Visual storytelling has become an important trend in marketing – with the right visuals, brand stories engage customers by enabling them to see themselves in your story and identify with your brand. In fact, your visual story is often the first thing potential customers relate to and what can separate you from your competition. Photos help you tell your story quickly with impact and emotion. But they must be the right images.
The Easy Way
Let’s use the example of an apparel manufacturer who makes t-shirts for a regional market. How easy would it be to download a couple of inexpensive stock images, drop a logo or design into the pictures and call it a day? Very easy.
These photos, however, don’t convey that the t-shirt company is a lifestyle brand, nor do they reflect the physical environment of their market area. In fact, the backgrounds are so generic, they don’t tell a story at all. Either your viewers will have to piece together your story in the few seconds they will look at the photos or you will have to embellish the visual story with copy to draw in your customers. And chances are good that if the photos don’t draw in people in the first place, they’re not going to read your copy to figure out the story.
While many big brands can often get away with generic imagery because of the wide audience they are trying to appeal to, small and local businesses fare much better when they use imagery to tell their unique story – the story that resonates with their specific audience.
Stock images can be inexpensive, but they will never do your brand story justice.
Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text by the human brain and 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual. Don’t waste that 90% on stock photography that does not tell the brand story you worked so hard to create!
The Engaging Way
Successful large brands, however, have found that engaging photos are authentic, relevant to their target market, and reflect the human experience. The same goes for small businesses.
Let’s go back to our apparel manufacturer, based on Cape Ann in Massachusetts.
By leveraging the power of branded photography, they take their customers and target audience on a visual journey. They are selling not only apparel, but a specific lifestyle, feelings and memories. The setting is recognizable to visitors and residents of Cape Ann (their target market), and the photos convey a mood that matches Tragabigzanda’s branding and brand story.
Storytelling is most effective when it’s personalized to the audience. Take control of your narrative and connect with your audience by creating original visuals that tell your story in your brand voice.