The human brain collects up to 80% of the sensory data received from the environment with the visual system. Appealing to the sense of vision is a powerful way to get your message across to your audience. Visuals make it easier to process difficult concepts, reduce the time it takes to learn and understand something, and it increases the amount of information that we retain. Marketers can tap into the potential of visual elements through content that is comprised of photos, videos, GIFs, and animations that attest to the value of the product or brand. The content should have a clear message and tell a story, making full use of the saying a picture is worth a thousand words.
VISUAL STORYTELLING MARKETING
Visual storytelling helps to capture the attention of the audience and ensure that your message resonates with them. This gives your company the ability to connect with the market on a deeper level and create a sense of community and loyalty with those who are drawn in by the narrative. Visuals should function like a typical story with a distinct beginning, middle, and end, accomplishing this by having a clear message and organization throughout the image.
The ad below by Zore Screen Protector tells a story that many of us can relate to with the use of only seven words: Do you have the courage to look? Depicting the moment of truth after you drop your phone and hear that seemingly final BOOM as it makes contact with the ground, this image makes your heart skip a little beat with the anticipation of what lurks on the front side of the mobile. The solution to this situation is provided in this same image with the icon of the Zore Screen Protector in the corner. This print ad effectively connects the audience to an experience they can relate to, illustrates their need for a product, and shows them how Zore’s product could affect the end to this story and alleviate the customers’ need.
TIPS FOR VISUAL STORYTELLING
1) Hone in on your story
The first step to any sort of storytelling marketing is to figure out the story you want to convey. The messaging needs to be solidified first to create a clear purpose for the marketing content created. Make sure that the story is relevant to the audience and customer-centric so they will be able to connect to it. It is essential to show how your brand will help them become better off. To hone in on this brand story, think about what motivates your audience and relate that to what is at the core of your brand.
2) Understand your audience
To tell this story with only an image or short progression of images, the past experiences of the audience become vital to setting up the narrative. They should be able to understand the situation and setting that you are trying to convey with ease as they have experienced those same conditions themselves or have been exposed to them before through friends, family, or other media sources. Without a large amount of words to explain what is going on, visual archetypes can be a powerful tool.
3) Utilize imagery that people will understand its meaning in a memorable way
Take advantage of characters, objects, or places that have outside connotations to express more meaning using less. In the ad below, audiences can relate to the situation of parallel parking and understand the high stakes of the porcupine not hitting the goldfish bags as we know that goldfish cannot live outside of water and porcupines are pointy. This visual display garners attention from the audience and the absurdity of the situation appeals to our sense of humor. Volkswagon conveys the value of their Park Assist feature through portraying the story using imagery the audience understands in a humorous way that both grabs the attention of viewers and is memorable.
B2B VISUAL STORYTELLING WITH SLACK
Visual storytelling has immense potential in the business to business realm to show a need for the product or service in the professional setting. Slack effectively employs visual storytelling in their B2B marketing with content that is relatable to office workers everywhere. In the ad below the undesirable frontiers of the office could be avoided through Slack in order to create distance from the lands of Mountains of Paperwork and the Silo City aka the Anti-Collaboration Capital of the World. By harping on pain points that offices experience, they show how the use of Slack could make these problems be located far away instead of on the desk in front of you.
In their ad campaign from 2015, Slack focused on evoking positive emotions, depicting what being more productive, sitting in fewer meetings and having less emails feels like. These ads connected with any workers who felt that they could find a better use of their time than sitting in an hour meeting where maybe ten minutes worth of the content affects them. With Slack, their work spaces might not actually be located under a rainbow, but through simplifying their work and revamping what collaboration looks like, the freedom resulting from this feels just as good.
Infographics are an effective tool to convey a message as well. These are good for telling a logical story that presents the customers with a need for your offering. In the Venn Diagram below, personal and company values are assessed with “making money”, “efficiency”, and “doing good” falling in the middle. With Slack’s brand messaging centered around being the place where work happens and making it efficient and collaborative, their offering is a way to move towards these ideas in the center of the diagram.
MARKETING TO A VISUAL BRAIN
The brain retains 55% more information with the addition of images instead of just words. Visual mediums have the potential to make a lasting impact on your audience and convert them into loyal customers. There is a mountain of meaning that can be conveyed with very little by having a clear message you want to convey, a strong understanding of your audience, and purposeful execution. Whether it is with a single photo, a video, a GIF, or animation, tell a story through visual marketing to turn viewers into customers and customers into a loyal community for your brand.
Ready to create visual stories for your brand? Employ visual storytelling marketing with Magic Flight Studios here.