Introduction to The Power of Visual Storytelling by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio
Every week, I come across an article talking about the importance of including images in your blog posts to increase traffic. For centuries, images have played a major role in societies and cultures.
For instance, in archaeology, signs and symbols give us insights into what life was like in the past, and they are used to express ideas. We have heard it so many times, that we now know that great visuals that complement written text make for very powerful storytelling.
However, many of the people who are telling us to add visuals to our text are telling and not showing us how to do it. And that’s why The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio is such an important book because it not only shows us, but tells us what we need to know about visual storytelling.
What is The Power of Visual Storytelling About?
In The Power of Visual Storytelling, Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio give you the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of visual storytelling, and I found the book so helpful that I took a lot of notes. The subtitle of the book is very telling – How to use visuals, videos and social media to market your brand – so you know what to expect from the book, and it delivers.
I found pages 44 to 46 very helpful because they explain in detail the types of images used for visual storytelling, and the list includes more than you would imagine, so you have more choices. Types of images mentioned include: Photography, Graphs and Drawings, Photo Collages, Cartoons and much more. And what makes the book so valuable, is that it covers videos, in addition to images, and the reader will also learn that adding the right image to your content is not enough.
Your content has to have a theme, a point of view and a takeaway message for your reader. That means, your content has to be valuable to its intended audience. And on top of that, the book dedicates pages to the most popular social media and video platforms – Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Vine, Slideshare and Google+. The information dedicated to each visual platform includes facts as well as tips on how to engage your readers using each of them.
I discovered that there are seven elements of visual storytelling. This is important for people who create content regularly, because I think that by incorporating the seven elements, you increase the probability that your content gets shared more.
7 Elements of Visual Storytelling
- Design: The right image can tell a powerful story. Use stunning imagery to get your point across.
- Personalization: Customize your story for each platform. That is, different content, but a consistent theme.
- Usefulness: Use the strengths of each platform for your benefit. Add value to make your content useful and relevant.
- Personality: Content should have a human face and not a corporate one. People relate to people. What issues do your constituents care about? Do you understand their needs and what motivates them? Content should be a welcome interruption.
- Storytelling: Content must tell a story.
- Shareworthiness: Develop useful, interesting, and relevant content that is worth sharing.
- Real-time amplification: Develop strong visual imagery to share in real-time.
The Power of Visual Storytelling outlines how to create a visual storytelling strategy roadmap, and the reader will appreciate it that the authors recognize that not everyone is in a position to hire a consultant to do this. By following the instructions, which are straightforward, you can create and implement your strategy. Another section of the book that I particularly liked is crafting and sourcing stunning visuals.
A few months ago, while taking a free online course, one of the assignments required that I included photos with my life story, and it wasn’t an easy task for me. It didn’t even occur to me that there are tools to help you create a collage, so I was delighted to learn which tools I can use the next time around. Have you ever wondered how people create those stunning visuals that include a powerful quote with a beautiful, related photo? While reading the book you will learn how to do that.
5 Great Ideas from The Power of Visual Storytelling
- The photos that people take and share across social media is a statement of how they view and experience the world they inhabit.
- A graphic makes your story more impactful and helps your audience connect to your message.
- Visual and text must work together and not compete for attention – use a clean layout.
- One size does not fit all, and so it is with social media platforms. Customize your content for the character and audience of each platform.
- Great Content = Theme + Point of View + Takeaway Message + Stunning Visual.
Final Thoughts on The Power of Visual Storytelling
I could write more about The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand by Ekaterina Walter and Jessica Gioglio, but I would like you to read it if you create any kind of content. I have extracted five great ideas from the book.