This last summer, my family and I went to England. My husband is orginally from England, and it was high time that we visited family.
My husband, four children, and I stayed in England for a month where we saw many towns, villages, and cities. We went to Bury St. Edmunds, Stradishall, Claire, London, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Oxford, Colchester, and many other fabulous places. We saw Big Ben, the London Tower, Buckingham Palace, the oldest village in England, CS Lewis’ gravesite, JRR Tolkien’s gravesite, Shakespeare’s birthplace and gravesite, many thatched cottages, lots of old castles and cathedrals, red double-decker buses, and we ate lots of yummy food.
Did you all get through that entire block of text? Could you visualize the places I was talking about?
Why don’t I try something else?
Which did you like better? A paragraph of text? Or watching our trip unfold through pictures?
In an article entitled “Why the Obsession with Visual Storytelling?”, website Groove Digital Marketing suggests that 40% of people responded better to visual information than plain text. That’s almost half! If almost half of your audience responds better to visual stimuli then perhaps it’s time to add some variety to your text. So, how does visual storytelling work?
- Visual Content Receives More Engagement
- Increased Engagement Leads to More Shares
- Visual Content is More Click-Worthy
- Visual Content Can be Repurposed
Social posts and blog posts that feature embedded video will earn three times as many links as text posts.
This statistic taken from Groove’s article shows why visual content is so important. Your audience will gravitate and engage with visual content. Whether it be a slideshow, a video, or even an amazing still photograph, using visual aids will boost your user’s engagement with your product.
It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of BBC’s hit television show Sherlock. The BBC recently released a trailer on Facebook for season 4. Now, they could simply have told everyone what to expect in season 4, but instead they placed this on their Facebook page:
Do you see that share count? 113,000 shares and over ten million views! Users watched the video and excitedly shared the video to either a specific friend or on their wall which reached all of their friends. So, this one video not only drew in a target audience, but also lead to more shares and thus more potential customers.
Plain text won’t foster a strong connection between you and your customers, but visual storytelling will.
Visual storytelling will reinforce all your other marketing efforts. In a highly competitive market (especially in the world wide web), you need to stand out from your competitors clamoring for your target audience’s attention. You want to be memorable to your audience, and one way to do this is through relatable visual elements. Dove did a great job at this when they released their “Choose Beautiful” campaign. Dove told their target audience that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. Women all over the world instantly related to this campaign. It was click-worthy and memorable, and Dove shared this YouTube commercial about beauty (it’s a bit of a tear-jerker, so be prepared).
When something is reusable it can save you not only money, but also can save you in time and resources. Since creating visual content might cost a little more than writing a block of text, then it is even more important that it be repurposed and reused across multiple platforms. The Dove YouTube commerical above has also been cut down and repurposed as a commercial for television. Television commercials tend to be around 30 seconds long. The Dove YouTube commercial is over three minutes.
Website Example: GoPro
GoPro does an amazing job at using visual storytelling to connect with its target audience. GoPro owners are encouraged to use their devices to record themselves and then send their clip to the company. So, in effect, the customers are actually telling the story through their recorded adventures. GoPro will then choose to highlight these clips across multiple social media platforms. Users, excited to see themselves featured online, share that video with as many people as they can. What a great, smart, and cost effective way to use visual storytelling to market GoPro products!
I can honestly say that this is one advertisement that has actually worked on me. I have a GoPro on my birthday wishlist.
What are your thoughts on visual storytelling? Questions, comments, or GoPro gifts welcome below!