Sep 20, 2021

What is Visual Storytelling?

What is Visual Storytelling?

Contents

Doesn’t visual storytelling sound like a fancy concept? If you think about it, visual storytelling is actually something that mankind knows from centuries ago.

It provides some of the most ancient insights into human culture - insights far older than written communication.

Visual storytelling in 1878 - The Horse in Motion
Visual storytelling in 1878 - The Horse in Motion

The term “visual storytelling” is very new, but the concept is pretty old.

So, what really is visual storytelling?

Wikipedia says,

A visual narrative (also visual storytelling) 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.

Today, we see visual storytelling almost everywhere. Photography, picture books, comics, video games, Instagram, Snapchat, Hollywood 3D movies, and Virtual Reality.

In the marketing industry, visual storytelling holds a special place. 

With decreasing attention spans and overload of content, a visual story can say a lot more than words. Hence the cliché, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

Visual storytelling marketing by Lifebuoy
Visual storytelling marketing by Lifebuoy

So, what does visual storytelling really mean in the marketing world?

“Visual Storytelling is a marketing strategy that leverages compelling narratives, placing your customer at the heart of the story, staged with an emotional visual media experience and effectively distributed across your buyer’s journey – in order to empower customers’ lives and drive business results.”

– Shlomi Ron

CEO, Visual Storytelling Institute

Now that we have a fair bit of idea about visual storytelling, let’s dig deeper into the types and examples of visual storytelling. 

Types of Visual Storytelling 

Broadly, there are 6 types of visual storytelling in the marketing world. Let’s look at them with an example each -

Photos and typography

Kay Beauty uses simple yet powerful imagery as a visual storytelling tool.

Photos and typography

Memes

Zomato does an amazing job at meme marketing.

Zomato memes

Illustrations

Slack uses illustrations as a visual narrative tool on their web pages.

Illustrations

Videos - short form, long form, GIFs

The story of Lego in a long-form video.

Infographics

Infographic as a visual story tool used by Content Crossroads.

Infographics

Charts & Graphs

A chart by Step Change that shows some trends in B2B marketing.

Charts & Graphs

Each of these types of visual storytelling tools are used together to convey different kinds of messages. Thus, visual storytelling is a big part of content marketing.

Why is Visual Storytelling so effective?

Now that we see the ubiquity of visual storytelling, do you get an idea of what makes it so effective? 

Visuals are “sticky”. Studies show that people remember:
10% of what they hear - 20% of what they read - 80% of what they see.
And this is because the human brain processes visual cues better rather than the written language.

Why is Visual Storytelling so effective?

It’s intuitive, isn’t it? Most often, we remember what color the billboard was, rather than what was written on it.

Since we’re talking about visual storytelling, here’s an infographic by Agency EA that explains why visual storytelling works like magic.

benefits of visual storytelling

Takeaway

Visual storytelling marketing is super effective at making an impression for your brand.

If you don’t do it already, it’s time you start using visual stories to speak to your audience.

As we saw, there is a wide range of visual storytelling tools you can use. Picking the right one depends on your audience, your message, and the platform.

In the end, each tool will find its place in your overall content marketing strategy. 

At Scalenut, you can find professional creators for an infographic as well as an animated video. Try it today. Your first Design is on Us

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