The marketing landscape has changed dramatically over the years. Just a little over a decade ago, we saw a hard shift from traditional outlets such as radio, TV, and print to the various channels available through the internet. Lately, we have seen radical changes in the digital realm, watching in awe as marketers go from to spinning crafty sales pitches to using visual content to tell stories.
Hollywood has built a name on the art of storytelling, but in the world of marketing, few businesses realize what a powerful tool it can be. After reading this post, you’ll understand why learning to tell visual stories is one of the best things you can do for your brand.
[Image Credit Shutterstock.com]
1. Visual Stories Grab Attention
Brands are increasingly learning that traditional methods don’t wield the power they once did in the past. Send a commercial email in all plaintext and you run the risk of lulling the recipient to sleep. Design your landing page to mimic one of those infinite sales pages with blocks of copy that scroll on forever, and they’re clicking their way out of there faster than a hiccup. If it’s one thing visual storytelling can do for you, it’s grab attention almost instantly. Now whether or not your brand’s story inspires positive action will depend on how well you tell it.
2. Visual Stories Inspire Action
The visual element is such a powerful component in storytelling because it has a way of drawing on emotions. After watching a video, viewers may be so moved that they are driven to complete whatever steps the storyteller has entwined in their call to action. For brands, the challenge is piecing together visual content that triggers these emotions and inspires their audience to move. Whether it’s humorous and playful or straightforward and serious, the best stories in marketing are crafted to encourage positive outcomes.
3. Visual Stories Are Often Shared
People love to share things they find interesting with others. Stories are no different. If someone sees a movie that blows them away, they’re going to recommend it to fellow movie buffs. When an entrepreneur views a presentation with a powerful message, they tell colleagues about it so they can experience it, too. Stories that were once propagated through word of mouth and traditional media are now being shared through means such as social networking and email. The point is that if you tell a compelling story, your audience will gladly help you retell it several times over.
4. Visual Stories Bring Spice to Boring
Information is powerful, but let’s be real – depending on how it’s presented, it can also be rather boring. Crafty marketers have learned how to transform this same type of information into engaging visual content. Take the infographics, for example. Infographics take huge volumes of data and statistics, and presents them in a comprehensive format that is easy to understand and consume. As a result, they are highly effective at striking a chord in people who may have otherwise skipped over the very same information had it been packaged in a more traditional format. They also trigger sharing frequently.
5. Visual Stories Create Personal Connections
Some people have amazing tales of triumph. Maybe they were born and raised in a bleak environment, then went on to become successful business owners. Others have gripping tales of hardships and determination. They’ve been touched by cancer, death, or other unfortunate instances that turned their lives upside while making them stronger in the process. The point is that everyone has a story and if you can tell it with just right passion, you can get an audience to relate to yours. Don’t underestimate the value of relating because of the keyword actually turns into relationships that help you prosper.
6. Visual Stories Make Your Brand Unique
It’s hard to stand out in any market these days. Unless you’re the true pioneer in your industry, your offering is very similar to the competition’s, and if all you do is advertise, there’s a chance that you look like them as well. The cool thing about visual stories is that they give you an opportunity to distance yourself from the crowd no matter how many similarities you share with your rivals. For instance, a quick video that explains the humble beginnings of your company, where the idea came from, and how the team came together will have your audience invested solely in your brand.
The era of visual marketing is here. Brands from all walks of life are leveraging images, video, infographics and other content to go beyond the facts and tap into the emotions of their audiences. What’s your brand’s story?
Chiko Noguchi is a best practices activist and advocate for a Benchmark email marketing services. She can be found on @email_wiz.