Visual storytelling is telling stories through photos, graphics, or videos. If you’re like me, you’re more likely to read an article or blog that has a few pictures and infographics, rather than just a page full of text. Visuals convey stores in a more elegant, entertaining, and informative way. But, there’s more to it than just popping in a few images on your blog. Be persuasive, use high quality images, tell a story with value and a story that appeals to people.
We live in a world that inundated with information. So for your blog + social media, you have to STAND OUT with visuals. In a 2012 study, ROI Research found that when users engage with friends on social media sites, it's the pictures they took that are enjoyed the most. Want to know why? Our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
Figure out how to tell interesting stories with your visuals, but make sure that people will recognize it as your organization. Create a voice for your brand.
Let’s look at a few companies that are great at visual storytelling:
The DD team is unbelievably creative. (Can you imagine how fun their job is?!) They post consistently, rarely going more than three days without posting. They engage with their audience, and post relevant content. In the photos here, you can see they posted some photos (and videos!) related to April Fool’s Day and Easter - but they also had great photos relating to March Madness further down in their feed.
Honda is another great example, first because their feed includes graphics, photos AND videos. Secondly, because their captions are not always trying to sell their cars. Yes, they have a car in each of the photos, but instead of saying, “Drive a Honda to the park,” they said, “Grab your mitt and let’s play ball!” They are RELATING to their customers, not just throwing a sales pitch in every post.
So Worth Loving
This feed is a great example for those of you who don’t have a product to sell (though, SWL does sell stuff!) SWL is a company that is all about empowering people to live knowing they are worthy of love. They encourage people to treat themselves with kindness, patience, respect, and all that embodies love – and that’s what they post about! With a variety of images, they highlight customers, products and just continually broadcast their (wonderful) message to the world.
Note: The examples above are on Instagram. I did that for two reasons: 1) It's a completely visual platform, 2) It was the easiest way to show JUST the visuals from each of these organizations. If you go to their other social media platforms, you will see the same posts, mixed in with text, links, etc.
Your stories don’t have to be long, try showing how your service or product can be used in everyday life. And speaking of everyday life – show YOURS. What happens behind the scenes? Do you have stacks upon stacks of boxes of cupcakes for a weekend party - show it! Highlight the things your audience loves, share what causes are close to your heart and show what inspires you.