Visual storytelling is an essential part of any business wanting to reinforce its brand. But when some businesses are asked to tell their story, they have nothing to fall back on. Instead, they point the potential customer to a list of their products or services.
However, consumers want some degree of emotional connection with a brand before they decide to purchase – irrespective of how valuable the product may or may not be.
Starting with why the product or business exists then gives clues as to how the product may be sold.
Articulating the why can be difficult, but visual storytelling is a good place to start. Here are five reasons a story should be told visually.
1. Boosts brand awareness
If done correctly, telling the story of a brand or business is something that only needs to be done once. However, this does not mean that the story should be confined to the business’s about page.
Instead, it is a good idea to use visual storytelling to distribute the story across all social channels, related industry sites, and the wider internet. Businesses can use images, videos or data infographics depending on the industry and how they want to position themselves in that industry. At the very least, a visual story needs a hook to get readers interested and ultimately, talking about the brand.
2. Makes a business memorable
Once a customer is interested, it is important to maintain that interest. Visual storytelling should ideally lead a potential client through a piece of content (the story), building trust as they develop a rapport with the brand message.
Consumers tend to remember visual content over written content – but only if the story is told well. With that said, do not forget to define your target audience beforehand. This ensures your message speaks to the right people and doesn’t become very much unmemorable.
3. Creates an emotional connection
Humans are emotional creatures at heart. Humans also tell stories to strengthen families, cultures, and beliefs. Why is this? Because people connect with the emotions in storytelling. Therefore, a business must focus on building a relatable emotional connection with prospects to potentially turn them into customers.
Visual storytelling should touch on the emotions of utilising a particular product or service – at least at first. The benefits and features of the product or service can always be mentioned at a later point once the customer has made that emotional connection.
4. Influences buying decisions
Research by The Nielsen Company suggests that up to 90% of buying decisions are made subconsciously. In other words, buying decisions are mostly attributable to the emotions that consumers attach to buying products or services. Logic and rationality often disappear entirely!
But how can businesses drive purchase decisions in visual storytelling? There are a few ways.
The use of certain colours influence consumer mood and feelings and increases brand recognition. Price is another emotional driver of purchasing, but may be less important in brand storytelling initially. Messaging is also crucial. Nike’s “Just Do It” slogan says nothing about the quality of their products or indeed what they actually offer. However, it is a short and powerful message that builds confidence and enthusiasm around their brand.
5. Creates engagement that is authentic
Every business wants to create authentic engagement with their brand, but not all know how to create it.
Authenticity in visual storytelling means striking a balance between providing value and selling. Social media is a great place to start, because 75% of consumers rely on authentic word-of-mouth advertising to make a buying decision. Of course, people will only start talking if your message is authentic, not overly promotional, and speaks directly to your target audience.
One fast-track method that brands can use is to partner with a social media influencer, since they have already established trust and credibility with their audience. Because of this, sales offers are seen as recommendations, akin to advice from an old friend and not from a faceless organisation.
Visual storytelling is a powerful marketing method that every business should incorporate to build brand awareness and make emotional connections with potential clients.
If done correctly, visual storytelling identifies the emotions a particular brand elicits and then uses those emotions to drive buying decisions. It also drives authenticity through word of mouth marketing, which is a valuable asset to the long term viability of any business.
Are you ready to start your VISUAL STORYTELLING journey?