Visual storytelling is one of the most effective forms of communication today. When brands use storytelling for marketing their products and services, it needs to be authentic, community-driven and easy to scale. In today’s marketing landscape, content is a commodity and its consumers can be drawn from various platforms. These include:
- Blogs post from the native website
- Long-form articles from digital zines
- Whitepaper and original research
- Infographics, images and videos
- E-books and presentations
- Podcasts on Spotify, Gaana and Wynk Music
While not all of these platforms are purely visual, visual branding has become a critical tool to help brands to put their work in front of their targeted audience. Today, visual branding is the currency that compels your target customer to click through, convert and take action toward your intended cause. Take a look at these visual storytelling trends that will shape the future of brand communication.
Use of humor
Viewers like and best respond to relatable content. It is easier for them to engage with it if it has some comedic aspect. Modern visual storytelling often uses puns, jokes, memes and funny expressions to connect with the target audience. If the use of humor is precise and well-rationed, the content is capable of genuinely captivating the viewer.
Stories inspired by real-life data are a trend, giving the viewer accurate, relevant and comprehensive information. For example, one can use Google Trends to present real statistics and use them in their marketing strategy.
Data-driven stories are well-suited for companies that gather information themselves. For example, Spotify analyzes its data evaluating the tracks users enjoy the most. They use these findings to summarize yearly applications for premium subscribers, letting a user know which song or artist they wanted the most.
Podcasts are becoming an increasingly popular way to watch the news and comedic content. Podcasts reach listeners in a wide variety of formats, but most of them tell stories. It is proven that people who hear ads on podcasts remember the brand. Today, listening to podcasts is a popular way to learn something new and exciting. Like music, you can play them anywhere – in your car while jogging, among others.
Types of visual storytelling tools
“A picture is worth a thousand words.”
We have all heard this cliche, but I bet you do not often sit back and contemplate the deeper meaning behind the message.
Visuals capture more information in one shot than a book full of words because they allow you to fill in the story with your imagination. Find out the best storytelling tool that will help spread your message further.
Canva Docs provides the ultimate format to bring visuals and text together in an inspiring and engaging way. Design Blocks allow you to create and edit any Canva design from within your Canva Doc, making it easy to make banners or section dividers pop or even add custom visuals like timelines or roadmaps.
Adobe Spark is a free web-based tool for creating social media graphics, web pages, and video stories. Adobe Spark makes it easy for you to create interactive designs with thousands of templates, assets for social media content, logos and more. It is available on both web and mobile platforms.
Piktochart is a tool that allows users to create interactive infographics, presentations and reports with ease. The tool also offers a range of templates and customization options. Users without any prior experience in graphic design and experience can nail the design with ease. Use your creativity and design whatever you want.
Animoto is a video creation tool that lets users make short and engaging stories using photos and video clips. Combine your images, video clips and music to make quality videos in minutes. Animoto is the fastest and easiest way to make you stand out on Instagram, Facebook and other social media platforms.
Instagram as a visual storytelling tool
Storytelling has been an essential part of effective marketing. It engages customers on a deeper level and builds long-lasting bonds of loyalty and top-of-mind recall. With the rising popularity of Instagram, storytelling has become accessible to both brands and consumers. In this section, we will talk about how to ace Instagram as your visual storytelling tool with some real-life brand examples.
Make use of Instagrids
When it comes to visual storytelling, the limit to your creativity is the sky. Through the unique format of Instagram, you can use techniques such as creating on huge picture composed of several images to make it more appealing to the reader’s eyes. The method is called Instagrids.
Tacobell’s official Instagram handle is an example of visual storytelling.
Instagrids have helped Tacobell convey the brand personality in a lively and fun manner while staying related to the target audience.
By acknowledging its fans and supporters, Airbnb fosters a sense of brand loyalty and puts the “social” in social marketing.
In this very example of visual storytelling, Airbnb rewarded its super host Luciana for spreading awareness of the brand and being a huge advocate. Airbnb partnered with @casa-cal to celebrate this and arranged a sea-facing villa for her.
The scenic beauty of the villa and unique selling points are demonstrated subtly in the caption. A post like that, with a descriptive caption and visually-appealing images, tells a very captivating story.
Making use of user-generated content (UGC)
User-generated content is an excellent tool for storytelling using social proof. It operates on the power of referrals and holds together the brand and the customer. There is nothing better than an army of happy customers who their friends with your brands with positive feedback. Research suggests that 70% of customers trust recommendations made by peers. It influences their buying behavior.
One such example of visual storytelling is BurtsBees.
By reposting pictures of happy customers with their products and testimonials, BurtsBees can build trust faster and cheaper than expensive influencers.
Testimonials create a narrative among your potential customers about wanting to benefit from something proven to work for others.
Instagram live to connect with the audience
Everything happens on Instagram in real time. It is one of the best ways to connect directly with your followers and engage them while having complete control of your content. Instagram live is an instrument to engage with your followers, get live feedback, drive collaborations and announce new initiatives.
You might have seen your favorite celebrity going live and connecting with you during the session. This is done to create content for their followers. Take the example of Boxed Water. The company partnered with The National Forest Foundation to plant 2 trees for every person who posted a product picture under the hashtag #retree.
They were regularly using Instagram Live to communicate the benefits of planting trees and conserving the environment using Boxed Water. As a result of the marketing campaign, 2600 posts were shared using the hashtag #retree.
Take your storytelling to the next level with Instagram Live.
Snapchat as a storytelling tool
What started as a fun and easy way for teens to share videos and photos has become an authentic storytelling platform that must be addressed for efficient marketing.
Snapchat allows businesses and individuals to give their audience an ‘inside look’ into who they are through unique video and photo narratives. The content feels personal, happens in real-time, and comes with a sense of urgency since it only lasts 24 hours before disappearing.
Snapchat offers much room to build relationships, not only because it is unique and help businesses engage with their audience but because the audience is looking to be entertained by accounts like yours.
Below are some famous Snappers you can follow for their unique content and entertainment purpose.
Chris Pett (ChrisPrattSnap)
This lovable actor shows how funny and entertaining he is off-screen. He even takes you around for a behind-the-scenes look at his movie sets.
Jimmy Fallon (fallontonight)
You do not have to wait for a rerun of SNL or the Tonight Show to air, and Jimmy Fallon gives you a taste of what it is like in his world through the app.
Hillary Clinton (HillaryClinton)
Many politicians are now active on Snapchat and Hillary Clinton is one of them. Her Snapchat story consists of her visit to the various campaigns with snap interviews from supporters, updates on her travel and a peek insider her personality.
Gary Vaynerchuk (garyvee)
This digital marketing master shows what it is like to live the life of an entrepreneur on his Snapchat channel.
YouTube as a storytelling tool
The world’s largest video-sharing platform hardly needs an introduction but offers features we know. With a vast audience and user-friendly experience, it has become a go-to platform for storytellers, from amateur vloggers to professional filmmakers.
With over 2 billion active users, YouTube provides a platform for storytellers to connect with people worldwide. This allows them to share their stories with a much wider audience than would have been possible in the past.
If we talk about using YouTube as a storytelling tool, storytellers can use various techniques to engage their audience, from live-action footage to animation and motion graphics. They can also use sound and music to enhance the emotional impact of their stories and incorporate interactive elements like quizzes and polls to make their stories more engaging.
The following are essential points for businesses using YouTube as their visual storytelling platform.
Make your video short and crisp
The content produced on YouTube should be entertaining and crisp. Creators should avoid making a video that sounds like an extended commercial. If a video is about a product, focus more on the features than promoting your brand.
Give solutions to your audience
How-to videos are a great way to integrate your product into your videos. It also develops your brand persona as being helpful and concerned about your consumers and the ease at which they can use your product. How-to videos should focus on providing your audience with the solution they are searching for.
Make use of YouTube shorts
The innovation made by YouTube helps brands to connect with their audiences more casually and on the go. Unlike other social media platforms where a story disappears after 24 hours, YouTube shorts expire after 7 days. Creators love content that is quick, easy and entertaining. YouTube Shorts allows your audience to engage with you on the fly rather than commit the time to watch a full-length video. Snappy, short-form content ensures that your audience watches until the end.
Overall, YouTube is a potent tool for storytelling. It allows storytellers to reach a global audience, use various techniques to engage their viewers, and create a sense of community around their stories. As such, it has become an essential platform for anyone looking to tell their story to the world.
Using short format videos on Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat as new storytelling tools can help improve your brand visibility. As you know, the stories of users you follow appear at the top of your feed with a colorful ring to indicate a new report published. Within the world of social media marketing, and especially within the world of Instagram, stories have a crucial role because of the nature in which this feature showcases your business.
First of all, among all social platforms, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat are where people engage the most, so you already get a free prime-time channel to do as you wish. With Insta and Snapchat stories, you can interact directly with your audience to understand their needs. To obtain more followers and grow your reach, you must invest your time creating an Instagram stories strategy.
Instagram stories are discoverable. This means people who do not follow your posts can see your posts too. Great content marketing is an excellent opportunity to reach a new audience and express your ideas more uniquely while showcasing your products or services in a fun way. Even before a new product launch, you can use Instagram stories to do market research and ask your audience for honest feedback.
Be a storyteller, tell stories about your product and services, share your ideas with the community, discuss blog posts and add tutorials on how to solve problems or everything you want to share with others. Instagram enables you to show off your ideas in a creative way. Document your journey with Stories to make your brand approachable.
If you are looking for expert guidance on brand marketing, content strategy and social media marketing, contact Vantage ITeS. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at +91 7874440404 to know more.