Digital Marketing 101: Why Visual Storytelling Is Crucial

by | Blog

You can tell your audience straight out that your products work to solve their problems. Or, you can create a fast and colorful image that shows the story of your product’s impact on people’s lives. Online marketing is more competitive than ever and one way to excel is to find better ways to tell stories. Let’s look at why and how visual storytelling works so well online today.

Why Visual Storytelling Is Such a Big Deal

You want your marketing to stick with people for as long as possible. The fact is that people only remember 10% of what they hear after only three days have passed. If a visual is added to the same information, people will remember 65%. That’s powerful information and a strong vote for making marketing messages visual.

In this fast-paced online world, marketers have a big challenge when it comes to grabbing attention as quickly as possible. This is where visual marketing really excels. 

Audiences Love Online Marketing That Uses Visual Storytelling

There are lots of statistics that try to show how visual storytelling can improve sales. You can of course do A/B testing for your business to see if your own audience reacts well to more visual marketing materials. However, one of the ways we know that audiences really love visual storytelling is through social media engagement.

Studies have found that people were 51% more likely to share videos than any other kind of content. This is an example that shows how audiences actively choose to participate in marketing campaigns that use visual storytelling. That’s powerful. That’s something worth paying attention to.

What Counts As Good Visual Storytelling

The key to great visual storytelling is to have a problem and a solution. That is a quick and relatable story, and also one that works very well in marketing. What are the problems that your ideal customer has that your product fixes? You’ll find stories in the answer to that question, ones that are short and can be told well visually.


​Great customer ​testimonials offer up social proof. This lets your audience know they can trust you. Your product or service worked for someone else, so it could work for them.

You can use testimonials to ​tell a story with a still image. This could be a photograph of the customer with their words ​written across it. ​If you can get some video testimonials, definitely do so. There’s something powerful about a human talking on screen about their experience with your ​business.


This is a straightforward example that ​most of us know well. A great commercial is an example of visual storytelling. We see people using a product in action. This could also be a video testimonial, as mentioned above. ​Videos are also a great way to ​quickly show your product in action.

​For example, if you were selling a tool, you could ​show something broken on the screen. Then, you show the tool in action fixing ​it. ​That’s a story of your product in action. It shows how a customer could use the tool to solve the same problem in their life.

Still Photographs

An example of this in online marketing could be a photograph with words or a logo added on top. Say that there is a photograph of a child smiling and playing the piano. Some text across the screen says, “He’s found his joy again. – Mom”. Below that is a logo for the piano makers.

In the visuals here, we can understand the story of what happened. A mother purchased a piano, and it transformed her son’s life. He was sad before, but now he’s happy. This is fast, effective, and happens without anyone even needing to read the caption.


A blog post can use a long infographic that requires scrolling. This is colorful, eye-catching, and works on the page. With this kind of format, you can give instructions on how to use something or share many statistics. With a social media post, it may be more effective to be as brief as possible. 

For example, you could take two similar products. You put each on either side of a line and then write “Benefits” at the top of the picture. Then, each column lists the individual benefits, which points out the differences between the products. Something like this helps a potential buyer decide which product is best for them while talking up both items.

Website Design

At Next Level Media Crew, we talk a lot about cutting-edge ideas in website design. A small business website is an opportunity to establish a strong brand identity. A lot of that work is done through images, colors, fonts, and other visual cues. Altogether, this is the work of telling the story of what your business is.

It’s no wonder that visual storytelling comes into play. There are tools like floating text, embedded videos, and stories that simply unfold as you scroll down well-formatted pages. A well-designed website will have visual storytelling tools giving more pieces of what the business is about.

Bad Ideas in Visual Storytelling

This is an important warning to keep in mind. A lot of the time we see people jump onto an idea in online marketing. They have the best intentions and just want to take it as far as they can. In any marketing campaign, you need to always be thinking about what is truly effective.

Complicated Stories

Visual storytelling is for simple stories. The story of getting a product and having it change your life can be powerful but also simple. The example mentioned above where a child was newly happy after getting a piano is a good visual story. You should be able to capture the idea in one short sentence.

Using Pictures Just To Use Them

You understand that social media posts with pictures or videos get more attention. You know that blog posts do better for SEO and with readers if they have pictures. And so, you start adding pictures to everything, just because it’s what you need to do. This comes with some great intentions, but throwing up random stock images isn’t the best move.

Readers scan for pictures to find something relevant to them. If the picture isn’t relevant to their interests, they’re not going to see a story. They’re also not going to see something they are going to want to look into further. Using irrelevant images or videos may train your audience to ignore you.

Content That Doesn’t Help the Audience

One of the important rules of content marketing is to be useful. Audiences find entertainment, inspiration, and instructive content to be useful in their lives. If you decide to tell stories that are none of these things, you won’t have an audience for long. Content that is just about your business without considering the audience is seen as selfish and uninteresting.

Tell stories about how your product solves a customer’s problems. Don’t tell a story about how your product just exists. A great story gives people a reason to care and relate. They need to see themselves in the story for it to really grab them and be something memorable.

If you’re struggling to tell stories with your marketing, you’re not alone. When you’re deep inside your business it’s hard to see the stories people want to hear. We work with businesses to help them tell the stories of their brand, products, and customers. Contact Next Level Media Crew to schedule a strategy call for your business today

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