How Visual Storytelling Can Make Your Brand Beat All Competition


by Ivan Serrano |

The old saying goes that a picture is worth 1,000 words. Considering the attention span of your average internet user, that single picture might as well be worth all the words you have to say. That being said, it’s important to make an instant impression that brings an audience in, and delivers the goods to keep them satisfied, and more importantly keep them sharing.

You might never have studied film before, and photo filters may not be in your repertoire, but you can still deliver the goods when it comes to striking, meaningful visual content. You just need to know how to tell a good story.

No One Wants To See Your Catalog Photos

Any company that’s using the eagerly sharing Instagram audience as a place to regurgitate product photos is wasting its time and probably doesn’t have much to offer in the way of followers. Instagram is about creativity, cuteness, kitsch, and composition. Your photos have to have personality to take off here.

Consider the work of successful brands who use Instagram as an extension of their brand voice. Red Bull shows off breathtaking stills of the extreme sports lifestyle they proudly endorse and promote. Taco Bell is a little cheeky and skews young demographically, so pop culture-infused sauce packet decorations are par for the course. Sharpie has a simple line of products, so it makes them take center stage by encouraging users to submit drawings made solely with their markers and promotes them through their page.

A simple idea or a running theme that fits your brand is all it takes to bring you out of the showroom and into the real world where people can feel a real connection to your offerings.

Lay It All Out With Just Six Seconds of Video

Vine took the world by storm in the last year, allowing users to take simple, quick videos and turn them into quick, easily digested bits of content that never exceed six seconds in length. While some were quick to dismiss it as a flavor of the month, some businesses weren’t going to miss the zeitgeist and quickly built a reputation as creative, modern, and willing to take risks.

Without some tight production and quality planning and storyboarding, coming up with a successful Vine may be a bit of a challenge, but if you can’t be entertaining, you can certainly be interesting. Oreo regularly takes to its Vine account to show off quick ways to use Oreos in unexpected ways, including a video that features the popular cookie being packed into a pepper grinder to create Oreo sprinkles for ice cream.

If you can’t really sum up your brand that quickly, there is of course, a more frequently used alternative.

Do More Than Just Post Commercials With YouTube

On the plus side, it’s almost a truth that everybody uses YouTube. A well-promoted, solid video can draw in thousands of views overnight. Of course, there’s way more content than just what you have to post. Getting lost in the shuffle is easy for unimaginative, repetitive campaigns.

Some brands, like Old Spice, used their YouTube channel to expand upon and share their brand of “what did I just watch” commercials, but without being strange enough to draw people into actively seek out your ad, you probably should take a different approach.

A trip to the Home Depot’s YouTube channel might have you think that they’re in a different business. The hardware chain posts instructional, do-it-yourself videos on how to tackle all kinds of projects around the home. They inform rather than sell, creating content users would be likely to search for. Of course, when viewers realize they’re missing tools or supplies, they know what store carries all the things they just learned about.

Visual Storytelling in advertising is nothing new, the only change is how many avenues there are to use it. Each one offers its own unique rewards and artistic challenges to succeed within, but most importantly, it creates a new facet of your company’s identity. It’s essential to get attention early with unique content that sells without advertising to ensure that you get followers who stick around and share your hard work and creativity.

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Ivan Serrano is a passionate writer who enjoys learning and voicing his thoughts on mass media marketing techniques in relation to business expansion. He hopes this article has been thought-provoking and you can read more of his work at

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