As we all know, visual storytelling is an essential part of marketing and advertising. And social media has only made that type of narrative necessary to master. The idea of visual storytelling is easy to understand. Essentially, it’s a way to tell a story, share, or communicate with others with the use of visual media. Illustrations, graphs, video, and photography all count as mediums for this kind of storytelling.
According to an article by the company, Sumo, visual storytelling is vital for a few reasons:
- 65 percent of information shared with visuals gets retained as opposed to 10 percent retention without visuals.
- Tweets with images have a more than a 150% retweet rate than tweets without images.
As a result, when you use images in your content marketing and social media strategy, you increase retention and engagement. As the adage goes, a picture is worth 1,000 words. The following are some tips for you to ensure that your visual storytelling gets mastered effectively.
Before you proceed with sharing content that includes visual images, remember this is all about the art and science of visual storytelling. So, you have to consider the information you want to convey to your audience and followers. For instance, are you looking to be quirky and fun, or is your brand more serious? Whatever photos, videos, and images you select, all of them have to be relevant and part of the story and any related copy of your brand. Therefore, you have to give thought to the photos you share. Sharing a post with an image that makes no sense for your story, brand image, or content will do nothing toward increasing engagement by followers.
Sure, most marketers know the largest social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. But, when you think about how effective you want to be using visual storytelling, the social networking site matters. In other words, you may have more opportunities that could elevate your brand if you focused on social sites where there’s less competition. As an example, perhaps you have a clothing store. Your audience might enjoy seeing highly curated and fun visual storytelling on Pinterest, especially if your audience is women.
Remember, if you want your target audience to engage with you and get into your marketing and sales funnel, you have to have an answer for their need. So, an essential aspect of visual storytelling is to ensure that you understand your audience well. By doing so, you can provide them the information they want, and capture it with fantastic images. A few of the ways that your brand can get an understanding of what your audience wants to see in your content and visual storytelling strategy is to ask them. Create polls and surveys, for example, to get audience insights. On social media, see what is performing and your ratio of engagement versus your number of impressions.
GIFs are popular for a reason—they move, and the human brain responds to it. A key takeaway from this list is to include in your visual storytelling different techniques and try to use movement when possible. Videos, GIFs, and dynamic photography are all great ways to grab attention. Also, remember your art history. The great art masters of past and present played with light and shadows. Therefore, when it comes to photography or videos, think about the use of shadows, darkness, black and white photos, and also bright colors to convey fun and excitement.
The science of what images people remember most runs deep. And, there are several key takeaways that you should think about for your visual storytelling strategy. For one, people most remember photos with other people in them. People also tend to retain an image impression when there’s an unexpected element. For example, some of the memorable images of 2020 were of the famous Matterhorn in Zermatt, Switzerland. For five weeks, light projections were directed at the mountain, and millions of people shared the images.
Visual storytelling is an essential aspect of any content marketing and social media marketing strategy. Becoming a master of it takes a bit of time, but the investment is well worth it because of increased engagement and sales. Further, with the digital technology available to non-designers and photographers, sharing incredible visual images could be just a few taps away.