Visual storytelling through videos and photographs can strengthen your inbound marketing strategy. Visual media is crucial to capturing the attention of people in a culture characterized by a need for instant gratification.
Images are highly suited to such a mentality because the brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than it processes verbal information. Videos increase click-throughs by 300% and people share video ads 63 times more than they did 10 years ago.
But the appeal of visual information goes beyond the fact that it is easy to process.
Award-winning photographer Reza Deghati says that the “camera is the most powerful tool ever invented.” Visual media crosses cultural boundaries, providing people throughout the world with the opportunity to share their unique perspectives and stories.
As an example of just how important visual media is, even those in the radio business are investing in it.
A significant number of people want to consume NPR’s news in a digital format. The National Public Radio website has over 30 million viewers per month; this is just one example of the current need for every organization to have a digital presence.
The company has adapted by posting online articles and photographs that are relevant to its radio programs, in addition to posting the links to its broadcasts.
The brands that are leveraging visual storytelling most effectively creatively portray universal fears and desires. Here are just a few of them.
Any business whose product actually is a story is under that much more pressure to advertise in a way that is compelling. Audible, a company that sells audiobooks, does just that.
The company’s recent commercials show people of varying demographics listening to audiobooks. They do so while going about the tasks of their everyday lives, such as doing laundry or riding a bus.
As they listen, almost all of the real world disappears while the world of the story they’re listening to encompasses them. A crime scene in a hard-boiled detective novel surrounds a man who is vacuuming his house. He pushes his vacuum cleaner back and forth next to the chalk outline where a body was found while police officers roam the area.
A woman doing her laundry discovers she is in the woods where two lovers are meeting, while a man on his daily jog finds himself running in the middle of a Civil War battle. We love stories because they take us outside of ourselves. Audible does an excellent job of visually depicting the ability of stories to transport us into different worlds.
Common to all narratives is a purpose or goal, as well as some conflict that gets in the way of that goal. Online retailer ModCloth has taken measures to build up the self-image and identities of women.
The company notes that “by the time a girl reaches the age of 17, she has seen over 250,000 ads” and that these same ads show photoshopped, false images of beauty. As a result, ModCloth has committed never to airbrush photographs of its models.
Rather than simply marketing a product to its customers, ModCloth sees its clientele as “community members,” whom brand leaders invite into the story they’re telling. As a result, they sometimes use their actual customers in their advertising. Their goal is to depict “an authentic and diverse portrayal of women.”
ModCloth Co-founder and CCO Susan Gregg Koger says, “‘Portraying women in an honest and realistic way is essential to fulfilling our brand purpose of empowering women to be the best version of themselves.