A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words
In this fast-moving world, people hardly have time to sit down and read anything lengthy anymore when you have a message to convey. However, if you can capture the essence of what you want to say with an image or photograph, you have a much better chance of connecting with your audience. Even in newspapers and magazines, people look to photos and illustrations to tell the story. Sometimes, pictures can give us more flavor and context than any words ever could.
Your Customers Are Visual Learners
Visuals are always more effective than just the written word. People tend to stop and look at compelling visuals. Our attention is more readily attracted to a picture than simply a group of words because they inject color and character into a body of text. In an instant, if curated well, an image can convey an idea or an emotion that will stick with you much longer than words on a page.
Bring Digital Storytelling Into Your Brand Strategy
What Is Digital Storytelling?
At the most basic level, digital storytelling is using digital tools to tell stories. Computers have given storytellers a treasure-trove of creative mediums for their stories, including interactive web design, music, video, and imagery in many different formats. We can optimize stories for social media, mobile phones, or your television screen. Some of the greatest authors in history were confined to writing their stories on paper or using their voices to tell their stories to others. Nowadays, the possibilities for storytelling are endless.
We’re truly in the golden age of storytelling. As society continues to go digital, the desire for interpersonal connection is skyrocketing. We believe that the demand for captivating stories has never been higher. It provides marketers with a perfect opportunity to capture their audience’s attention.
Stories Build Trust and Captivate Your Audience
We are empathetic and connect the most with stories we can relate to. Stories give context to customer pain points and give us the capability to address those pain points without giving off a cold-call salesman vibe. We are exposed to a lot of clutter and noise, especially when it comes to brands. A story that’s told well will grab your audience’s attention and keep it much better than any traditional sales pitch could ever do.
How to Tell Your Brand Story Through Imagery
Build a Brand Mood Board
Mood boards act as a visual roadmap for your brand style and ensure that your digital storytelling voice is consistent and on-brand. Mood boards help you hone in on and pinpoint your brand’s ideal aesthetic or vision.
Pinterest isn’t just for saving recipes. It’s our favorite tool for building mood boards and crafting our storytelling voice. We use Pinterest not only to get inspiration but to help us develop our voice from images. Pictures speak louder than words, after all.
After collecting images for your mood board, it’s time to refine it. Try narrowing your mood board to around fifty images so that you’re left with a cohesive theme.
Capture Your Team’s Story With a Photoshoot
If you’ve ever wondered whether or not you should add your team’s photos to your website, the answer is YES. Photos allow people to associate a face with a name. Why is that important? Because most people are visual learners! At the same time, you want to connect with your audience, and adding an extra human dimension to your website can be a difference-maker. Ultimately, it will increase engagement.
There are several ways to tell a story through your team photos. First, be sure to shoot them as a cohesive set. Try to get everyone at the same shoot with consistent lighting and backgrounds. Then determine wardrobe. Will it be formal or casual? Will you wear brand colors or unique to everyone’s personality? Sometimes companies take a two-photo approach. The first image is shot straight in more professional attire, while a second shot incorporates their individual personality and may include hand gestures or a signature prop. This allows some flair, particularly when you make your team page interactive. For example, users can mouse over the image and see your team members’ branded and silly photos.
Interested in how to prep for a photoshoot? This YouTube video is an in-depth tutorial on how to prepare for a professional shoot.
Don’t Neglect Your Copy
Most often, though, it is not just the pictures alone that make a point. When combined with creative copy, visuals help push home the message in a most powerful way and thus play more than just a supporting role. When the power of two is packed into one, the punch is that much stronger.
If Pictures Are Worth a Thousand Words, What Are Videos Worth?
Are they worth a thousand pictures?
Statista states that in 2021, 83.8% of internet users in the U.S. consume digital content. 62% access Youtube daily. Simply put, video is the preferred method for consuming content, so if you aren’t incorporating it into your marketing mix you’re missing out. Where can it be most beneficial? It can showcase your brand’s personality, position you as a thought leader in your space, and separate you from the masses.
Transform Your Brand With the
Art of Visual Storytelling.
Resources for Finding or Creating Storytelling Images
You can purchase high-resolution stock images online, but be sure to choose your images carefully and try to only select those that align in style with one another.
When sourcing imagery, you need to look for a variety of things. Color, lighting, background, and the image itself should each play a huge part in the picking. Be sure images are easy on the eye and easy on the brain when choosing. Pictures facilitate the learning process and are easier to remember and associate with facts, which is why people prefer them to plain old words.
Creative Design Tools
Canva is a great resource for formatting and stylizing images and is a very versatile tool for building creative assets for any purpose. You can choose one of their pre-sized social media posts, documents, marketing materials, or ads. It’s a very intuitive program and user-friendly. The free version can do everything you would need to craft simple creative elements, but you can also upgrade, which would allow you additional features such as a layout creator, an automatic resize feature, and the ability to organize your designs and photos in a folder.
The Adobe Creative Cloud is an industry-leading platform with some of today’s most popular creative tools. Apps like Photoshop, Illustrator, Indesign, and more can elevate your website and brand if used correctly and you can afford them.
Paid Stock Image Libraries
Although there are many options, Shutterstock is our favorite stock image library. They have a fantastic selection of high-quality images that don’t have the “stock image feel” like some other libraries. Although Shutterstock can be pricey, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more complete and quality library anywhere else.
iStock has stock images and royalty-free pictures much like Shutterstock and is a good alternative. iStock is generally cheaper than Shutterstock but also has a smaller library of images. If free stock image libraries feel lacking but you can’t justify Shutterstock’s price points, iStock might be worth checking out.
If you frequently use apps found in the Adobe Creative Cloud, Adobe Stock has a high-quality library of creative assets that integrate flawlessly with tools such as Illustrator, Photoshop, Premiere, and InDesign.
Free Stock Image Libraries
If you’re looking for stock photos but are working on a tight budget, there are plenty of alternatives that have a great free selection of images. Although the libraries are smaller and the images aren’t as captivating as their paid counterparts, these options are free, and you can’t beat free.
Pixabay is owned by Canva and has a wide selection of free images, videos, and music. They also have a respectable collection of vector art images and illustrations if you want to tell your story with a different flair.
Pexels is a unique community-centric stock library that has photography challenges with cash prizes for the best submissions. You can also find a photographer leaderboard with the most popular images in the last 30 days.
Unsplash is another free image library that has a similar look and feel to Pexels, but has different image offerings. If you can’t find an image that resonates with you on one, try the other. Much like Pexels, Unsplash also has open photography awards.
Shape Your Brand’s Story in a Visually Compelling Way
So you’ve heard about the power of storytelling through imagery and how the right image can speak a thousand words. You’ve learned that the process isn’t as daunting as you possibly once thought and you’ve been enlightened to the wide, wide world of video consumption. Consider putting some of these tactics into play to help shape your brand’s story in a visually compelling way.
If you get stuck, Re-Tool Marketing conducts very affordable brand audits that assess all 16 parts of your brand and how they translate through your virtual storefront – especially your imagery! For more information, connect with us or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’d like to learn more about how to tell a story online or see it in action, StoryCenter is a pioneer in digital storytelling and is a great resource to explore.