3 Visual Storytelling

Learning Objectives

By the end of this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Define visual storytelling
  • Explain why visual storytelling is important
Visually Thinking Icon

The Importance of Visuals and Why

Now that we’ve discussed how to tell compelling stories, let’s look at visual storytelling and how it has become a critical way stories are told and shared today.

According to Wikipedia,

Visual storytelling (also visual narrative) is a story told primarily through the use of visual media. The story may be told using still photography, illustration, or video, and can be enhanced with graphics, music, voice and other audio.”

Once of the reasons visual storytelling is so powerful is because our brains are wired “visually”. Here are several mind-boggling statistics that explain why visual storytelling is so critical to the digital world we now live in:

But, what if some of the above information were presented as follows?

Our Brains and The Reasons Visuals Are Important

Do you prefer the bullets or the infographic?

In responses to a 2014 survey, 95% of B2B buyers said that they wanted shorter and highly visual content. And, organizations that feature visual content grow traffic 12 times faster than those who don’t.

Also, in comparison, we don’t have much patience for text.

Unfortunately, we are not great listeners, either. When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.

We also love to consume and share pictures, infographics, and videos:

 

What Happens in an Internet Minute - 2021

And, finally, from an organizational perspective, video drives our purchasing and/or conversion decisions:

Statistics highlighting how videos drive purchases

Visuals are an important and inherent part of how we process information. And, as marketers with global audiences, relying on universal imagery, instead of specific written languages or words, allows your messages and stories to be much more accessible to a wider audience. So, if you are looking to have the greatest impact, internally or externally, you will need to understand how to present your story and information in a visual way that grabs your audience’s attention and tells a compelling story – which brings us to our next topic: visual language and sketchnoting.

 

Key Takeaways

Visual storytelling is a compelling way to share your stories and messages. Here are a few key takeaways:

  • Our brains are naturally wired to process visual information quicker
  • Most people tend to remember visual information better than text or audio information
  • We love to consume and share pictures, infographics, and videos
  • Videos play an critical role in our purchasing decisions

Exercise

Try your hand at visual storytelling:

  • Using some of the statistics presented in this chapter, explore how you might represent them visually.

 

License

Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Foundations in Digital Marketing by Rochelle Grayson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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