Storifyme Presents: Visual Storytelling and How to Do It Right

Jana
Jana @ StorifyMe March 31, 2020
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Storifyme Presents: Visual Storytelling and How to Do It Right

In case our company's name got you confused for a second, here's the clearest explanation of all - here at "Storifyme", we're all about the stories! Our main goal as a team is to storify you to the best of our collective ability, and honestly - these days, that's best done visually. 

Is that really such a surprise? After all, interwebs are flooded with news and articles about the fact we no longer read, then that people are watching videos extensively, and the general downfall of the human ability to steadily concentrate on one thing for a more extended period of time. Does the internet have a point? Sadly, it may just.

Since 2015 (in modern history also known as the pinnacle of evolution), the great homo sapiens will search for new sources of entertainment after 8 seconds if you don't do something exciting and/or drastic to keep them focused and entertained. Some publications even claim that we're worse than goldfish, which has a 9-second attention span. How on Earth did we come to this! 

The Tales Told, the Tales Shown

First and foremost, "a picture is worth a thousand words" isn't some new-age myth. Humans have always been visual creatures that like to absorb information through colorful, nicely framed means. The new era of computers, cellphones, "just swipe right" and "choose your own entertainment adventure" just brought that trait to the forefront. 

In 2020 your chance of grabbing anybody's attention is more complicated than ever. Once upon a time (and we're talking dial-up and pre dial-up times) if you found some kind of content boring, getting an alternative was a hassle. Nowadays, we all know the situation has changed. Why would you suffer through something boring if something cool is a click away? Exactly! 

Even if it's something you're interested in, you'll probably rather see a cute infographic about the subject than read a text. And if a video is an option, even the cutest and most informative infographic in the world is going to lose to the "moving pictures" nine times out of ten.

What Should the Storytellers of the 21st Century Do Then?

The answer is obvious - utilize visuals! Pics catch our eyes, there's no use in fighting it. Visuals help us retain information more effectively than "text-only" resources do. If you want people to remember around 10% of what you've shared - go ahead, use the words alone, it's your funeral. However…

If you want to grab that ever-shrinking- attention span of your users, and use it to your benefit - combine words and images! The best of both worlds, with an impressive amount of retained information (65%!) will surely get you far. Yes, our brains love pictures, but they love stories too (we wouldn't be here if that weren't the case). What human brains can't resist is the magnetism of these two forces combined: 

STORY + VISUALS= JACKPOT! 

Even when it comes to search engine optimization, words alone are not enough. Why? Because search engines don't give you rankings based just on the technicalities like the number of keywords, speed, and quality of your website and its content. They take into account how long people are sticking around, and one massive factor in that equation is: 

Engagement: The Alpha and Omega of All Things Online

Think about Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Snapchat, Vine, Twitter, and all other social platforms that rely heavily on the pictures. Social media posts with images included are receiving 180% more engagement than their textual relatives. Why do you think that is? 

In this "tl:dr" culture, we prefer to look at rather than read long paragraphs about the stuff we like. Images inspire comments, likes, shares, and exposure and that's basically what we're all after. Why do you think that *all* content creators always motivate you to like, comment, share and subscribe? 

Sorry to burst your bubble, but - they don't do just out of the pure desire to know you and your opinion better. Sure, brands do appreciate your feedback but, in the case of like/comment/subscribe situations, audience interactions and feedback count big time and contribute to a company's ROI, long-term. 

What Does This All Mean? 

Pics get you reactions you need/want quicker and easier than even the most interesting of texts can, and that is a good thing! Visuals can be an easy way of improving the engagement and increasing time spent on your site on the way to your storified landing page if you go about it correctly: 

Bite-Sized Treats Instead of All-Inclusive Meals

Keep it sweet, short and simple. Resist the temptation to "tell it all" in one post; better yet, try to find a way to divide it into cute little web stories you can stretch out over time, then find cool and relevant hashtags and keywords to go along. Don't forget to link it up, too! 

Make 'em Talk! 

By now, we are painfully aware of the fact that reading is not a favorite pastime activity, but, do you know what people tend to like more than pictures? Talk about themselves! So try to use those few words necessary in such a way to start a conversation and inspire your audience to take part in it. Show people how much your service is going to make their life better. Once you have them going, motivate them to share pictures of your product/service in action. 

You Won't Make It If You Fake It 

Give people a little sneak peek into your "behind the scenes" process. We all love to feel included! Sugarcoating and sweet-talking about your brand without actual things to back it up will only get you so far. People detect fabricated honesty, and you know what they do next? That's right - they roll their eyes and unfollow!

Get Everybody (And Everything) on Board and Organized 

If you find a way to present whatever you're offering like a superpower and make the audience feel like a bunch of superheroes, you're golden. Brainstorm with your co-workers, consult professional photographers, graphic designers, marketers, SEO specialists (if you can), and then: 

  • Make a plan, your very own "visual content strategy"
  • Systemize the storage system of all potential content from the get-go 
  • Stick to that system (it's much harder than it sounds)
  • Streamline the process and communication "behind the scenes"
  • Monitor your engagement metrics 
  • Master one social media platform at a time 
  • Include web stories in your visual storytelling (we can help!)

Whether you decide to go with memes, vines, stories, infographics, videos, images, slideshows, photos from your audience, or any combination of the above-mentioned eye & attention-catching means mentioned, remember… Give your unique visual fairytale the head start it deserves!

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