What is Visual Storytelling? How to Use it to Improve User Engagement?
by Julie Weishaar
May 7, 2023
What is Visual Storytelling

Why is visual storytelling essential? Because we are already in an age where several million pieces of content are published daily.

And that makes it difficult for your pieces to take the stage without adopting a new strategy.

According to Envisage, approximately 4.4 million new blog posts go live daily, excluding ‌content published on social media platforms like Facebook.

In fact, Domo’s report shows that almost 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created daily.

You need to use visual storytelling to stand out and cut through the noise.

That’s why we will discuss visual storytelling in this article and how to use it to boost user engagement on your website.

What is Visual Storytelling?

The simplest way to understand visual storytelling is by relating it to our daily communication with others.

When you speak to people physically, you combine body gestures and a variety of facial expressions.

These combinations can help people feel how genuine and trustworthy you are.

And often, they pass more messages than the words you’re speaking.

Similarly, visual storytelling involves using different visual elements to tell a story, whether in combination with a text-type of content or alone.

Now, that doesn’t mean you can’t tell your brand’s story without using visuals.

But you might fail to capture the attention of your audience, thus rendering your content useless.

And just so you know, the human brain processes images 60,000x faster than text. Moreover, colors attract, aid retention, and improve engagement.

Popularly used visual elements for storytelling include videos, infographics, and data visualizations like ‌pie charts and stat bars. Others have memes, gifs, and even standalone images.

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Three Ways to Improve User Engagement with Visual Storytelling

To improve user engagement, you must introduce visual storytelling in your core content marketing channels, such as your website/blog, social media, and emails. Let’s see how that’s possible below:

1.    Using illustrations on your website

Your website serves as the first landing page for new leads.

By using visual elements in telling your story and connecting emotionally, you can retain these leads and nudge them towards action that will yield more ROI.

Critical areas to use storytelling include your homepage, blog posts, and sales page.

●      Homepage

A homepage is often the perfect board to welcome visitors and pass important brand messages.

And in most cases, content marketers use it as their preferred landing page when running paid advertisements.

That aside, your homepage is likely to pop up in random searches when people look up queries related to your unique keywords.

To use your homepage well, you can let more visual elements do the talking while text content is assistive.

For example, you could use a short video to welcome visitors.

That’s better than parsing out several blocks of onboarding words which can sometimes irritate your leads.

●      Blog posts

Blog posts are probably the spearhead of any content marketing strategy. And there are millions of blog pieces being produced daily.

Customers often depend on these pieces to find solutions to their problems or seek an opinion on a subject matter.

You should ask your writers to work with the design team and create relevant graphics, like illustrations, for your blog.

Short visual elements like memes and gifs can create an interactive and engaging experience.

●      Sales page

Your sales page is more or less the closest touchpoint to the checkout page.

Usually, companies hire copywriters to dump blocks of convincing words there. And yes, it converts.

But the times are changing, and customers are beginning to find long copies, a nuisance to the eyes.

So, the best way out is to create a sales video to replace these copies.

Or use mainly visuals to convey your story while adding textual content strategically.

2.    Turning long-tailed emails into infographics

We all know how powerful emails can be. And according to Havard Business Review, professionals check their mailboxes at least 15 times daily.

While this shows that people are paying more attention to their mail, that doesn’t mean they will open yours or read through‌ it.

Most email marketers complain of low email open rates. And one of the reasons is that they use stale content and rigid copies.

Using visuals is the best way to spice things up and ensure your emails are read.

For example, instead of sending yearly usage reports in complex rounded numbers with some Pythagoras-like equations, you could use an infographic to display the data with interesting elements.

Grammarly and HubSpot are some companies using this strategy to engage their users.

There are custom graphic templates that you can download and edit for use.

Or, better still, you can work with your design team to create an email template for different categories of the emails you will be sending.

You can also use memes, images, and gifs in your email copy..

3.    Use more visuals on social media

Social media is another exclusive channel for building a customer base, converting more sales, and engaging your leads.

According to Socialpilot, there are about 2.96 billion active monthly Facebook users. Instagram has about 1.2 billion active users, while Pinterest follows behind with another 450 million.

The shocking part is that over 1 billion stories are shared daily on Facebook.

So instead of randomly pushing out several lines of text daily amid the pool of content already out there, why not use visual storytelling?

Several social platforms, like Facebook, offer the carousel feature for simultaneously posting several visual content types, like images.

Ecommerce marketers are already using this option to display multiple products simultaneously. And you, too, can.

It’s not just about posting your product images alone. You can create memes and gifs as media attachments when you post on your social handle.

Look for something with good humor and let it create a harmonious atmosphere with your post. Social media influencers do this a lot.

LinkedIn is one of the best channels to explore the power of visual storytelling.

LinkedIn content creators prefer using the PDF format to upload several-page graphic files. Interestingly, it works; they pass information without taking up much space or time.

Don’t leave out videos too. Videos posted on Facebook record a surprising 600% increase in engagement.

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And it is one of the fastest ways to build your brand and increase your follower count.

Conclusion

There is no good content strategy if it does not involve visuals.

Read that again! As more brands begin to recognize the power of visual storytelling, you need to ensure you’re not missing out, either.

Starting from your website, you should equip your homepage, blog posts, and sales page with relevant visuals.

Convey your messages and connect with customers emotionally on social media with images, illustrations, and memes.

Your email marketing outcome can also be boosted if you do it right.

What is Visual Storytelling? How to Use it to Improve User Engagement?

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2 Comments

  1. Barrie Evans

    Visuals are very helpful for sure. When sharing any kind of content, an image or video can help the person understand more of the written content. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    • Julie Weishaar

      Hi Barry,

      Yes, visuals do help. I try to do a blog post summary video as often as possible to attract more eyeballs.

      Reply

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