They say, “a picture speaks a thousand words”. Yes, visuals can sometimes convey meaning more efficiently than words. That’s why visual storytelling is a particularly important tool for time-poor small business owners – if there’s a way to convey your message quickly and powerfully, you need to adopt it.

There are tonnes of visual storytelling techniques out there, from symbolism and use of colour to Facebook Live, graphics and gifs. Each one can be used to grab your audience’s attention and take them on a journey.

In this blog post, I look at 4 powerful visual storytelling techniques to super-charge your digital content. And I’ll give you 3 tried and tested tips for using Facebook Live…


Visual storytelling: Emotion visuals, woman in light and shadow

photo credit: Mike Monaghan Rebby via photopin (license)


Capturing Moments

More or less all of us use photography to capture moments; at weddings, birthdays, on holiday, and catching up with friends. Good photographers are able to capture the essence of a moment in a picture, which can be very powerful for brand storytelling.

For example, a photo of a plane is pretty boring (unless you’re a plane spotter). It’s a huge lump of metal that has absolutely nothing to do with me or my world.

However, a photo of loved ones being reunited in the Arrivals suite at an airport, now that’s a photo I feel connected to. It’s a moment that I understand; I’ve done it, I remember the feelings associated with that moment, I recall the people involved.

If a brand can make me feel, it makes that brand more memorable. And in a highly competitive marketing space, being memorable is pretty much the holy grail.

“The greatest story commandment: Make me care. Please, emotionally, intellectually, aesthetically, just make me care.”

Andrew Stanton – Filmmaker

Visual storytelling through video

By capturing moments, brands are able to connect with our feelings. And there are few modern storytelling techniques that do this better than video.

If a picture says a thousand words, video says a million.

Video has the capacity to convey more human emotion than still photographs. Why? Because emotions aren’t static, they ebb and flow, and are therefore more difficult to capture in a single instant. Video also allows for the use of emotive music and more complete storytelling than is commonly possible in a single frame.

That’s some powerful visual storytelling right there. (It’s also clever on another level because while most other airlines are using holiday destinations as the focus of their marketing, Qantas is differentiating their brand by owning ‘coming home’.)

Meaning through emojis

From emotions to emojis. Emojis have the ability to bring visual storytelling to written content.

How many times have you complained that you don’t always understand the “tone” of someone’s text message? In fact, digital messaging is said to be a source of depression and anxiety in young people today due to the difficulty deciphering tone and meaning behind written words.

Though they’re no substitute for face-to-face human contact, emojis do bring an additional layer of meaning and personality to written content.

Let me give you an example. Here’s the text from a video post by a brand I follow on Facebook:

So many benefits in one small vegetable 

I scrolled right past. But what happens when I add one simple emoji…

So many benefits in one small vegetable ????

I’ve instantly added an extra layer of meaning to my message: This vegetable is going to make you strong.

And look, maybe that’s not enough to get your target customer to sit up and take notice. But it might be.

In fact there are stats to support the use of emojis in marketing. According to this report, email subject lines containing emojis have a higher read rate than comparable text-only subject lines.

Graphics, colours and visuals draw the eye, so it’s no surprise that emojis get attention in inboxes that are full of words, words, words.

Instant connection with Facebook Live

Hands up if you’ve used Facebook Live for your business…

If you didn’t raise your hand, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to boost your reach and engagement on Facebook. Facebook Live is favoured by the social network’s algorithm, which means live broadcasts are more likely to be seen by your audience.

Gah! But it’s LIVE!!! – I hear you cry.

Yes, I know. But you needn’t be scared if it, really. Here are a couple of tips to empower you to give it a try:

1. Tell fans when you’re broadcasting ahead of time.

Build anticipation by letting your audience know when you’ll be going live with a written post. We’ve found one day’s notice gives people the right amount of time to tune in.

Facebook offers the ability to create a scheduled Live Facebook broadcast, but we don’t recommend this for beginners. If you do want to give this a try, let us know as we’ve got some additional information that will help.

2. Take your time writing a description before going live.

A great description will capture people’s attention and help them understand what your broadcast is about. You can take your time with this, as your broadcast does not start until you hit the blue ‘Go Live’ button.

3. Pin a comment.

During a live broadcast you have the ability to ‘pin a comment’ to the top of the comments field. This is super handy if you want to include key information or links to everyone as they join the broadcast.

Currently, Facebook only allows you to pin a post once the stream is live and during the live broadcast. To pin a comment:

  1. You must be logged in as a page administrator (ideally you will have a second person to assist with this as you will be busy presenting the broadcast)
  2. Post the comment
  3. Where it usually says ‘Like’ etc it will also include the option ‘Pin comment’ – click this button to pin

NB: After the live broadcast the comment will no longer be pinned at the top.

For more Facebook Live tips, check out this page on Facebook.

So, there you have it.
4 visual storytelling techniques you can use TODAY to give your business content more power.
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