Need to make an impact with your audience? Try these key elements of compelling visual storytelling.
Successful brands are really, really good at one thing: telling stories.
Why? Stories go beyond simple marketing gimmicks and seasonal promotions.
They capture the heart of a customer to create the kind of bond that lasts – despite market changes or poor economies.
Compelling visual storytelling demonstrates your unique values and connects you with the people who share them.
In fact, people are 22 times more likely to remember details when stories communicate messages instead of just facts and numbers, according to psychologist Jerome Bruner. Why? Stories are memorable.
Here are four key elements of visual storytelling that’s worth remembering.
4 Key Elements Of Compelling Visual Storytelling
Level-up your visual storytelling with these critical elements.
Right off the bat, the first goal of any marketing visual – photo, video or graphic – is to capture the attention of your target audience. Your visuals have to stop the scroll if they’re going to be effective at all. A hook for video content might seem pretty straightforward. You can open with a question, provocative statement, common pain point, or humor. Often a simple introduction and greeting works wonders.
In marketing photography, however, finding a “hook” might be more confusing. Think of it this way: Something in your image needs to “pop” or stand out enough to grab people’s attention. Often a high-quality portrait with a genuine and connected expression is more than enough to make people stop and say, “Hey, girl! You look great!” But if you want something more than that, try out these photography hooks: bold wardrobe colors, less common backdrop colors, dynamic or engaging poses, expressions that go beyond the simple smile, and more. (Not sure how to create these? We’re here to help!)
2. Visual Language
The next thing you need is a clear message or story. Again, for video this might seem more intuitive. Ask yourself what sets your brand apart from the competition, then distill those key values into a simple story. Tell the story of how you started. Explain your why and what drives you. You can even tell customer success stories, or film testimonials that do the talking for you. Then use your visuals to support that story. Consider the format (e.g. direct-to-camera or interview-style), camera style (e.g. dynamic multi-camera angles or intimate selfie-style phone video), and length of the video.
When it comes to photography, the storytelling is more subtle – but just as important. Your appearance, body language, expression and background all communicate underlying messages. So decide what sets you apart, and then consider how you can show people that in your photos. For example, maybe you’re a gifted and authentic listener in an industry that prioritizes expediency above the customer’s emotional experience. Tap into your “listening face” and your expression will communicate your unique value, instead of just going with the same “blank smile” that most of your competition settles for. If you’re unsure about what your photos communicate, ask us!
3. Emotional Connection
Once you’ve hooked your audience and crafted an intentional visual language, it’s time to make that emotional connection! When shooting a video, there are many ways to connect with your viewers. Showing your own emotions, as you tell your story, is a great way to start. Don’t be afraid to get vulnerable, share a personal experience, or even get fired-up on behalf of your viewers. The more emotion you bring to the table, the more your viewers will feel, too. Just be sure to get intentionally emotional, and know why you’re evoking certain feelings in your video. Finally, consider your body language, lighting and other subtle details, to make sure your message is in alignment with your visuals.
When it comes to photography, showing emotion is the whole point – but that doesn’t mean it’s easy. There’s a certain amount of “connection” to the camera that you just can’t fake. You’ve probably experienced it before. You take a photo with a group of your best friends on a night out, and there’s just this glow about your smile. But when you’re forced to pose for a headshot at the office, there’s nothing about that smile that seems natural (no matter how much you love your job). That’s because it takes an emotionally connected photographer to elicit the kind of feelings that actually show up in the image. At SchlickArt, we have a fun and silly process that eliminates the intimidation factor and makes the process stress-free. After a few poses, you’ll feel comfortable enough to be the real you. That’s what we want to capture.
4. Call To Action
At this point, you’ve hooked your viewers, crafted a clear visual message and started to form that crucial emotional connection that turns followers into customers. Now it’s time to make your ask. Even if you have the most die-hard customers around, most likely they will NOT take action unless you specifically ask them to do so. Unless you provide a break in the endless doom scroll, your audience will just continue along their merry way. That’s why a call to action is essential in your video content, as well as in the posts that contain your photography content, too. In your video, be sure to conclude with a short sentence that instructs viewers on what to do next. For a photo post, include your call to action in the caption, and put it up top. Make it quick and easy for your audience to find. Finally, make your call to action as easy as possible for people to follow. Don’t ask too much of them when you’re still building a relationship. Just get them to take the next step down the pipeline; don’t ask them to go all the way. 😉
Need Help Telling Your Visual Story?
At SchlickArt, we know your marketing visuals are only effective if you actually use them. That’s why we help you create powerful photography and video – and then we teach you how to share it. With each session, we’ll give you our best tips based on your specific marketing goals. We provide the education and resources you need to brand your content, integrate it into your marketing strategy, post it with intention, and maximize engagement along the way.
If you want even more tips and resources, we have an educational blog, newsletter and video channel to help you dive deeper, as well as professional presentations, workshops, and coaching sessions if you’re ready to take action and level-up your marketing now.
Learn more about our Visual Marketing Training Sessions.
Marketing Photography in Santa Clarita
When it comes to marketing photography, our goal is simple: We want you to walk away feeling like you have the best headshots in Santa Clarita. That’s why we’ve designed a line of Marketing Photography Sessions that are custom-made to make you happy. How do we do that? Simple. We pay attention to you, your needs and your business. We take the time to create a photography experience – we don’t just point, shoot and send you on your way. We bring our visual marketing background to every session, to help you make smart choices in wardrobe, appearance, posing and expression.
About Our Santa Clarita Video Marketing Services
With years of professional experience, Brian not only has an eye for crisp visuals and engaging shots – but also an ear for powerful storytelling. In his vision, marketing video should communicate the why behind your business and present it to the world in the most compelling visual format possible. With a camera in his hand, Brian can turn a vision into reality and business-as-usual marketing videos into an opportunity to connect.
About SchlickArt Photography and Video
SchlickArt, a boutique photo and video studio in Santa Clarita, started in March 2012 with the simple idea that empowerment creates a kind of beauty and authenticity that shines through every camera lens. Built on a philosophy — rather than a product, service or person — SchlickArt has rapidly evolved, meeting professional portraiture, business photo and business video needs as diverse as the community we capture. It’s the desire to take care of you, the client, that drives us at SchlickArt.