Ask anyone their favorite scene from a popular movie, and they can probably describe it in vivid detail. Ask someone to quote their favorite passage in a book? They might not be as successful. Even on social media, the age-old adage, “a picture is worth one thousand words,” rings true. Research shows that visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared across platforms than other types of content.
Even though visual storytelling proves to be a highly-effective storytelling tool, it’s sometimes difficult to know what type of visuals to use. You don’t need to be a content wizard to make content that’ll stick. Be strategic, thoughtful and follow these basics to create engaging content that people will want to share.
Photos are a simple and highly effective way to engage your audience. When done correctly, they can portray emotions that can’t be described through language and add visuals to any written content they might be paired with. Make sure your image is iconic, clear and most accurately, tells your story.
You also don’t need fancy equipment to take a good picture. Today’s cell phones take high-quality pictures, sometimes even comparable to a DSLR camera. Combine one of these top-of-the line shooters and a simple editing app to create a professional-grade photo.
Give ’em the facts! When you present numbers in a dynamic or interactive way, they can add meaning to the figures and statistics in your story. Producing a chart or graph keeps your audience engaged, breaks up the text and helps them visualize these details in the context of the story. If you have a statistic-heavy topic, consider combining several visual graphics into an infographic.
The Adobe Creative Cloud is commonly used for graphic design, and you can learn tips through a few simple YouTube tutorials. Don’t feel like spending the time or money? Websites like Canva are free, provide templates and are extremely user-friendly.
Just like a movie, if you’re trying to capture emotion or tell a story that progresses over time, video will be your best friend. Videos can range from a short little blurb (think Vine… RIP), or a full-length documentary or feature. The format depends entirely on what story you want to tell, who your audience is and how they will view the video (television, mobile, etc).
You don’t need expensive equipment to make a high-quality video. You also don’t need a fancy editing platform to do all of your work. iMovie is quick, easy and can be used directly from your mobile device!
Now that you know the visual storytelling basics, consider using more visuals to drive your brand messaging forward. By choosing the right images and videos and presenting them in a strategic way, you will be well on your way to becoming a remembered favorite.