HOW TO USE VISUAL STORYTELLING TO MAKE VIDEOS BETTER
VISUAL COMMUNICATION MAKES VIDEOS MORE ENGAGING. HERE ARE SOME TIPS ON HOW TO USE VISUAL STORYTELLING.
Why should you learn how to use Visual Storytelling? Because in today's fast-paced digital world, attention spans are shorter than ever. The competition for clicks is growing fierce, on Facebook, on YouTube, just about everywhere.
And Visual Storytelling can be the edge you need—it’s the secret to making TV ads and videos more engaging and fun to watch.
The TV commercial above is a great example. Instead of talking about the noise-canceling capabilities of Airpods Pro, they demonstrate it in a fun, creative way.
All without a single word of dialogue.
Unfortunately, I didn’t work on this commercial. I didn’t shoot it. I didn’t write it. But I sure wish I had.
What Is Visual Storytelling?
It’s the art of telling stories primarily through a visual medium. In the world of content marketing, it includes video, photography, illustrations, and graphic design.
But in the video and film industry, the definition is more specific—it’s the art of conveying complex thoughts and emotions visually, with minimal dialogue.
There are many tools you can incorporate in Visual Storytelling: actions, facial expressions, body language, even how shots are framed.
Several months ago, I wrote a blog post about film director Alfred Hitchcock and his “Rules of Visual Storytelling.” Hitchcock, it turns out, invented many of the techniques still being used today to tell stories visually.So, if you’re ever stuck on an idea, ask yourself “What Would Hitchcock Do?”
The Language of Film
Anyone who grew up watching movies and TV shows understands Visual Storytelling. It’s the language of film—using images and editing to connect with the audience and convey emotion.
Here’s another example. A Budweiser commercial that played on the Super Bowl a few years ago.
It tells a sweet story about a puppy and a Clydesdale, all without words.
No matter who you are, no matter what language you speak, when you see a series of images like this, you understand the story. It draws you in, and makes you feel more connected to the brand.
That’s the power of Visual Storytelling.
Why It Works
In a blog post about the Link Between Science and Video Marketing, I explained WHY people like video so much—the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than written communication.
It makes sense. Humans have been processing visual information for thousands of years, ever since prehistoric times. It’s like our brains are hard wired for Visual Storytelling.
In fact, half our brains are dedicated to processing visual information—30% of the neurons in the cortex, compared to 8% for touch and 3% for hearing.
Here’s another example, from KFC. It shows a tongue-in-cheek dramatic showdown between a turkey and a chicken.
The chicken wins, of course.
Keys to Visual Storytelling
So what can you do to tell stories more visually?
Well, not trying to be flippant, but the first step is to stop relying on words.
Most TV commercials and videos feature someone talking on camera. In fact, the industry term for this format is a “talking head.” But the truth is, no matter how compelling the message, it’s just not as interesting as a visual story.
Don’t just say it, show it.”
Once you have a story idea, try drawing a storyboard. Putting the images next to each other, in order, will help you work out the details.
If you’re interested in trying Visual Storytelling for your brand or business, you’ll need top quality production to ensure the best results.
Many companies produce their own videos, while others work with experienced third-party companies like Content Puppy Productions. At Content Puppy, we specialize in creating videos that help companies stand out and drive results.
With three decades of advertising and marketing experience, we offer a range of creative services, including video production, post production, copywriting, digital advertising, concept development, and graphic design. Whether you need web and social media videos, TV commercials, or streaming digital content, you'll love working with us.
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About the Author:
Harry Hayes is the owner and executive producer at Content Puppy Productions, a corporate video production agency based in Charlotte. Before starting Content Puppy, he spent 20+ years as an advertising writer and creative director.