Have you heard the buzz about storytelling in marketing circles? No longer should your posts be independent pieces of marketing fluff – it’s all about the bigger picture these days. And visual stimulation is one of the most important aspects of a successful marketing approach. Indeed, according to a report by Adobe (albeit back in 2013), posts with visual images get 650 times more interest than those with pure text. And those number shave only been going one way since, with attentions sands getting shorter and shorter.
What’s it all about then? What is visual storytelling? Well, it’s pretty much as it sounds: the ability to tell a narrative through images, be them still, or through video form. And when it comes to what visual images we can use for marketing purposes, the options seem to be growing all the time, from the classic still photo images to the aforementioned videos, to gifs, to infographics, to memes and more. The point is that these methods, when used well, can really increase engagement with your brand or product.
“Ensuring you tell a story along the way (i.e. what is it that’s good about your brand or product) will really cement the worth of a visual approach as opposed to using text only,” says Bobby Reinhold, a content marketer at Writinity and LastMinuteWriting.
And of course, a varied approach is always recommended when it comes to marketing (using a balanced – and planned -blend of various styles of content), but there are a number of great tools that you can use to create your visual content. Here are just a few examples:
Canva is a tool which helps you create still images for documents and Facebook pasts, among other options (including Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter, so it’s got all the major players covered). Helping relative beginners to create images from a library of icons, logos, photos and more, which can be personalized, this is a highly effective tool for adding color and personality to posts, and starting to take on a visual storytelling approach to your marketing. There is a free version, but please note that the vast majority of ‘elements’ (the images you want to select from) actually incur a cost. You can upgrade and optimize for a fee, of course, which works out at around $10 per month if you get the annual subscription.
If you want to go down the road of creating videos (a really good idea) then you can do a lot worse than WeVideo. This cloud-based tool is essentially a video editor, and the footage you take can be optimized with features such as transitions and green screens, as well as slo-mo options, to really make impactful, visually compelling content. There’s a whole host of stock to access, although the more you want the more you have to pay, obviously, and the free version will leave your videos watermarked, which won’t be an option for most.
If you want to start taking advantage of the craze for infographics, then this is a great place to start. You can visualize compelling stats which is really impactful and compelling for your target audience with this easy-to-se too which allows you to make use of the product themes in order to create the charts, maps and more of your choice. This is a great option for posting data on social media channels.
As you can perhaps ascertain from the name, Prezi helps you put together visually engaging presentations which will not fail to engage your audience. The key to Prezi is that it is delightfully simple to use (something which not all tools share in common) and perhaps the best options is to browse through the impressive array of templates which allow you to then build upon them effectively.
“With Prezi, it’s possible to add images and audio to your presentation too, and makes this established format of the presentation way more interactive than it is known for, which is a really good thing,” enthuses Cassie Youngblood, a project manager at DraftBeyond and ResearchPapersUK.
This one does exactly what is says on the box, with the ability to make artistic designs out of the words that you use. This is a simple tool which gives a new slant to text which is impactful, but slightly dull in its delivery. It’s a bridge between visual stimulation and the effective power of words, and is therefore a really nice option for visual storytelling purposes.