Storytelling has been a part of human’s lives since the beginning of time. It’s how we communicate, how we relate to one another, how we express feelings and emotion. Now, in the age of digital news, visual storytelling promotes engagement through immediate, impactful stimulation. We tend to gravitate towards those posts with pictures and videos, rather than a large bulk of text. Don’t tell me you’ve skimmed over a video of a dog eating peanut butter just so you could read that long-winded article about a dog eating peanut butter. You aren’t fooling anyone.
Individuals and companies have both turned to visual storytelling to promote their brands in a way that’s eye-catching and emotion-evoking. And there’s a million and one ways to do this. The Social Media Examiner listed a few different ways you can use visuals to strengthen your social media marketing. Post personal or customer stories, create a series, or take viewers behind the scenes. There’s going to a visual way to tell your story that will fit your brand, you just need to find out how to do it.
Instagram: An App Dedicated to the Eye
Instagram is a social media platform dedicated to visual storytelling. In Kyle Pearce’s “15 Brilliant Examples of Visual Storytelling on Instagram,” he highlights a number of ways people/brands use the app to tell a short, meaningful story that will interest its followers. On Instagram, both still photo and video are available and can be used to accomplish different goals.
Are you a makeup artist? Post fast-motion videos of your work on someone.
Are you a civil rights activists? Post documentary-style videos of interviewees fighting for a cause.
Are you a nature photographer? Post a series of photo collages demonstrating your skill.
Are you hardware brand? Post “how-to” videos for simple outdoor/indoor housing projects.
Are you a personal care brand? Post a video highlighting natural beauty… Like Dove.
Using Visuals to Tug at Those Heart Strings
Dove has been groundbreaking in its advertising work, specifically with its “Real Beauty” campaign and its dedication to change the conversation about the female body and the unrealistic beauty expectations of modern society. In this particular video, Dove Real Beauty Sketches, an FBI forensic-artist draws people the way they describe themselves, and then how someone else describes them. Not surprisingly, the results are vastly different. We tend to view ourselves more negatively than others do, perceiving ourselves with a list of flaws those around us would never even consider. This campaign struck a cord with millions of people.
Like me. I’m not saying I cried, but I’m also not saying I didn’t go through an entire box of tissues after re-watching the video 10+ times. Below… me, watching at 3 o’clock am, alone, in my bedroom, eating a bag of chips, feeling like a strong, independent, beautiful woman.
Dove’s campaign was a brilliant way to promote their brand and their mission through visual storytelling. Not only was the platform of the campaign through video, but within it, women were able to physically see – through visuals – how they perceive themselves compared to how others do. The results were quite beautiful, in my humble opinion. You see? This video evoked emotion and now I’m mentioning it here in this blog. FREE PROMO.
Snapchat: From Goofy Videos to Real Time News
Another way the Internet world is trying out visual storytelling is through Snapchat, an app designed for 10-second long videos, either in story form or through direct message. In Snapchat for Journalists: A Great Big Guide, the article explains ways in which journalists can use this new, millennial-based platform to tell real stories. Use the text captions, take clear, steady photos and videos, and create a “human connection” between the presenter and the viewer.
Check out this unique way CNN used its YouTube and Snapchat presence to create a coherent, interactive storytelling experience.
Moral of the story?
Visual storytelling is pretty cool, try it sometime. No seriously, otherwise you can’t sit with us.