visual storytelling

How Small Businesses Can Benefit from Visual Storytelling

By Victoria Kim

So, there it is – the topic you’ve been wanting to read about for a while. As you scan through the article you realize that the opening paragraph is killer, the use of lingo is at its finest but still – something’s off. As your eyes quickly stop focusing and your mind goes back to thinking about that awesome recipe you’d seen on Tasty, you find yourself reaching for the top right of your tab (yes, the “x”) and you no longer want to continue reading. What’s happening?

That’s easy: You were abused by a wall of text and no visual stimuli.

Does visual content really play role in the way we process and consume content?

It absolutely does. In fact, for content, any type of content to be appealing to the audiences, appropriate and content-related tools, and imagery is vital. Images introduce intrigue, keep the reader’s focus fixed and help break up the monotony of the black-on-white text on the page. What is more, visual storytelling in marketing plays a crucial role for more reasons than one:

  • It creates messages that resonate with your audience.
  • It almost instantly grabs and keeps your audience’s attention.
  • It helps your brand connect to your target audience on an emotional level.

Visual storytelling in marketing is a segmented topic relevant to business growth, brand recognition and pretty much all other aspects of marketing. We’ll break it down to explanations and examples that’ll help you understand visual storytelling better.

What is Visual Storytelling in Marketing?

Storytelling in marketing is a way companies reach their target audience. Essentially, brands use storytelling to build a unique image for themselves that will, at the same time, serve as connective tissue between the brand and the customer. Visual storytelling is storytelling with the addition of marketing graphics, photos and images that capture your target audience’s attention, build an emotional connection, and stick with the users.

Our brains are wired to process simple images in an extraordinarily fast way, and then make sense out of them. We even interpret letters as heaps of tiny images we then add meaning to and turn into sensible concepts. This is why visual storytelling is much more efficient than conventional text-on-page storytelling.

The Benefits of Visual Storytelling

Over the past decade, the way we process and consume information has drastically changed; we’ve gone from steady and pixelated to portable, clear screens on mobile devices, third-party apps, and discovery platforms. The result? A full shift in content consumption preferences with over 91% of consumers choosing visual and interactive content over traditional, static or text-based media.

To stay relevant, businesses must revise their multi-channel content strategies and adapt to the ever-growing demand for visual content. According to a recent study done at Wibbitz, incorporating more visual content into marketing strategizing makes a visible impact on every major business goal – from increasing brand awareness and influencing website traffic to growing social media engagement, lead generation, and sales.

How to Get Started with Visual Storytelling

The best way to succeed using visual storytelling in marketing is by following the example of some of the best brands that have nailed the visual storytelling game.

Learn from Visual Storytelling Kings

Slack, for instance, makes you want to use the app instantly after you see their visual and copy add! Why? Because it advertises as a communication tool even NASA uses!

The Wild Unknown is a true visual storytelling masterpiece flirting with artistry, nature, magic, elemental mystery respectfully while, at the same time, very clearly communicating their brand message – theirs are the only Tarot cards you’ll ever need. Oh, and – let’s not forget about Internet Live Stats and their impactful visual of 7,162 birds backing up the info: “7,162 Tweets sent in 1 second.”  Different, and brilliant!

Build a Diverse Visual Storytelling Toolbox 

The most effective way to give your small business an impactful visual identity is to diversify your toolboxes between the available visual storytelling tools: photos, GIFs, memes, charts and graphs, custom images, videos, info-graphics, and animations. Judging by the latest research, video is king, and its popularity will only continue to grow.

Embrace Automation

Automation tools can be of tremendous help with processing data, streamlining workflows and automating mundane tasks, and also helping marketers focus on the real task at hand: telling a compelling, beautiful story.

With video being the main asset for visual storytelling, relying on automation tools to help make a significant impact is a reasonable step for every serious marketer. Visual content is now vital for keeping consumers engaged and competitors alert.

With the demand for visual content actively increasing, marketers are faced with a somewhat tough challenge: develop new strategies that will make their existing material both visually appealing and effective. Still, with the right mindset, proper marketing photoshop templates and proper toolbox by their side, marketers are more than ready to deliver consistently and sustainably.

Photo credit: Depositphotos
Victoria Lim on Twitter
Victoria Lim
Victoria Lim is a business consultant and a digital marketer with expertise in scribbling many relevant, industry related online publications. Currently, she's an adviser for Sleeklens. Always in pursuit for new opportunities, she loves sharing ideas with other professionals.
  1. I love this article.
    Visual storytelling is amazing. Most people know that visual and audio get higher engagement rates, but when you combine adding a story to the message, it takes it to another level.
    Leveraging off all these little bits and pieces I feel will do wonders for your business.

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