Posts Tagged ‘visual storytelling’

☞ Does visual storytelling have the same rules as other forms of storytelling? Or do different rules apply? Or could it be that some of the rules that we associate with it also apply to other forms of communication, and are not restricted to storytelling per se, whether visual or otherwise? I choose the following article not because it provides easy answers to the above questions, but because it highlights the concern that there might be different rules for visual storytelling, or that some people believe that some of the general observances of storytelling do not apply to it. What is needed here is a clearer spelling out of what these rules, principles or inclinations actually are, especially when they do, as in this case, touch on questions of ethics.

“Did you see Businessweek’s recent cover illustration on the housing bubble rebound? Did it strike you as offensive, racist, misleading and factually incorrect as it did me?

Businessweek is rightfully being pilloried over the illustration, which feels more like a 19th-century minstrel cartoon than it does a cover for a leading and mainstream 21st-century business magazine.

But the more I looked at the situation and thought about the artwork, the more I realized that in the midst of this move towards more visual storytelling in media, business and culture at large, there seem to be few rules and standards in place for telling visual stories appropriately and accurately.

Infographics, video, stock photography, presentations and charts — you can’t visit a web page or turn a magazine page without being fed visual content that has replaced the written word. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but this shift brings with it more story formats that lack traditional checks and safeguards. And that’s why the Businessweek cover is so troubling.”

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☞ Storytelling is a major topic in discussions of content marketing. But not every kind of storytelling transmitted through any media will do the job. As this article by Jason Cormier usefully reminds us, much of the effective storytelling in content marketing is transmitted visually.

“As we compete in this context to draw attention for our brand and offerings, perhaps one element has remained constant above all others: the power of visual storytelling.

Why? Because no state-of-the art technology can substitute for state-of-the-heart storytelling. If a picture is worth a thousand words, the story behind it may be worth a million more. Pinterest and Instagram continue proving this out, and every competent marketer on Facebook can point to the power of imagery.

If you’re already producing video as part of your marketing, and your efforts are sophisticated enough to track resulting engagement and lead generation – watch what happens when your focus changes from just features and benefits to creatively telling a story. Hint: Higher levels of viewership, engagement, and sharing.”

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