The Power Of Visual Storytelling - PCC - ebook

Attention is the new commodity. Visual Storytelling is the new currency. Human brain processes visuals 60,000x faster than text. Web posts with visuals drive up to 180% more engagement than those without. Viewers spend 100% more time on web pages with videos. Filled with full-color images and thought-provoking examples from leading companies, The Power Of Visual Storytelling explains how to grow your business and strengthen your brand by leveraging photos, videos, infographics, presentations, and other rich media. The book delivers a powerful road map for getting started, while inspiring new levels of creativity within organizations of all types and sizes.

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Part 1

The rise of visual storytelling

The old adage has always been “a picture is worth a thousand words.” That’s no longer true. Today, it’s more like appealing images and graphics will attract millions of viewers thanks to the rise of visual social media platforms. Visual storytelling is rapidly becoming the best way to market anything and everything.

Kids get it right away. At school, they have “show- and-tell” sessions – where they bring along an object and then talk about it. The funny thing is we never really outgrow that preference. If you want your presentations to really zing, have interesting visuals which you then wrap around an engaging story. Make your visuals great and you’ll be remembered.

All of the most popular social media platforms – like Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram – are geared up so it’s easy to post images, videos, infographics and other visuals. For all of that, just dumping loads of images on them won’t achieve much. To engage people, you’ve also got to create snack-sized stories which link those images together in an engaging story.

When Facebook launched in 2004, it was predominantly a text based directory of user names, interests and contact information. In 2006, Facebook launched News Feed which offered users the opportunity to share a personalized collection of information with their friends. Facebook users particularly liked the inclusion of photos and that motivated Facebook to further evolve the user experience to incorporate more visuals. Today, Facebook users (including companies and brands) can use a variety of tools to tell stories using images, videos and interactive content. Facebook now states that posts with images far outperform posts with text alone and that the majority of all interactions happen in Facebook’s News Feed which is primarily based around visual content.

All of the social media platforms which have come to prominence since the launch of Facebook – Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, SlideShare and Vine – offer great tools and resources for blending great visuals into engaging stories. This is the logical result of the face many of these platforms are accessed by mobile devices, the vast majority of which have cameras built-in. It’s easier than ever for users to generate an image while on-the-go and to add that to their social media posts.

So why exactly are images so sticky? Research has indicated:

■ People believe what they see far more easily than what they are told.

■ It’s faster and easier for humans to process an image than it is for them to read and think about text material. (Perhaps that’s why drawings have been around for more than 30,000 years whereas written languages have only been available in the last 7,000 years. )

■ Images can communicate some things better than words – including emotions, feelings, moods, etc.

■ Humans are programmed to react to visuals more intensely than to words. (It is estimated around 93% of communication is nonverbal. )

■ Advertisers have found images carry more weight than information to 67% of consumers worldwide.

■ Images – like logos, for example – can become a symbol of something far bigger and more complex than words can describe.

■ Creating images that make consumers feel a certain way is big business. Pepsi spent more than $1 billion in 2001 alone on its image. Coca-Cola spent $1.4 billion on its image that same year.

■ Symbols and images can draw on a shared cultural identity – they are a concise way to link in to an extensive historical meaning.

■ Studies have shown 40% of the general population respond better to visual information than to plain text.

■ People remember images far more readily than they do facts and details.

Key Thoughts