With the growth of e-commerce and the evolution of the metaverse, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to maintain a business without a website and online marketing campaigns. But is having a domain name and basic information about the services you provide enough?
Unfortunately, no. If you want to get the attention of your customers, employees, colleagues, or even your community, you have to get a little flashy. You need to tell your company’s story. Your product’s story. Your customer’s story. And those stories need to be visual.
In this article, we’ll explain the power of visual stories for internal meetings, conferences, B2B presentations, and more by encouraging engagement with your presentation. We’ll walk you through the five most powerful storytelling techniques used today.
The Impact Of Visual Stories
Consider this: When browsing for a house online, are you more likely to click on the listing with a grey screen and the words “See listing for details,” or the one with an artfully taken photo of the house from the front lawn?
The second option, right?
The first listing could be everything you’ve ever wanted, but you skip right over it because you want to know if a house is visually appealing before investing your time reading the detailed listing for the house.
This is the power of visual stories.
So how does this relate to your business? Well, the more you visually represent your brand and your story, the more appealing your message becomes. And the more appealing your message, the more likely it is to attract new customers, entice investors, or persuade community leaders.
Visuals keep your audience focused and engaged, while subconsciously improving data retention. That means people remember the information you’ve delivered. There’s less confusion. Fewer misunderstandings. More enthusiasm.
Why Are Visual Stories A Growing Trend Now?
Three main societal trends drive the growing interest in visual stories:
- Conscious Consumerism
The entrance of younger generations (Millenials and Gen Z) into the workforce effectively means their entrance into the consumer market, as well. What these generations look for in a product or service is not what their parents or grandparents expect. The biggest change? Conscious consumerism. They demand that companies they patronise care about their communities and the environment and speak up against injustice.
Visual stories provide the perfect platform for making your company’s value, social efforts, sustainability promises, and views available to the masses. Consumers, employees, and business partners don’t want words, they want visual proof that your values align with theirs and your business is trustworthy.
The use of mobile devices increases daily, creating a hands-off medium for information consumption. Classic written advertisements simply don’t hold the same punch they used to.
Visual story advertising allows you to reach your customers when they’re already consuming information, such as a podcast or a live stream of the news. To scale your business, you have to keep up with the times — it’s not just written-word content anymore.
- Short Attention Spans
Human attention spans are shortening. If something doesn’t immediately catch our attention, we move on. If an image on Instagram is unappealing, you scroll past without reading the message underneath. If a blog post is dense right from the get-go, you leave and look for something easier to read.
Visual stories create staying power, encouraging potential customers and business partners to explore your website, listen more closely during meetings, or linger a bit longer at trade shows. This ultimately leads to an increased likelihood that they’ll make a purchase or enter into a contractual relationship.
The benefits of using visual stories to provide a more captivating in-person presentation are clear, but there’s more. Let’s say you’re working with a remote workforce or long-distance business partner. In these cases, visual stories can provide an engaging method of meeting playback, especially compared to a playback video of people dryly conversing. It will garner attention, improve retention, and no important information will be missed.
What Kind Of Visual Storytelling Makes The Biggest Impact?
To keep up with consumer trends and take your business to the next level, use one of these five techniques:
- Social Impact: Tell people what you’re up to. Did your company participate in an environmental disaster clean-up? Do you donate $1 to carbon offset programs with every consumer purchase? If your audience is looking for proof you care about more than just your bottom line, give it to them. For instance, a social impact visual story might be an illustration showing the map of the houses you repaired after a fire or a storm.
- Unending Stories: Are you just starting and want to gain momentum via word-of-mouth? Are you a well-established business looking to build excitement around a new product launch or employee wellbeing program? Visual storytelling provides a great way to tell your ongoing story, using images or vlogs to keep your audience up-to-speed.
- Social Proof: People love seeing other people in photos and videos. By asking customers, business partners, and employees to post images of them using your product or service, or spending a fun day in the office, you’re generating diverse content and giving your employees, partners, and consumers a voice — the most impactful form of a product review.
- Live Broadcasting: Speak directly to your most engaged audience with live broadcasting, which allows real-time information sharing that provides not only personality to your brand but also proof that you are who you say you are behind the curated scripts and filters. And better yet, visual notes after the broadcast provide a way for listeners to refer back to what was said live and share that information with others. For the most impact, get your C-suite on a live broadcast, humanizing your business across the board.
- Mini-Ads: Whether it’s live-action videography or automation, mini-ads are typically no longer than 6 seconds and speak to short attention spans. Plus, they can be used for any and all use cases. Employee training? Check. How-to video for a new product? Check.
To level up your business, you need to capture and hold the attention of your target audience. Visual stories, including illustrations, videos, automation, and notes, can help you do just that. Simply identify where your brand messaging is lacking (not reaching Gen Z? Content not compatible with mobile devices?), and use one of the five methods listed above to address the identified gap.