Stories are at the center of any human experience and, as such, businesses need to master the art of storytelling to connect with their audience properly. Visual content, in particular, is what makes a brand memorable and can help them reach a much wider audience by evoking a particular set of emotions. Let’s see how you can incorporate visual storytelling into your digital marketing strategy.
1. Know Your Audience
There are many kinds of personalities that animate your audience, but usually, you can notice common patterns that unite them into a community. These patterns could be related to demographics, age, gender, hobbies, professional careers, or personal preferences for music, art, movies and other topics.
However, it’s almost impossible to identify them with just a simple glance. You need to collect as many data as you can about your existing customers. Start with the details your website registers every day. Your analytics software should be able to tell you where your clients are coming from, what keywords they use on your site, and for how long they stay. Based on this information, you can understand what is the key element that urges people to find your product or service.
Furthermore, you can collect more of it from social platforms. You can visit the profiles of your customers and collect their demographics, job positions, and personal interests. Once acquiring all the details you can about your audience, organize them in a spreadsheet.
At this point, you will be able to notice the common patterns more easily. Use them to create a character description with specific boxes to fill in, such as age, gender, salary, location, education, family, life goals, and values. The result will become your marketing persona.
Eventually, this fictional person will represent your entire audience. It’s an important discovery for your brand. Afterward, you will be able to create digital marketing strategies that address the exact needs and expectations of your target public. The advertising team will design each campaign with the audience as a whole in mind. There will be no more room left for guesses and assumptions. The visual storytelling will aim directly at the sensitive topics for your audience.
2. Keep Track of Cultural Relevancy
However, the marketing persona relies only on data, whereas the global population pulsates with cultural identities, values, and traditions. These core attributes are different from community to community, and they have personal beliefs which cannot be registered as data.
Each generation has its own battles to fight, and the Millennial age is no difference. Today’s social interactions are mostly happening around gender equality, environmental protection, and the other main topics. But other cultures and communities might define your audience. It is an important first step to understanding what kind of values your audience adopted. Afterward, let these values guide you through the process of visual storytelling creation.
This is why some of the most powerful international brands thrive in certain countries and fail in others. Despite their efforts to bridge linguistic gaps and adapt the marketing strategy to a new culture, companies like eBay, Google or Groupon have yet a long way to go to obtain market monopoly outside U.S. and Europe.
An excellent example of incorporating quality visual storytelling into a digital marketing strategy while keeping it culturally relevant is the new Barbie collection. The beloved dolls took a stand for modern values, as the new models promote happy, successful women of all shapes and cultures.
3. Maintain a Visual Theme
A powerful campaign should have the support of many visual elements. The key to success, though, is to empower all the images and videos to send a universal message. By the end of the campaign, the target audience should correlate the message with your brand very easily. Each piece of content should add its own valuable contribution to the creation of the story that your marketing campaigns support.
Even though a disruptive experience can be very attractive because it can force the viewers out of their comfort zone and propel them into an unforgettable moment, its impact may damage the quality of your marketing efforts. In time, clients might get confused about the message you want to sell and the authority of your brand might be put in danger.
So, it is best to stick with the same theme across all visual content. Keep the same color palette and characters for the entire digital marketing campaign, and the consumers will get more familiar with your brand.
4. Explore a Unique Angle
This is the part when the marketing team works its magic. There are many techniques out there based on real-time research, and their creators brought undeniable proof that they work. However, visual storytelling should enjoy the element of surprise when facing the public’s expectations.
It is time to think outside the box and explore a new angle for your next digital marketing strategy. This original approach might be related to an inside experience employees are familiar with, whereas the clients are not. Or your upcoming visual storytelling might deliver a new image of your product seen by the wondrous eyes of a child. There are numerous opportunities to create something that stands our and is outside of the norm.
5. Think Viral
When preparing your next visual project, don’t settle with regular targets in mind and think big. The viral nature is yet unknown for the experts, but we know one thing for certain. People are willing to share a piece of content if it creates an enormous emotional impact.
However, even though people react better to dramatic visuals, negative feelings don’t create the viral effect. The reason for this is that people want to share moments of happiness and hope with their friends.
Viral content also means small bits of information. The fewer elements you use to build your story, the more receptive the public will be. That’s because your story shouldn’t overwhelm the viewer with information. Instead, it should send one awakening bullet in their heart or mind.
All in all, visual storytelling is there to say 1,000 words per second about your brand. Now you can use your next digital marketing strategy to build an impactful case that speaks volumes about your product without saying a word.
This article is written by Cristopher Tuckerman. He is a digital marketing strategist, with a deep interest in everything related to visual innovations. He is also a proud collaborator at Video Caddy, a full-service firm, offering a wide range of audio-video editing, animation and illustration services.