10 Trends and Principles of Visual Storytelling That Every Designer Must Follow

10 Trends and Principles of Visual Storytelling That Every Designer Must Follow

Visual storytelling has gradually emerged as a crucial trend in the web and graphic design sector in the era of digital marketing. Scientifically speaking, the Visual Cortex of human brain is the largest. An average person can retain 10 % of what they hear when they are tested after 72 hours. However, when that same information is added to the data, he or she can retain up to 65%. This statistic is based on a 2008 study in the content Brain Rule Rundown.

What is visual storytelling? What are its advantages?

When it comes to evoking emotions, visuals are indeed much more useful than plain texts. Visuals inspire audiences to take action and hence, they are fantastic marketing tools. I mean, think about it for a minute. What do you prefer? A radio commercial that you can hear, or a Televised commercial where you get to see the product or service they are pitching for? Of course, the latter one will carry more element of trust than the former. Want real-life visual storytelling examples? This concept is further strengthened when Snapchat, Instagram, Vine and Pinterest are designed around visuals. In fact, even the Twitter and Facebook posts with video and graphics are more ‘liked’ and shared compared to posts with plain texts.

  • Visual storytelling helps understanding complex data efficiently by delivering more impact as the result
  • Visual data provide a narrative that is more compelling and drives the audience to take actions
  • The concept incorporates excellent writing, vibrant visuals that bring life to the entire atmosphere of the story

The average time spent on a Shorthand story in 2016 was 18 minutes, and more than half the traffic to Shorthand stories comes from mobile devices – proving that even on smaller screens there is an appetite, and attention span for more visual, engaging storytelling. (Source)

humans-love-good-visuals

Source: The Rising Power of Visual Content

Never ask too much from your readers. They do like to scroll and viewing a data that requires multiple clicks and broadened exploration can make their engagement faulty and complicated.

Giles Wilson, creative director of the Harpoons Production and the ex editor for BBC News Magazine, said,

“Don’t make me click about the page. If you insist that I have to make more than one click, don’t make me move my mouse as well. I want all my clicks in the same place…”

Here are some incredible visual storytelling techniques & trends that you must know as a designer

1. Instead of telling, show them what you got

This is, in fact, the very 1st lesson for any class of journalism, filmmaking and creative writing. Don’t tell your audience what you are trying to say, instead, let your creativity do the talking, LOUDLY! Take help of the descriptive texts, vivid pictures or eye-catching designs. For example, in this picture

visual-storytelling

A cup of coffee represents the expertise of the company, and the text talks about one of their expertise that is delivered on time!

When you are pitching a product, never tell your customer how it works when you can showcase how they can use it.

2. Make sure your 1st impressions are impactful

In the case of visual storytelling, 1st impressions play a crucial role in marketing. The brain is made in such a way that it can make a quick impression. Our psyches formed instinctive impressions based on our deep-rooted values, beliefs and knowledge. In the digital marketing world, it does not take time for the audience to generate a wrong idea. If they do not understand design in the first place or get bored, then they will immediately skip investing their time in it. It just takes a moment for them to deem a product as unworthy. What should be the case is presenting an incredible design that comes with the power of hooking the audience at the 1st glance itself. The message should be hitting their  emotions right. Remember, an image of an angry young man will get lesser attention than the picture of a chubby puppy.

3. Animate your story, because we all love them!

Remember the best part of childhood? Yes…the colorful stories that came in the form of storybook pictures and animated cartoons. Every day, we used  to read them or watch them with undivided attention and gradually became ardent followers of the characters that we loved. In digital marketing, other than images, there need to be videos as well, and by video, it does not hint at the full-length 30 minute stories. Even gifs can do the job just right. Today, more and more digital marketers are adding the power of animation and mobility to their visual storytelling tactics by incorporating special effects of software and online aids. At the point, where the brain grows bored with the content, animated impacts can capture and retain the attention of the onlooker for a long time.

Lead_Nurturing_GIF

4. There is a beginning, middle and an end to every story

The beginning, the middle and the end- together make the narrative arc. If your storytelling techniques are not based on this arc, then you are sure to fail miserably on your marketing objectives. A design remains flat when there is no proper infusion of the above-mentioned  elements on it. This was 1st discussed by Aristotle a thousand years ago, where it was described as the timeline through which a character travels from point A to point B. You might be thinking that how a static image can be based on the similar guideline. So, for that, when you are choosing imagery to create a visual story and creating graphics, it is crucial to keep each of the aspects in mind for impressing the correlating moods of the audience. Every story needs to have a closure; otherwise, the viewers will be left with confused on the design’s primary purpose.

5. Show them some conflict, address their issue and your job is half done!

Without addressing some issues of the audience, it is not possible for a designer to achieve success in his or her storytelling objectives. The visual storytelling techniques work only when the audience can relate to the design that is portrayed in front of them. This design has to have a solution which will make it attractive to the customer, and then they answer the design’s call-to-action.

6. Include some human elements in your designs

Humans are social animals. There is no better way to entice their engagement on to your design by implementing the ‘people’ factor in your product or service. If you tell the story of business by highlighting the people behind it, that business will automatically generate a sense of trustworthiness in the minds of the audience. Foster the sense of trust in favor of your brand while telling stories to your audience. No matter what the medium is, even a stock photo with the human face can have the power of speaking for your brand.

no-tobacco-day-infographic

7. Teach, preach and tell your audience what they don’t know

Is the product that you or your client dealing with something new to the ordinary people? Then this is indeed a fabulous advantage that you can take. Design your product with the best elements that can convey the story of your brand aptly. Weave the story with the challenges that your audiences face, and then introduce your product. For the conclusion, give your story a practical conclusion by telling them how your product can be their perfect assistant and also call them to take action.

8. Include some eye-candies for your people

Ever heard of gifographics? They are infographics infused with animated elements that convey the brand message to the readers. And of course, the readers love to look at them for their attractiveness. Every visual storytelling ideas must have the ‘wow’ factor in them so that the audience’s imagination is inspired.

9. Never lose the focus on your message

Messaging is equally important as the designs. Even if you create the most striking image of all times, your branding will have no meaning if the messaging is not done right and also, relevant. Audiences are always looking at something creative. Always! However, if that original design lacks messaging, then the strategy of getting their attention will fall out of the place. It will not work. Don’t stretch it too far. Make it stay on the point.

10. Seek the help of professionals who know how to weave a story

Professional touch is perhaps the best element that you can infuse into your marketing strategies. Visual storytelling comes with challenges that need innate knowledge and expertise to be met. This is something that you should never consider doing as a DIY project. Certified professionals know what works the best for business. They research on a company’s target market and plan the digital assets, the visual stories accordingly. Be it static images or videos for marketing; a professional agency knows it all.

To wrap up

The key is to know your audience’s emotions and desires. Hijack the trend from your sector or provide them food for thought; whatever you want to say, must have a great story through which people can find what they are looking for, or what you want to tell them. Of course, increasing the ROI is a part of it, but that also can be achieved with a proper way of portraying your business message. Visual storytelling is an excellent way for the designers to learn more about creating for people, on the internet and spreading the brand name most spectacularly.

 

Gifographics: 5 Reasons Why it is a Visual Treat For Your Business

Gifographics: 5 Reasons Why it is a Visual Treat For Your Business

Gifographics, a new wave in digital marketing has taken the world of content marketing to a different height.

You might be familiar with the term, but yet you don’t know why it’s necessary for today’s context.

You might not even know how to integrate gifographics into your business, right?

Nothing to worry about just read along and find out how these visually appealing creatives have been satisfying the modern day customers.

Owing to the present day changing scenario of information acquisition, a gifographic is the best way of creating diverse content and is the best means of grabbing the attention of the prospective buyers.

Gifographics – A Summary

Gifographics are compelling and creative way adopted by content marketers today in the digital marketing world to create a high-impact on the consumer-base. The importance of this effective promotional approach in the business world was first pronounced by Neil Patel, New York Times bestselling author. He coined the term “gifographic” in 2014 and published on his site Quick Sprout and discussed how this component would help businesses to convey their brand messages across.

The term Gifographic is a combination of two words GIF– Graphics Interchange Format and Graphic-Visual Content. Thus, gifographic is a designer’s artful conception of infographics created with a ‘GIF ’ element in it.

Although in the digital realm for quite a long time, these materials were not used until recent past. Surveys claim that when GIF is used with the right and relevant content, it creates magical appeal for the viewers. Hence, gifographics are not only a treat to the eye of the viewers, but also they are amazingly useful for marketers as well.

To define gifographic meaning in a simple way, gifographics are  infographics that combine textual elements with animated visual content and forms an interactive and exciting experience for users.

Gifographics are GIF based infographics that ensure better representation and better visualization of the message through your content.

Hence, these materials deserve proper treatment from modern-day marketers to spread company brand message worldwide.

Gifographics and Infographics – Similar Principles Yet Different Approach

Gifographic is created on the similar principles of an infographic. However, animated or moving elements are introduced on it. Gifographics have been earning more attention among companies over infographics because they are a better option of visually telling stories to educate and engage viewers.

Gifographics are designed with moving elements that’s the reason why viewers also prefer these items compared to simple infographics. A reader can glide through the story smoothly.

Are you wondering why should a business choose gifographics over infographics?

Take a look at Gifographics: 5 Reasons Why it is a Visual Treat For Your Business

1. Initiates a Memorable Branding

In this contemporary age, people have a very low attention span, so it’s essential to create engaging materials so that they stay on a particular page for a more extended period and understand a company better. When people know about a company, the brand name gets imbibed in their mind.

As the web world has content all throughout, to flourish in this competition, you need new strategies, new outlook. Amongst many marketing and promotional tools, gifographics enable viewers to gather information interestingly. A gifographic is the answer; these interestingly designed content types help you to build a unique name for your brand initiating more engagement from your readers. To put it, gifographics provide ample scope to a company to produce quality work and grab the personal attention of both potential and permanent customers.

Lead_Nurturing_GIF

2. Creates Extreme Viewer Engagement

When animated and interactive elements are added in any content along with eye-catchy colors, those contents get more attention. Readers like to read the entire matter and also want to keep referring back when you create gifographic. In addition to the visual appeal, gifographics have the attribute of breaking down complex issues into an understandable form. Also, the rate of engagement is seen increasing because with gifographics any dull information becomes alluring and compelling to read.

3. Enhances Mobile Buyer Behavior

The present day buyer’s journey is centered around mobile. Mobile devices influence almost all B2B and B2C buyers purchase decision. Hence, it’s essential to create mobile-friendly contents. Gifographics are content varieties and like infographics, they are mobile friendly too. A gifographic is created in portrait orientation for comfortable views on smartphones, tablets and any mobile device. Furthermore, they can be quickly scrolled providing viewers’ scope for reading the whole story conveniently. Hence, a business choosing gifographics as its content marketing tool allows its consumers a quick and impactful interaction.

What-You-Should-Know-About-Blood-Transfusion-Gifographic

4. Introduces Diverse Content Types

Nowadays, B2B marketers are keen on producing different content types. With so much in the content marketing industry, it’s essential to produce high-performing content such as gifographics. These content materials support broad strategic goals and offer a diversity of options for your the readers. Best gifographics provide a great mix of content formats that appeal to different users who have different content preferences.

5. Initiates More Social Shares

Online marketing surveys show that gifographics have a massive impact on consumers and hence they receive maximum shares. When content gets more shares and likes within the consumer community, needless to say it’s good news for the company. More shares are equivalent to more impact on people. Users will remember the company & its post and also the brand. This makes your brand to be at the top of other similar companies. Digital marketers are always of the view that when a company associate gifographic with their brand. They can see a massive change in their lead conversion.

Showing the importance of gifogaphics and how it will visually promote your brand, a blog How To Use Gifographics To Improve Your Visual Content Marketing concludes by saying that ‘Content marketing will stay for forever, but the methods should be changed. As for now, Gifographics are in trend. So, companies better make use of them and produce a successful content strategy.’

Instagram-vs-Snapchat-vs-Pinterest

Gifographics source: A1Future Technologies

Do you want to create gifographics?

Like any infographic, gifographic is easy to create and design. The web offers both free and premium online tools that enable the designers to develop GIF related infographic files quickly. The mostly used tools to create gifographicsinclude Adobe Photoshop or Flash tool kit and also AI vector etc.

If you want a timeless gifographic design for your company then visit Infographic Design Team and treat your audience with excellent Gifographics.

In today’s ever-changing world, innovation has become constant and hence it’s a challenge for all companies to present the best. If one conducts a comparative study on infographic and gifographic, one can figure out that infographic is a product of innovation and technology and now gifographic is evolving into a higher form of content marketing material.

10 Tips To Personalize Visual Content For Your Audience

10 Tips To Personalize Visual Content For Your Audience

One of my friends was searching for a lovely dress for her date and was about to hit the ‘Add to Cart button. However, something held her back. The website looked absolutely professional and classy, but still, something was amiss. She wasn’t a size zero person, so for obvious reasons she wanted to see some user-generated pictures or how a dress actually looks like on a standard size 25 years young woman. But alas! That conversion turned up sour. Right visual content is extremely important for a conversion to happen and make the audience feel connected to your product. To be honest, wrong or improper visuals can kill sales as fast as an appropriate visual increase it.

We all have wondered at some point in time, how do gorgeous and flashy images attract our gaze and make heads turn. Why won’t it be? Almost 80-90% of the information we absorb, comes through vision.

These websites are image-heavy and enjoy the lion’s share of viewership and traffic than other websites that are primarily text-oriented. The importance of visual content has reached its peak, and by the coming years, its significance will be higher and higher.

With time, consumers have become more and more sensitive towards engaging visuals, making the era of text meet a slow death. Well, though one cannot totally do away with texts as they play an integral role in marketing strategy.

However, still, visual contents happen to be an indispensable marketing tool in the current age. The visual content statistics predict that by 2020, businesses will heavily rely on images.

Content Marketing and Visual Content Marketing – Connecting with Your Target Audience

When we talk about audience, customers or consumers, we are talking about those tech-savvy and demanding folks who are there to judge your product inside out, compare it with other similar products, check your online reputation, and most importantly, seek for a customized approach.

Consumers nowadays can no longer befooled by gimmicks or one-size-fits-all marketing tactics. These ploys worked a few years back even, but now things have changed. A marketer must strive to earn his customers’ and prospects’ trust. Only then one can smell success and sustain in the market.

Now, where does this trust come from? From personalization of course. Engaging, personalized and memorable content is something that every marketer dreams of. But how many accomplish it successfully? Once you establish a connection between your target audience and your product/brand, you open the door for them to return again and again.

All our recent marketing strategy and campaigns involve visuals, as visual content influences and increase brand awareness, sales, website traffic and engagement. In fact, brands with custom visuals have 7X higher conversion rate than brands with less to no visuals. Visuals and graphic images are all the more favorite by all, given their shareability, and visual marketing has become a robust marketing tool for marketers at every corner.

So how do you ensure optimum ROI through visual content marketing? How do you make your visual content strategy worthwhile enough to turn it into a revenue generator!

At the present time, marketers everywhere are coming up with unique ways of publishing quality contents. Through videos, Infographics, social media posts, blogs, e-books and several other channels, valuable content is disseminated. And numerous such visual contents are created each second across the world.

In order to stand out, personalizing your content is key. When you create content based on your consumers’ lifestyles, interests and preferences, it engages and converts more people. So let us catch some knowledge about the tips to personalize your visual content so that you make your customers and prospects feel connected and valuable.

1. Behind the Scene Actions – Loved by All

Behind the scenes, bloopers or clips of what goes on create a pleasant feeling in people’s mind. These kinds of behind the scenes create a sense of intimacy and establish confidence. Showcasing visuals that show more than what is usually seen, is key to building brand loyalty.

We usually don’t get to see what goes behind a fashion brand or a movie, and when we get to see them, we are left with more curiosity about the closed doors. This is a tip for marketers to follow if they are really after building trust and loyalty. Try to show more and more behind the scenes of your brand and give your audience access to sneak peek.

This simple yet fond gesture will make them feel privileged and valued. And once they start getting the feel of it, your sales rate will see a hike.

2. Incorporate Current Events – Keep the Time and Humor Right!

Reacting to an incident or an event that has a strong cultural impact, is the most personalized move one can ever do. And Oreo has slain in this move. Be it the blackout at the Super Bowl XLVII, or the latest season of Game of Thrones, Oreo is omnipotent and omnipresent.

This approach is also called newsjacking where you jack a piece of news or an event in your content. And thus piggyback on the fame of the cultural importance/impact of the event. When the blackout occurred during the Super Bowl, Oreo was clever enough to come up with a witty post “You can still dunk in the dark”. It was as if Oreo took a human shape and was with you the whole time, sitting on the sofa, watching the match and cracking the joke.

These personalized approaches hit the audience hard, but in a witty and humorous way. The more they start liking your brand, it is likely they would like to try you at least once.

3. Leverage the Power of Localization

Identifying what is important to which target audience, and when, is another smart personalized move that ensures increased sales. Ideally, a brand must look human and accessible to its target audience. Humans by nature are inclined to human touch or any other mortal presence.

The moment a customer gets that feeling; your product seems more accessible. If a brand alienates itself from its target audience, it loses the opportunity to attract the right audience at the right time.

For e.g., McDonald’s effort to localize their content to target different communities helped them to uncover the latest trends and create personalized visual contents.

4. Don’t make your Brand Obvious

It is not a good behavior these days to shove your brand someone’s throat to gain traction. This gesture mostly backfires and garners notoriety. Your visual content must be soothing, out of any marketing pitch, only displaying quality content. Just like Nike does; in every photo, they upload on their Instagram handle, none of those are jam-packed with their logo.

The images they upload are generally inspiring and fierce. Incorporating company logo in them, somewhat tones down the intended seriousness. They leave the photos that way, just as the way they are shot. And this is what their target audience likes about Nike, yielding 88 Million Instagram followers!

So this tip goes like, don’t be overly enthusiastic about your brand, but give your audience something good to see. They don’t always want to behold your logo hovering around the visual. Be subtle, be wise!

5. Choose the Platform Meticulously

Knowing which platform will appeal to which target segment is probably the best way to personalize your content and boost your sales. Random post uploads in every social handle will never pay you back but will be a sheer futile attempt. Each social platform has its target audience group, so something that works on Instagram, might not work on Twitter.

Just like Snapchat is a platform that focuses on the customer demographic ranging between 13-17. So anything that appeals to this age group will benefit the brand. For e.g., Adidas ran an ad campaign that incorporated AR techniques. The viewers could try Adidas’ new Ultraboost trainers through AR.

This campaign appealed greatly to the demographic of Snapchat, comprising of the teens. Brands that leverage visual content, have bigger chances of hooking their audience across all the platforms. Along with giving their conversions a boost. Visual content for social media must be created wisely, same goes while choosing platforms for these contents.

6. Make your Brand Friendly to your Target Audience

When Coca Cola started their multi-national “Share A Coke” campaign in 2011, it catapulted Coca Cola to greater fame. The beverage giant was finding a unique way to reach the greater mass, and with this campaign, they garnered widespread attention and praise. This campaign was a bold step as it de-branded the traditional Coke logo. Imagine removing your company logo from your product!

The Coke logo was replaced with the phrase “Share a Coke with” followed by a random person’s name. Millions of Coke lovers could connect emotionally with this that escalated the sales. The campaign began in 2011 and even now it is immensely popular across the world.

When the consumers see their names of their friends, relatives, parents, girlfriends/boyfriends, spouses – on the label, not only they are amused instantly, but also their urge of getting a bottle of Coke increases. Along with around 500 common names, the company also had alternative pre-printed monikers like “bestie,” “star” or “BFF”.

And these were translated into the vernaculars of the respective countries. This kind of personalized visual content has a powerful potential to connect millions in a single thread. If we have to cite an example of a successful campaign of personalized visuals, then undoubtedly Coca Cola’s “Share A Coke” is the most successful in history.

These kind of marketing strategies not only generate business but also create happiness and satisfaction worldwide.

7. Hacks and DIYs – Be a Guide to your Target Audience

Have you ever saw the delicious videos of Tasty? Yes, delicious. Because this food blog doesn’t only share lip-smacking recipes, but also uploads videos of these dishes being cooked. The presentation of each of their featured videos are ingenious and the background score adds a tinge of fun element to the visuals. From each of the videos, one can learn the recipes as well as the process to prepare.

This kind of personalization where you learn something new by seeing brings outstanding results. Just like Tasty, numerous brands on social media show such kind of DIY videos where one can learn how to cook meals, do their make-up, bake a cake or make a dessert. They take personalization to the next level and make it look just as a friend sharing some help to another friend in need.

8. Build a Social Media Community filled with Customer Interaction

Brands always choose a way to connect with their audience or target group. In the present time, brands fail to sustain in the market if there’s no personalization in their marketing strategy. And we can expect the most human personalization and interaction happens in a social community.

Creating a Facebook page and inviting the users to post some of their on-brand photos creates a sense of involvement within the community. User-generated content has long been hailed as a great tool to generate brand awareness. Also, these kinds of personalized visual approaches form a small world feel making the consumer part of the brand.

When consumers see themselves as a part of the brand they admire, it makes them feel valuable. Bud Light did this experiment and requested to their consumers to post photos of them with their favorite drink, in the official Instagram handle of Bud Light. This was kind of a win-win situation where the brand receives an extensive library of free-use images, and the consumers get a great feeling with their photos being seen on a public forum.

9. Create Engaging CTAs with Brilliant Copies

A smart way of increasing your sales is to include an impactful Call to Action. This creates a sense of urgency in the minds of the viewers and piques their buying decision. A brilliant way of personalizing this CTA buttons is to write killer two or three words content. Buttons that are tailored to an individual converts better than any other CTA.

And as stats say personalized CTAs convert 202% better than a generic CTA. But why do they? Because these contents are targeted towards the interest and knowledge of the audience. Generic “Submit”, “Read More”, don’t work any longer. Buyers hesitate to click if the copy of the CTA button is too bland and common.

Make more personalized copies with phrases like “Find Out How”, “Get Them Today”, “Grab Now”, “Get It Till The Stock Lasts” – etc, appeal more to the audience and make them click.

10. Old is Gold – Bring back the Past

Reflecting old nostalgia is a remarkable technique of personalizing your visuals. References to the 90’s magic or the Retro-classics evoke fond memories, also amuse the new generation. Numerous content and data are published every moment. To cut through the noise, going old school and giving references to the by-gone decades appeal many of your users.

These visual contents are instrumental in bringing back the flashbacks. Identify which era your target group considers as nostalgic and then target your content accordingly. You might have to refer analytics you get from CRM software. Harnessing past memories and nostalgia personalize visual contents big time and generates higher conversion rates.

Often, global companies like Lego, Coca-Cola, KFC, try to evoke the feelings of the past, that creates a sensation. Try the technique and enjoy the benefits.

An Added Bonus..

11. Quotations

Quotations and inspiring words touch people’s heart. Whether it is a good pearl of wisdom or quotes by famous scholars or celebrities, or even someone anonymous – quotes that have deep inner meanings, connect with the viewers. A quote graphics is the easiest as you just need a great quote and a standard design. And you have your conversion generating tool ready!

Why do quotations appeal to all? Because they can motivate the demotivated, inspire the uninspired and bring back a loving memory of a lover. This personal touch where a person can relate himself/herself to, is the success point for any brand. Quotation graphics are also highly shareable, the more you make them personalized the higher will be the shares, and automatically your sales.

So… Time to Tie up the Loose Ends

Enhancing your content visually is nothing new; the concept is here with us for long. But the effective execution of it matters. Many a time we see visuals and graphics from brands that fail. Be it a failed attempt in newsjacking, or over the top garish content.

One must strike a balance between the content or the copy and the design. A professional visual content designer has the right mix of everything that a brand needs to stand out. Personalizing your visual content involves integrating ideas, movements, aesthetics and trends to drive more engagement.

That is the way you can win the marketing game in 2019, 2020 and all the coming years.

A visual content creator can smell success in a short time by giving his audience exactly what they want. This can be attained by defining the target audience, their preferences and style. There are myriads of approach when it comes to visual content strategy.

But no matter what you do, if you are not different and memorable, your strategy will meet an early death. So how has a visual content strategy helped you? And how can personalizing your visual contents proved to be beneficial? Answer to all these in the comments section below. We would love to discuss them in our next blog post.

Happy Blogging!