Let's start with a few questions that attentive readers of the Storifyme blog will surely know how to answer:
- What makes complex ideas easy to comprehend?
- What is an excellent way to connect with your audience?
- What adds even more dimension to any compelling narratives?
If you guessed visual product storytelling or something along those lines, you could probably assume what kind of tips, tricks, and advice we're going to spill in the storified article below! Expect to get some top-shelf industry secrets also, the kind of tips you may find relevant for your business. Let's begin with the basics:
Why Are Visual Web Stories So Important?
From an evolutionary standpoint, the human brain has used visual cues to survive eons before language and writing were even a thing. Besides, before you knew how to read and write, you had to interpret the world around you through images. When you look at it that way, it's perfectly understandable that humans find visuals extremely helpful while learning and remembering new things.
Moreover, the combination of impactful visuals and captivating story writing is a winner from a marketing standpoint as well. One medium alone could never make your compelling narrative come to life. Be careful though, keep these things in mind on your quest to conquer the visual side of web stories:
Keep Things Nice and Simple
Your audience shouldn't jump through hoops just to follow your story. Interactivity is important, nobody will deny you that, but clicking all over the website just to reach the storified microstore is a bit of an overkill, right? You'll lose so many potential customers if you intentionally tell your story in a convoluted way that's not streamlined and pleasing to the eye.
Delivering your stories clearly in these information-overloaded times gives you a chance to utilize interactivity with purpose, to get the attention you want, but even more importantly - to keep it!
Don't Repeat Yourself
Repetition is the mother of skill, but it's the death of effective visual storytelling. Meaning: if you know that you've shown something, don't bother with telling the same. The visual and textual aspects of your message should complement each other, that's a given. What they shouldn't do is re-iterate the same, already presented thing.
Don't get us wrong, they should make sense if separated, but also be able to stand their own ground if left to their own devices. Keep this in mind when creating visual web stories for various platforms you use to establish your online presence.
Each social platform has a unique, intricate way of functioning, so as a smart storyteller you are, you ought to bring something special with every post. No matter which or how many platforms you use to spread your message, make sure that what you're putting out is fresh and shareable. So, do your homework about all social platforms and remember that "copy-paste" is never good enough.
Multimedia Planning Front and Center
Visual storytelling can make your brand stand out and come alive. It has the power to make you desirable, to explain the services you offer, and to inform people of the activities your company has ahead, but you have to have the end goal in mind. So, create a strategy before you start posting away and create content with a particular social platform in mind.
This mustn't be an afterthought. Have all the departments meet at the start of the project to set up ground rules. There are going to be some unforeseen circumstances and problems when you put your plan to action, naturally, but it'll be all easier to handle if you're all on the same page. Improvisation of visual storytelling is really hard to pull off, so do cover your ground before you dive in, just to be on the safe side.
Data and Experimentation
Pay close attention to all the reactions, stats, and data you're getting. Actively listen and observe your mentions all over interwebs, then use the info you gathered to adjust your plan accordingly. Engagement is alpha and omega, basically the most important thing when it comes to marketing nowadays, don't you ever forget that. Your end goal is, of course, to lead your customers to your storified landing page and close the deal.
Don't get discouraged if your first try doesn't work! Try to pinpoint what when wrong, and adjust your strategy then. Shake things up, play, experiment, crop, change, and see what will and what won't work. In the worst-case scenario, you'll learn something new about your audience.
The Importance of Authenticity
Oh, yeah, did you really think that any storified guide can go without mentioning the most valuable thing in the online world - authenticity? We all want something real, so do your best to create an approach that's personal and relatable. That's the best (if not only) way to create a connection and establish long-lasting bonds with your audience.
At the beginning stages of your "visual attack", you have to figure out about what authentic means for your brand specifically. Think about your purpose, mission, and all the little details in between. Your unique, authentic style and voice will emerge from those conclusions.
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE STORY
Visual storytelling isn't something that the digital age brought along, but it certainly is a form that adapted extremely well.
All five ways of enhancing your visual storytelling mentioned above do apply but keep in mind that if you don't have a good story to speak of, no matter how much you edit or tinker with it - it'll be all in vain. Visuals will make your story stronger and impactful, only when and if the core of your tale is something worth telling. You have to turn your focus on the quality of your story first.
Our tastes and preferences may constantly be changing, but our appreciation of thought-provoking and thoughtful visual content probably never will. Whether you pick pictures, videos, infographics, or anything else to tell your brand story, it all has to have a solid, unwavering purpose behind it. In the sea of bland content be the game-changer!