An Emotional Brand: The Impact of Visual Storytelling on Your Content

78B8C49C70-1024x683A striking visual narrative can tell the story of your brand better than a hundred run of the mill blog posts.

Are you impressed with large blocks of text?

Does an endless stream of densely-packed paragraphs make you want to dig deeper?

Do you value reading above all else?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be in the minority. Spending hours wading through a sea of text-heavy blog posts is enough to wear anyone down. Smart marketers won’t rely entirely on the written word to get their point across—incorporating a narrative with visual content into your marketing plan can help generate views, drive engagement, and promote a brand identity unique to your company.

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The importance of visuals in content, as found by Hubspot

Valuable Visual Stories

According to research on visual content gathered by Hubspot, visuals are transmitted to the brain 60,000 times faster than text—and inclusion of visual media in your material can generate up to 94 percent more views for your content.

A visual strategy for content marketing is more than just a few pictures thrown in as an afterthought though.  A visual narrative can be an excellent format for telling the story of your brand, engaging with consumers on an emotional level, and spurring them to interact and engage with your content. And when it comes to engagement, visuals may no longer be optional—Socialbakers found that 93 percent of the most engaging posts on Facebook contained photos.

To see the value of visual storytelling done right, look no further than the GoPro camera series. This brand of mounted cameras allows thrill-seekers to capture their adventures and save them as an action packed, point-of-view video. Instead of trying to market these cameras by their quality or features, GoPro took a visual approach, using consumer-submitted videos of snowboarding, surfing, and skydiving to demonstrate how their customers were using their products.

Majestic Wilderness BASE Jump By GoPro Original Production

To see its success, visit GoPro’s website or social media page to be greeted with hours of user-generated visual content that forms the backbone of the company’s visual marketing strategy. They realized that the best way to sell their product wasn’t to brag, but rather to offer a firsthand demonstration of the excitement and thrills that their customers experienced.

To top it off, GoPro entrenched this narrative chain in the content found throughout their website, blogs, and social media. This is how you create a brand “blueprint” that is easy to identify and promotes traffic to a primary site.

Building your Visual Style

While GoPro hit the nail on the head with their user-submitted marketing, your visual content strategy doesn’t need to follow the same format. Examine your content and determine what ways you could craft your message into a helpful visual framework:

  • Create unique, visually distinct images that represent the message you want to promote. Don’t just make one or two—having a wide variety of these images helps users scan content, increases sharability, and segments the information in helpful ways for better retention.
  • Produce focused infographics that aggregate data from your older sources and provide helpful breakdowns for your readers. Applying this repurposed content is a simple way to create new value from your aging material, but it needs to be creative and display a style that is relative to your visual narrative.

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Photo engagement overshadows all other posts on Facebook, as found by Socialbakers

After you’ve created your series of visual storytelling images, use a “hub” of information in the form of an article or page to provide a landing point for your audience. Your promotional content should be aimed for broad outreach, engagement, and leave your audience wanting more — which you’ll happily provide in the form of educational material through a landing page or article directory.

Your overall goal with creating a visual marketing strategy is to offer visuals that make it clear what your company’s corporate personality is, while still connecting with your customers on a personal level.

That last part is key—no matter what type of marketing you’re doing, the needs of your audience come first.

Driving Inspiration

Creating a visual storytelling narrative can lead to tremendous boosts in your viewership and user engagement. Start this process with value-driven information that resonates with your audience, and determine how you can incorporate visuals that will inspire your readers to share with others.

Creating these emotional experiences isn’t easy. With the right knowledge of your market, the creative use of visuals, and a solid library of value-driving content, you’ll be amazed at the number of readers who become engrossed in your story and come back for more.

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