Visual Storytelling Rules
I had the pleasure of talking with author, CMO and co-founder of Branderati, Ekaterina Walter, on the podcast today. We had a blast talking about why visual storytelling matters (Ekaterina is the co-author of The Power of Visual Storytelling) and what you need to know to better connect with your human audience! Yep – research shows that 92.3% of audiences are in fact human! Can’t speak for the rest.
We’re in the age of ‘Infobesity’ as Ekaterina calls it. She’s right. According to IBM, 90% of all content out there has been created in the last two years alone and the pace of content creation has not slowed down. We have created more content in the last 10 years, than in all of human history through 2003. There is too much coming at us everyday and human beings filter for survival. The average attention span is about 7-10 seconds. So how you stop the deluge and better connect in meaningful ways with your audience? One great way, of course, is with visual storytelling that resonates.
Tips for Visual Storytelling
Ekaterina and I chatted about a number of ways to humanize and visualize your storytelling. While you will have to listen to the podcast to get all the juicy stuff, here are a few tips:
1. Look for story ideas right next to you. How do people work at your company? At Intel, for example, a messy desk was symbolic of Geekdom – the culture at Intel and the audience it serves. Celebrate that and share it! Great ideas for visuals, video and social media are ‘human’ interest stories – when you are human, you connect! Amazing how that works, right?
2. Take some risks. Amen to this one. Sometimes you will get it right; other times, you will crash and burn. It’s OK – you will learn what works.
3. Let your customers be the storytellers. Invite your audience to share their content through pics, vids, etc. Sephora, for instance, celebrates and honors a ‘Fan of the week’ and invites its audience to create their own content and share their stories. That’s key. Like Intel, inviting your audience to share their human stories is about celebrating your customer. Your company doesn’t own the brand; your audience does. Let them express it in their creative ways.
4. Let your employees get in on the fun. I know from experience the best storytellers are often not in marketing – they are on the front lines talking to customers. Let them share their pics, ideas and fun because culture is what defines a company, not your products. Your visuals should go beyond products – think people, culture, fun personal stories. That’s what connects with audiences. And great stories can and do come from anywhere across your organization. Enable your best external and internal advocates. You will have much better content and get better results.
5. Have fun. I will say this every chance I get. People connecting with other people is what works. Show a lighter side as Intel has in the last several years.
Enough talk…Let’s get to the podcast!
What do you think? Let me know how you use visuals and video with your social media…leave a comment below.