Content creators and digital marketers of all kinds should add more visuals to their storytelling. Some images can stand alone, while others enhance text and better clarify the message it’s trying to convey. According to eLearning Industry, visuals:
Help people store information longer
Make communication quicker and simpler
Aid in comprehension
Years ago, LearningSolutions found that people tend to forget about 50% of the information you’ve presented to them within an hour. Within a day, they might have forgotten 70% and perhaps even 90% after a week.
Content creators should be trying to stand out then and make as much of an impact as they can. They should experiment with different types of content and different mediums.
They should also attempt to present their messaging in as clear, effective, and simple terms as they can. Visuals can help tremendously in this by quickly catching your audience’s eye and holding their attention. They can also make a strong impression and convey a message that resonates with your audience.
Visuals digital marketers can use include photos, memes, illustrations, GIFs, cartoons, comic strips, graphs, charts, infographics, graphics, and more. They can help break up blocks of text and make content more relatable and enjoyable to read. They can even serve to reinforce salient points.
Follow those four tips for visual storytelling to up your content creation skills:
All digital marketing is storytelling. It’s telling the story of your brand. Emotion and empathy will act as your main storytelling tools to connect with your audience. While you can use both words and images to tell a story, one image by itself can tell a powerful tale. Depending on what type of content you’re creating, you might find that the space you have to work with is limited. You can only fit so many words (if any at all) and only so many images, and they have to be a certain size. Take into account and make good use of whatever space you have.
Whether writing, painting, drawing, or engaging in some other art, this adage always holds up. The best stories show and don’t tell. If your character is angry, let them be angry. Show their emotions. It’s what engages an audience and draws them into the story, whether it’s a novel, TV show, play, movie, or content marketing. So, if you’re crafting an email to show how a dissatisfied customer was appeased, use images and words to show them upset at first and the process by which their concerns were resolved. If you’re using an analogy for your campaign, like white-water rafting or climbing a mountain, show that in action to make the analogy really sink in. Give the reader enough from your images and words to allow the story to play out before their eyes. If you use illustrations, a comic strip, or maybe one image, you might not even need that much text or any at all to make your point.
Let simplicity be your guide. Even if you have a complex message to convey, think of the simplest way to express it. This is important for all content, whether it’s written, visual, or some other form. Your content should strive for simplicity and make its point effectively.
Visual marketing gives you the chance to have some fun. You can try different colors and lighting. Mix numbers, text, and imagery. Could a blog post use some animated graphics? Maybe a holiday email can an image of a Christmas card? This is your chance to get creative and create imagery that entices an audience and gets them interested in your brand.
Almost every form of content will use visuals in some way, even if it’s only the design of an email or web page. Content creators decide whether one image will work alone or if it needs text or another image. The type of content they are producing will inform the creative decisions they make on it. However, the right visuals can do much to help your content stand out more and entice more people to keep reading, download more of your content, and clicking through on your links.
Michael McNichols is a Senior Content Manager for Oracle Digital Marketing. He has over ten years of experience in professional writing and has been widely published.