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August 13, 2019

Visual storytelling & your brand strategy: More than posting pretty pictures

Written by Lucy Hartley
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Visual storytelling is an essential component of any brand strategy, and sharing your brand narrative is a must-do. That’s one of the key lessons from the Internet Trends 2019 report from venture capitalist Mary Meeker.

But visual storytelling is more than a matter of posting great photos and visuals on social media. Being a visual storyteller affects every aspect of how you tell your brand’s story, ranging from the talent you hire to how you share content. 

What Mary Meeker Says About Visual Content

Meeker is one of the world’s most influential venture capitalists and thought leaders. Her annual internet trends reports receive coverage from media and bloggers all over the world. The latest one contains more than 300 pages of data and insight on the trends influencing how people and businesses live in the digital world.

Key trends she’s previously highlighted include the growth of mobile content and voice search. This year, one of her major themes is visual content and how it is now an everyday part of consumers’ lives. Images are a key driver of consumer usage of the internet.

3 Key Elements of a Visual Storytelling Strategy

To craft a solid visual storytelling strategy, the following three elements need to be in place:

1. The right talent

Hire and cultivate people who possess string visual storytelling skills, such as videographers. You’ll also need technology-savvy people who can use such tools as machine learning to test the effectiveness of visual content.

At Investis Digital, we’re always cultivating these skills. This interview with our Head of Film and Animation, Mark Senior, gives you a sense of how we’ve been expanding our offering to meet the needs of an ever-changing digital landscape.

2. A strong narrative

Publishing images randomly is not visual storytelling (although great images in and of themselves can capture attention). Visual storytelling requires a deep understanding of a brand’s narrative. Lay out:

  • What are the principles and personality traits that sit behind your key messages?
  • How do these then manifest visually?
  • How does this play out across different channels and for different audiences?

This deep and strategic understanding is vital for bringing your business to life through a coherent narrative shared across all your digital channels.

3. Mastery of visual storytelling platforms

Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok – the list of channels for visual storytelling grows each year. Each platform plays by its own rules, and the audience’s expectations for content on those channels are always shifting.

For example, short-form content can be ideal for Instagram, but it’s less-suited to YouTube. And with all of us increasingly accessing content from mobile devices, optimizing content for mobile viewing is critical. It’s important to optimize your content across all visual storytelling platforms, ranging from their technical requirements to best practices for engaging users.

Platforms Respond to the Visual Storytelling Trend

This shift in audience behavior is also reflected in the platforms themselves and how visual content – either a business’s own or user-generated – can be shared. For example:

  • We recently blogged about how Instagram made it possible for businesses to create ads from influencers’ user-generated content.
  • Facebook continues to refine its visual storytelling capabilities, such as its 3-D photos tool that turns images into standout pictures.
  • Google has rolled out features such as shoppable image ads that rely on the power of images to convert searchers to shoppers.

Improve Your Visual Storytelling With Investis Digital 

These are just three essential elements of a strong visual storytelling strategy. At Investis Digital, we help brands incorporate strong visuals as part of a broader approach to creating content across your digital platforms. We can help you craft a strong performance marketing strategy that gets results. Contact us today to learn more. 

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