The days of banner ads highlighting a brand and pushing hard for a product sale are now in the rearview mirror when you are marketing through social media. People are simply tired of being sold to. Instead, they want to be taken on a journey, a story, an adventure that we hope will end with a sale. Customers don’t want to be fed product data about how great something is. They want to know how this product will address their problems or improve their real-life experiences. Selling through education and entertainment is now the norm. Moreover, visual storytelling is the perfect way to accomplish those goals.
If your story is compelling enough, customers won’t feel like they’re seeing an ad; they will see it as something to improve their life.
According to Dr. John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist whose work is focused on human brain development, when you hear information and are tested on what you heard three days later, you remember only about 10% of it. However, if you add a picture to the audio, 72 hours later you’ll remember an impressive 65% of the information.
That 65% is where you want to be when you’re creating your online marketing material. Being in the imaging industry, we know the power of imagery; however, do we always use it to its fullest potential?
Market with Visual Storytelling
For your next online marketing campaign, consider creating a visual story instead of a traditional ad to see the impact storytelling can have on your bottom line. We know that visuals can evoke emotion and even inspire customers in ways that are challenging to achieve through text or audio only.
However, there are certain things to consider when creating a visual storytelling campaign. It’s not simply taking a few photos and creating an animated gif. The element of story is the key to having the most success.
Simply telling your customers how something works is not as effective as showing them the product in use. Not just someone holding a camera or focusing with a lens but telling the story of that person’s success with the products, whatever that success is.
The story shouldn’t relate a business or a product but the people behind it: your employees, your customers, the people who created the product as well as those who are using it in a way that your customers may want to use it.
Find your beginning, middle and end that takes customers through the visual journey you have created. Add in a bit of conflict or friction that helps hold their attention. Why do they need or want this product? How will this change their life in a positive way? How is this product relevant to your audience? Does it solve a problem, or is it just interesting? Once you have your audience thinking about these questions, you are ready to deliver the solution as the story’s climax and finish strong with the call to action as the resolution.
Don’t Forget the Takeaway
For your visual storytelling campaign to stand out, think about what the takeaway can include. Adding a lesson; delivering a profound message; or taking a stand on a concern relevant to your customers are all strong outcomes. Add in a bit of intimacy and trust by including some mild imperfections, and it will feel more real, more genuine and relatable.
Traditional ads and marketing campaigns can keep the products you are trying to sell in the forefront by simply being repetitive. However, visual stories will work to persuade the audience far beyond the few moments they view your story.
If you create an emotional connection by placing your audience at the heart of the story, they will continue to think about your message and share it with their inner circle. This will make a lasting impact and stronger call to action to move forward with a sale.