products after watching a video

There are hundreds more statistics we can pull that prove the effectiveness of visual storytelling, but the bottom line is it WORKS. How does it work? Let’s look at a quick outline of the reasons.

Reason #1: Visual Content Receives More Engagement

As is evidenced by the statistics we just shared with you, social posts and marketing content that features images, info-graphics, video and other forms of visual storytelling get more engagement from potential and existing customers.

Visual stories can transport us — not only to another place, but inside another person’s life. – Mindy McAdams

Just think about the brands you follow right now. What type of content are you more likely to engage with: a black-and-white text post or a stunning picture that tells you everything you need to know without reading a word? I’ll bet you’ll choose the visual post every time. You choose it because visual storytelling always resonates.

visual storytelling versus text only
Courtesy of Marketeer

If you want to improve brand identity and attract more customers to your sales funnel, your focus needs to be consumer-centric marketing. The only way to engage in consumer-centric marketing is to create a story of your content using visual storytelling. You need to find out what story your consumers are looking for and then captivate them with an array of visual content that meets their expectations.

#2: Increased Engagement Leads to More Shares, Impressions and Customers

The more people that amplify your content, the greater your reach will be in your niche. When you create content using the visual storytelling method you increase the chance that your fans and followers will share your message with their friends and other key influencers. This allows you to reach groups of customers that may have been out of reach before.

A perfect example is the success of this AMC Theatres Facebook post that leverages the lovable Minions and Black Friday shopping frenzy to promote a free popcorn with purchase of a gift card. This was one of the most shared Facebook posts of 2014 according to CrowdTangle.com

Top Facebook post - sharing a story your fans want to hear

When your main priority is making the dollars you spend on marketing translate into a big impact on your business (more subscribers, leads, customers, sales, etc.), you want to make sure the work you do has a ripple effect. It’s not an easy thing to accomplish, but when you get your customers and followers sharing your content it’s a form of free advertising. What can be more valuable than that?

#3: Visual Content is More Click-Worthy and More Memorable

Plain text won’t foster a strong connection between you and your customers, but visual storytelling will. In addition, visual storytelling can reinforce the message contained in your other media and marketing efforts.

Visual Content is More Click-Worthy and More Memorable
Courtesy of Mbooth.com

When crafting marketing messages you have to remember that you’re competing with the entire world wide web for the attention of your customers, and that means you need to create marketing content that is customer-centric and stands out from the rest of the noise out there. Your content has to fill a need, but it also has to tell a unique story that customers can connect with and remember. Make sure the visual elements of the story are put together well because once a customer associates something with your brand it will be difficult for them to remember anything else.

#4: Visual Content Can be Repurposed and Used on Multiple Platforms

If you are interested in saving money, time, and resources, then you absolutely need to repurpose your visual content.

Creating visual content that tells a great story takes time and money, but once it is created it can be published on multiple channels and platforms. Over time this will save you precious dollars and will allow you to invest those dollars in other important pieces of your marketing campaign. As a result your revenue will increase and your production cost will decrease.

Conclusion

If you want to stay ahead of the game with your marketing content in 2015 you need to implement a strategy that involves visual storytelling. If you don’t you’ll find yourself at the bottom of the totem pole when it comes to lead generation and customer retention.