visual storytelling

Visual Storytelling Trends That Will Shape The Future For Marketers

Storytelling has existed for centuries and is a great way to not only market your brand, but also connect with your audience on a deeper level. Storytelling can be done in a variety of ways, and today, visual storytelling is one of the most impactful forms of persuading and communicating your message with audiences. Thanks to technological advances, we now have the power to captivate people by immersing them in stories, while blending fiction and reality. Here are some visual storytelling trends that will shape the future for marketers and everyone alike:

Never-Ending Stories

Have you ever had an experience that you didn’t want to end? Ever wonder why movie studios continue to reboot classic TV shows and movies? Well, never-ending stories are becoming increasingly in demand as people expect content, specifically stories in real-time 24 hours a day, 7 times a week. This trend has slowly taken shape on social media platforms where characters like Homer Simpson are tweeting to their millions of followers. This also explains why live-streaming apps that allow users to interact with personalities in real time like Meerkat and Periscope, are becoming more popular.

Mini-Ads

Let’s face it—given the current digital landscape, traditional advertising does not hold the same appeal it did a decade ago. Because of this, it’s no surprise that companies have considered new, innovative ways like mini-ads to connect with customers. Facebook plans to launch six-second ads that will give businesses and brands the opportunity to show a condensed version of their story to their target audience. This interesting format is a smart way to capture the audience’s attention given our short attention spans, which will drive a higher level of engagement.

Connective Storytelling/ Immersive Experience

Even though it seems like most people would prefer technology to human interaction given the amount of time we spend on our devices, they also want to connect and interact with others online, fictitious or real. The future of storytelling will go beyond solely connecting emotionally with characters—we now can put ourselves in their shoes. Different virtual reality experiences, like “Nerve” now allow people to experience what the movie character does in a movie like climb a high-rise or ride a skateboard.

Augmented Reality

AR is present everywhere whether its Facebook or Instagram and is fairly easy to program thanks to software like AR Kit for iOS 11. Given Pokémon Go’s success, this is no longer a trend we can put aside. Since people are constantly on their phones and are interested in experiences that go beyond 2D, the implementation of AR visual storytelling will increase and go beyond gaming, entering the magazine and news space.

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What’s Trending In Marketing For August 2018

This week in inbound marketing we look at Amazon’s incredible success on Prime Day that made history in all categories. Read more on the changes and trends happening in marketing this past month.

Noteworthy Marketing News

Facebook To Begin Testing New ‘Highlights’ Feature That Lets Users Save Stories

Taking a page out of Snapchat’s playbook and making it their own, Facebook has begun testing a new “Highlights” feature that will give users the option to save Stories to their profiles. Unlike Snapchat, Facebook’s feature will allow users to save their Stories beyond the standard 24-hour period a Story exists. Your saved Stories will appear as a horizontal bar on the user’s profile and display view counts as well. Facebook believes this feature will not only give users the opportunity to hold on to their favorite content, but will also “make it easier to express who you are through memories.”

 

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Instagram Testing Open-Ended Questions In Stories To Make Content More Interactive

In an attempt to make content more interactive on their app, Instagram is testing a new feature in which users can add open-ended questions in stories according to a recent write-up on Marketing Land. Instagram currently allows users to post polls with multiple-choice answers, but with this new feature, Instagram is hoping to increase engagement between users, while giving brands the opportunity to have more public conversations with followers.

 

Snapchat Partners With 4 News Discovery Platforms To Help Push Content Beyond The App

According to an article on Marketing Land, Snapchat has decided to partner with four news discovery platforms (NewsWhip, Tagboard, SAM Desk, and Storyful) used by media organizations to spread their news-related content on a wider scale and basis outside the app. The partnership will allow the four platforms to use Snapchat’s Story Kit Integrations to access and deliver news content posted within the app to thousands of storytellers and newsrooms. Along with Snapchat, the platforms will also be able to access content that is present on the app’s Discovery channels like NBC News and BuzzFeed to name a few.

Improving Your Marketing Program

20 Tips To Improve Your Website Redesign Process

Whether you like it or not, your website is often the first impression your audience gets of your business and your offering, so keeping your website up to date with today’s technological changes in mind is crucial if you want to draw in your target consumer. Our own Nicole Wagner offers an abundance of tips to help you improve your website redesign process.

 

8 Tips On Social Media Best Practices For Your Business

Today, the majority of marketers and brands recognize the value of implementing a social media strategy when it comes to engaging and connecting with their audience. In an article she wrote, Nicole Wagner presents the best social media practices to get the most out of those popular platforms.

 

What Is Digital Storytelling: How To Improve Your Effortsdigital storytelling

Storytelling plays an important role when it comes to presenting your products or services as a solution, while also helping consumers relate to your business on a deeper level. Similar to storytelling, digital storytelling involves using strategies across all online platforms to communicate your message to your audience. Dan Gartlan offers strategies for how to improve your digital storytelling efforts to build strong relationships with consumers.

 

Recent Marketing Reports, Updates, and Trends

Even With All The Glitches, Prime Day 2018 Proves To Be Amazon’s Biggest Sales Day Ever

Amazon has done it again. According to a recent post on Marketing Land, Amazon reported that this year’s Prime Day was the biggest sales day ever surpassing last year’s sales as well as its Cyber Monday and Black Friday sales. Despite the glitches it faced, the company sold over 100 million products, and in the first nine hours gained more Prime members than any other day of the year in Amazon’s history. The products that sold the most worldwide were all Amazon devices—Alexa Voice Remote, the Echo Dot, and the Amazon Fire Stick.

Discover how to improve your brand marketing strategy using Amazon Alexa

multipurpose video campaignHow Overstock.com Created A Multipurpose Video Campaign

The digital era we are living in today has made it difficult to distinguish between brand and performance campaigns. For brands with dual goals, a multipurpose campaign might be the answer. In an article published on Think With Google, Overstock.com, the online home goods and furniture retailer, decided to experiment with mixing direct-response strategies with regular brand creative. Interestingly enough, the return on ad spending for the campaign was 3X its other campaigns—the result was enough to make them reconsider how they would normally approach digital video.

 

SLIF Attendees Share What Excites & Concerns Them About The Future

Senior living industry leaders attended the Senior Living Innovation Forum, a conference that takes place every June to discuss a variety of topics centered on the senior housing industry. Several attendees shared their insights and concerns about the future of the industry, and recognized that in order to fit in with the current times, companies and investors need to shift their attitudes and accept a new business model if they aspire to create larger market opportunities and increase innovation as well.

  25 Website Must Haves For Driving Traffic, Leads & Sales

video storytelling

Video Marketing Ideas: Using Storytelling In Social Media

Storytelling is one of the most important aspects when it comes of successfully conveying your message to your audience and giving them an idea of who your brand is and what you stand for. While storytelling is something that can be done via all types of content across all platforms, it’s particularly effective in video content on social media. However, coming up with different video marketing ideas that help strengthen your brand’s storytelling can be challenging. The following are a few video marketing ideas that you may want to implement on your social media channels to aid your storytelling efforts:

1. Film Your Customers’ Stories

Telling the stories of your customers is an easy way to get viewers to relate on a more personal level to your brand. When you film the story of your customer, they become the main character, which allows you to demonstrate through their story how you were able to provide a solution to their problems or needs.

2. Tell Personal Stories

Tell your brand’s story by showcasing how your company came to be. For example, you can focus on your owner as the main character and show how they started the business. This is a great way to put a face behind your brand and to make your company more relatable to your audience.

3. Create Fictional Stories

In addition to using the stories of your customers, make up some of your stories. Fictional stories often give you the opportunity to add humor and excitement that real stories don’t always have. For example, you could make the main character a superhero but keep the problem or need the same. If you’re selling a carpet stain removal product, it might be humorous to show a superhero having trouble removing a carpet stain even though you just showed them having no issue at all taking down a bad guy. Just make sure the message is clear and that you end with a strong call-to-action.

4. Film Documentary-Style Videos

Documentary videos give audiences a look into the process behind your company, whether it’s showing the process of working with a client or showing what a typical day at the office is like. It’s a good way to showcase how hard your company is working to help your customers.

5. Provide Behind-The-Scenes Videos

Behind-the-scenes videos give audiences a glimpse into what it’s like to work for your company and into what you and your company are trying to achieve. These types of videos make your brand feel more human as opposed to just being a faceless corporate entity.

The Power of First-Person Experience Videos

6. Perform Product Walkthroughs

Showing how a product works will be a lot more engaging if you film it in the form of a story. You can do this by establishing a character, showing what their problem is, demonstrating how to use your product or service, and, finally, revealing the result.

Storytelling is an essential part of marketing your brand effectively, and there are few better ways to do it than through video marketing. Use some of these video marketing ideas to enhance your storytelling abilities on social media.

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visual storytelling

5 Storytelling Techniques You Should Avoid

Storytelling is an integral part of marketing your brand effectively. It allows you to convey your message and your values to your audience, all while making it easy for them to relate and connect to you on a more personal level by capturing their interest and inciting specific emotions. However, storytelling isn’t as easy as you might think it is. There are several mistakes that brands commonly make in their attempt to tell a story that can cause your audience to lose interest. The following are five storytelling techniques you should avoid:

1. Making Your Brand The Central Character

One of the biggest mistakes that brands make is to think that the story they’re telling is about them. How is your audience going to relate to such a story? You need to make the story about them instead. Position the customer as the main character. They are the hero on the hero’s journey. As the brand, you should be the mentor that helps the hero overcome their problem.

2. Not Knowing How To Tell a Good Story

There are two essential components of a good story. The first is to have a point. If the story you’re telling doesn’t go anywhere, it’s not going to have much of an impact on the audience. You need to have a primary message that you’re trying to get across or else the audience won’t know what the point of your story is.

The second is pacing. Good pacing is extremely important. If your story is too long, your audience grows disinterested. Keep your storytelling succinct and avoid going on tangents — stay on point.

3. Providing Too Much Information

Many companies have a habit of trying to provide their audience with as much information as possible. Although you want your audience to be as informed as possible, trying to over explain is going to cause your story to become overwhelming. Keep it simple.

Want Storytelling Tips? Click Here.

4. Only Showcasing Your Successes

Only showcasing how effective your brand is and how well your products or services work isn’t going to come off as very authentic. Don’t be afraid to highlight some of your failures. Tell your audience how you overcame your failures in order to obtain success. Showing this kind of vulnerability is much more authentic and relatable.

5. Not Knowing Who You’re Telling The Story To

To tell your story effectively, you need to know who your audience is. Otherwise, how can you ever present a character and a problem that your audience can relate to? Identify who your audience is before you begin crafting your story.

Storytelling not only allows you to inform your audience about how your business can help solve their problems, it can also help them to relate to your brand on a more emotional level, making engagement easier. However, there is an art to storytelling, which means some storytelling techniques work better than others. Make sure to avoid these five storytelling techniques and you’ll be on the right path.

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video storytelling

What is Digital Storytelling: How To Improve Your Efforts

When you’re marketing your brand, you’re telling consumers a story. In that story, they are the protagonists. Their problem or need is the inciting incident of that story and the solution you present is the climax to that story. Effective storytelling is important in not only helping consumers identify what their problems and needs are and presenting your products or services as a solution, but in helping them to relate to your business on a personal level.

Digital storytelling isn’t much different. What is digital storytelling? It’s the use of strategies across all online platforms to help convey your message to your audience, whether it’s through videos, blog posts, images or tweets, to name a few methods. The following are a few tips that will help make your digital storytelling efforts more effective:

Align Yourself With Your Audience

Your audience doesn’t want to have their views or opinions challenged or changed. That’s not what your goal should be. The most effective stories are those that agree with the values of your audience. This allows them to feel smart and secure, thereby making it easier for them to see themselves as the protagonist of the story you’re telling, which, in turn, makes it easier for them to relate to the story overall. This means that you need to know who your audience is in order to be an effective storyteller.

Use Real Stories

The one thing consumers relate to the most is other consumers. Use your previous customers to tell your story. For example, banks often produce video content focusing on small business owners who became successful as a result of their small business loans, which makes their brand more relatable and empathetic.

Want More Tips On Storytelling? Learn How to Market Towards Generation Z with Stories.

Tell Smaller Stories

You don’t want your digital storytelling to become too complicated or the message will get lost. Keep it simple and to the point. One way to do this is to focus on smaller stories. For example, instead of showing how one of your products has dozens of benefits or uses, showcase how one customer was able to solve one specific issue using your product.

Smaller stories also take less time to tell, which means your audience is more likely to read through your content or watch your videos all the way through — and it also makes your content more shareable.

Avoid Being Too Promotional

Telling your audience to buy your product because it’s cheap and it works well isn’t storytelling. There’s no way that a consumer can connect with that message on a personal level — and considering that the average consumer is bombarded with overly promotional advertisements on a daily basis, it’s the last thing they’re going to want to see. The trick to avoiding being overly promotional is to focus on your audience and what they want and not on you and what you want.

Storytelling is the most effective strategy for relaying your message to your audience. These tips will strengthen your digital storytelling efforts to help build stronger relationships with your audience.

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visual storytelling

Visual Storytelling Techniques That Will Take You To The Next Level

Not only has video content become incredibly easy to consume due to the quality of smartphones and tablets, but it’s become much easier — and affordable — to produce as well. Considering the fact that 72 percent of consumers would prefer to learn about products or services via video and that the average consumer watches around 1.5 hours of video a day, your marketing campaign needs to have a video content marketing strategy.

However, your video content will only be effective if it’s of high quality. The following are ten visual storytelling techniques and promotion tips that you should keep in mind:

For more Storytelling techniques, read more here.

  1. Maintain a single POV– Make sure that your video focuses on a single idea or message and that you don’t stray off topic or else you’ll lose the attention of your viewers.
  2. Be human– Use emotion to connect with your audience. A video full of dry facts with no personal point of view isn’t going to be very engaging. Additionally, showcase actual people in your videos so that your viewers have someone to relate to.
  3. Be memorable– If there’s nothing memorable about your video, then it will fail to impress. Viewers are less likely to share video content that hasn’t made much of an impact on them as well, so strive to make content that is memorable in some way.
  4. Be more visual than verbal– Video is a visual medium, so instead of just showing a talking head explaining your message, tell your message in a visual manner. Remember, a picture is worth a thousand words.
  5. Start with what’s real – It can be easy to get wrapped up in the visual style of your content, but substance will always trump style. Begin with what’s real and use that as the foundation for your video. The video’s style should be the unique way in which you convey that message to your viewers.
  6. Make it compelling– Remember who your target audience is in order to create video content that they will find relevant and interesting. If you aren’t targeting the right audience, your video content won’t end up being compelling, no matter how well produced it is.
  7. Optimize your videos– Don’t forget to optimize your videos by using strong keywords and links in your titles and descriptions.
  8. Use strong CTAs – Just like written content, video content should have calls-to-action at the end to encourage your viewers to do what you want them to do.
  9. Use YouTube– YouTube has over 1.8 billion monthly users. You can’t ignore an audience that big, so be sure to post your videos on YouTube.
  10. Share your videos – Promote your videos by sharing them on all of your social channels to help attract more viewers.

Using visual storytelling techniques will help audiences connect with your video content and make them more likely to engage. Just remember that all the visual storytelling techniques in the world won’t work if your videos aren’t being watched, which is why promoting your video content is important as well.

 

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The Importance of Package Design – How it Affects Your Brand Story

Creating a strong brand identity requires good storytelling in order to establish your brand as unique and relevant as well as to make it more engaging for your target audience. We’ve gone over the ins and outs of brand storytelling before, but what we haven’t touched on yet is how your package design affects your brand story and the role it plays in telling that story.

The Importance of Package Design to Your Brand

When it comes to the visual identity of your brand, consistency matters, from your website design and your social media pages to your storefront sign and your business cards. Consistency is what helps to strengthen your brand identity. As such, it’s important that consumers can recognize your brand from the packaging of your products. If the packaging is consistent with your brand, people who are already familiar with your brand will identify it right away, making it easier to stand out from the crowd.

Keep in mind that it works the other way as well – those who purchase your product will become familiar with your brand as a result and be able to identify your brand when they see it elsewhere — as long as there is consistency with your branding efforts.

Need package design resources? We have seven of them! Check them out here!

Brand Storytelling Using Your Package Design

Using visual elements of your brand in your package design is important, but there’s more to it than just that. When designing a product’s packaging, what it ends up looking like on the shelf can tell consumers a lot about what your product is. For example:

Targeting your audience

When designing the visual elements of the packaging, you should take into consideration your target audience. For example, packaging for kid products often uses large, bold typography and a colorful style, while products targeting career-oriented adults may use more elegant typography in a more minimal design.

Conveying an experience

The package design should reflect the experience of your product. For example, an eco-friendly product should probably be packaged using sustainable materials to help build trust in your product. If you’re selling a luxury product, then you should use high-end materials and not cheap packaging. If one of the benefits of your product is convenience, then the package should be easy to use.

Creating an aesthetically pleasing design

Consumers tend to judge books by their covers. When they see that a brand has put effort into creating a visually pleasing package, they will assume that this is reflective of the brand’s effort to create a high-quality product. The real challenge is not only creating a visually pleasing design but one that is unique amongst competing products as well.

Your package design has a huge impact on your brand identity, and vice versa. It should help spread awareness of your brand, it should promise to deliver on your unique value proposition, it should target your audience, and it should speak to the personality of your brand. Your package design shouldn’t just leave a good first impression, it should leave a lasting impression.

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video storytelling

Your Company’s Core Values Play a Role in Developing Your Brand Story

When vetting brands, consumers often look far deeper than the simple surface messages that portray a company. In today’s age, more than ever, customers are choosing brands based on their set of core values–a major player in a brand story–in an effort to better understand the people behind the logo.

Your brand story and your company’s core values dictate exactly who you are and can give you a significant competitive advantage by outlining the age old question, “Who are we, what do we do?” In other words, you put your “why’s” and “how’s” on your proverbial sleeve. This level of transparency makes brands more human, more approachable, and more connected with their target market.

Core Values in a Nut Shell

In short, your core values tell your target buyers why you do what you do and must be at the epicenter of your brand story as well as the focus of your day-to-day business functions. Another way of looking at core values is character: who you are, how you go about your business, and the name you carry into your daily tasks, but these values must come from the heart and should stand out in the marketplace.

These core values are what connects your brand to your customers on a “human” level. Evaluating your core values can be a little more in depth as it truly resonates through the drive within your business. That evaluation begins by asking why your business exists, what your purpose is, and what obstacles you face to deliver on that purpose. All of these “outer layer” questions should point back to your “why” and should be able to justify what lies at the center.

Be a Storybrander, Not a Storyteller

The most iconic and memorable brands imbed their beliefs, core values, and emotions into your psyche. Storybranding is how memorable brands generate an enduring, lifelong value or belief system that stays with their customers and engages their buyer personas. In other words, companies are characterized by their ideals and personified through them. Storybranding is an attraction marketing tactic that marries your company, its belief system, and the beliefs of your customers.

There are some important differences between storybranding and storytelling, though. Storytelling allows your brand to make a connection with your customers through current events or marketing therefore allowing consumers to better identify with what’s happening in your business. Storybranding, however, seeks to put your brand’s beliefs and deeper meaning before your customers in order to evoke stronger emotions therefore generating stronger bonds.

How do you build a brand story? Learn the process here.

Be Your Story’s Hero

super hero

The key to your brand story is to highlight the hero within it. Of course, with every hero in every story, there is something relatable, pure, and honest about that character. In the case of storybranding, that hero is you–is there a more perfect script for your brand?

With our protagonist identified, it’s super important to tell those why’s and how’s of the story. This is where your core values come in.

Speak to those core values and instill them in your customer’s mind. Make sure they know the heart of their hero and can relate to exactly what your brand stands for. Once you’ve made that emotional attachment, begin to outline the how’s of your brand story by outlining the competitive advantages you have over others in the market. This is what truly seals the deal, but without a reason, your brand simply can’t speak as loudly as it could. In other words, keep your core values close to home.

Furthering Your Brand Story

Your brand story is completely unique. No one else can say it the way you do and no one else can replicate the pillars you stand on as a company. If you need a little help, consider a free marketing consultation where a marketing professional can help you develop and say your brand story the way no one else can!

Click here to learn all there is to know about telling your brand’s story.

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