The rise in popularity of social media platforms such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube, Twitter, and Vine paved way to visual storytelling, a trend that has been hailed as the most powerful strategies a business owner should use in order to boost and maximize its content marketing campaign.
Just as how people develop relationships, visual storytelling provides opportunities for businesses to deliver good and lasting experiences that promote brand awareness, build trust, form loyalty, and shape engaged communities.
Creating a meaningful visual storytelling strategy that can spark curiosity from audiences boils down to knowing your consumer and serving content that has relevance to them. To help jump start your visual storytelling strategy and create content that goes well beyond aesthetics, here are the top 7 ideas you can start using today.
Espouse Visual Imagery
Images and photos are the most essential element in a social media post. In fact, in the next 60 seconds, the following will occur according to a 2013 Buzzfeed video:
- 27,800 photo uploads on Instagram with 510,000 likes
- 278,000 tweets
- 208,300 photo uploads on Facebook
- 100 hours of video uploads on YouTube with over 2 million views
Visual media offers a powerful marketing advantage to businesses as it drives immediate audience response. In Facebook, content with images can drive up to 180 percent more user engagement than posts without. From webinars and infographics to photos and videos, creating gripping content relies on combining various visual mediums. So do not be afraid to mix different forms of visual imagery into your content.
Personalize Your Story
Users are attracted to content that inspire them, and stories that they can easily relate to. Use visuals of real people and real events to tell relatable stories. It would also help if the content is told as if you were making conversation. This way, the brand’s personality shows through and more audiences better understand your point.
Showcase the values and culture of your brand by using visuals that demonstrate achievements of your company and your employees, and things your audience are passionate about. It may be about charities, eco-friendliness, social responsibilities, and the like.
Add an Element of Humaneness
Visual content marketing, or any marketing strategy so to speak, performs a lot better when a human element is added to the content. Consumers like to see the human side of a brand. Tap into audience -generated content and let them tell the story of your brand. Not only does this allow the business to show appreciation, it also leads to a deeper connection between the consumers and the brand.
Encourage your audience to submit content and share their submissions to various platforms. Seeing that you reciprocated their input will make them happy and get them talking more about your brand–a kind of promotion that resonates positively well with other prospective consumers.
Another way of adding humaneness is showing how a product is made, as seen with McDonald’s campaign, “Our Food. Your Questions”. The series of short segments show consumers how some of their most popular products are produced, dispelling myths and addressing rumors about the quality of their food. It is an effective use of visual storytelling as it improved transparency between the brand and its consumers.
Post Images with Sparing Words
A study showed that captions under photos are read 300 percent more than the actual body of content. This is because the brain retains information better when text is reinforced with images.
But while captions may be used to expand on the message, it must not tell the whole story. Remember, the purpose of inserting a caption is to simply draw attention to the story you are trying to tell and the message you are conveying.
Make the Content Relevant and Actually Useful
Creating visual content is not really difficult. It’s creating content with useful and relevant information (epic content if you will) that is hard. If you are aiming to engage your audience with visual content, you have to focus on making it useful.
The question is, how can you pull it off? You can build an effective visual storytelling strategy simply by getting to know your consumers. Listen to them and read comments or forums to find out what questions they frequently ask, which conversation topics are popular, and what issues and events they care about. From there, strategically leverage your visuals around the topics to gain more attention and draw more engagement.
Tell a Share-worthy Story
Aside from usefulness, the visual content’s share-ability must be taken into consideration. When your audience share your content, you are able to tap into the word of mouth promotion. This can positively up your online reputation.
Start with a powerful, unconventional story concept that aligns to both your company’s goals and marketing strategy to develop a much more impactful visual content. Look for online trends, and analyze the most share-worthy content you have to date to further amplify what consumers share the most.
The Coca-Cola Company seems to have mastered the art of visual content marketing by transforming their website into an engaging visual magazine with tons of relevant and share-worthy images, posts, and videos.
Introduce a Real-life Protagonist
Every story needs a hero and introducing one through visual storytelling can have a great impact on your marketing strategy. Share testimonials and reviews of people who benefited from your brand to show how your services or products help change the lives of your consumers across the globe. Doing so can inspire curiosity and make your audience more interested to be involved with you.
Showing positive nostalgia through your visual content is another way to persuade consumers. Create visual content that tells your brand’s beginnings and the difficulties you had to overcome to reach success. This sparks real emotions from your audience, making them more inclined to your brand.
Understanding how to use visual media to portray the brand and convey its story will add a new perspective to your content marketing strategy. With these at your disposal, you will be able to build a deeper relationship with your audience while driving more traffic to your website.