How to Be a Good Visual Storyteller

how to be a good visual storyteller

Visual storytelling is more important than ever in the online world.

Brands don’t just need an eye-catching website that holds users’ attention. They also need to tell their stories through various visual elements across social media platforms.

Graphics, carousels, video content, photographs, and infographics all play an important role in visual storytelling. Each type of visual appeals to a different aspect of your target market, helping you to reach a wider audience in the process.

Wondering how to strengthen your brand’s visual storytelling? It’s easy to get started.

Why Visual Storytelling?

Essentially, visual storytelling helps to reach more of your audience and grab more users’ attention.

With so many more people using mobile devices to access the internet, great visuals can help a brand stand out from the crowd. Roughly 65% of the world’s web traffic comes from mobile devices now, and that number is likely to keep growing.

What’s more, marketing trends continue to embrace visual storytelling.

How to Use Your Brand to Tell A Good Visual Story

It’s possible to tell a great brand story in words alone. But adding visuals takes your narrative above and beyond, creating a richer and more memorable experience for users.

Visual storytelling makes your brand and its message that much more attention-grabbing. It’s easier to keep users engaged when you pair the right images and video with the right brand story and solid copywriting.

There are several can’t-miss best practices to follow if you’re ready to become a better visual storyteller. Let’s jump right into what those are.

Determine Your Brand Style and Colors

Knowing your brand style and colors is the first step toward building your visual brand identity. You’ll want to decide on elements like fonts (a stylized font for headers, and an easy-to-read font for body copy), colors, graphic elements, and image styles.

From there, you can create a brand style guide to standardize your brand visuals. This will make it easier for your team to stick to the right visual elements. And when you hire a new teammate, it will be simple to onboard them with this information already on hand.

Hootsuite is a great example of a cohesive visual brand that consistently uses the same colors and graphic elements across its website and social media presence.

hootsuite ad

Notice that Hootsuite’s brand colors and style are clear from the get-go. Now, head over to their Instagram page to see how well their other graphic elements and images align.

hootsuite instagram

Anyone who is familiar with Hootsuite would recognize the brand’s Instagram posts at a glance, even in a noisy, crowded feed.

Make Sure Your Visuals Are On Brand

Another important aspect of good visual storytelling is only using visuals that are on brand. This is important for consistency across all platforms and touch points.

Once you’ve built your brand style guide, it’s much easier to keep your visuals aligned with your brand. That’s because you’ll have a great point of reference to keep everything consistent.

snappa template example

You’ll want to apply these branding rules to all visual elements of your online presence, including:

  • Avatars
  • Banners
  • Blog post featured images
  • Cover photos
  • Infographics
  • Pinterest Pins
  • Short- and long-form videos
  • Static images and carousels
  • Stock photos
  • Stories
  • Thumbnails
  • End screens
snappa youtube end screen example

Consistency takes effort, but it’s worth the brand recognition and awareness you’ll create for your audience.

(Don’t forget to make sure your visual image sizes and dimensions match their appropriate platforms.)

Tell A Brand Story That Solves A Clear Problem

When your brand story solves a clear problem for your audience, they’re more likely to take notice. That’s especially true if your visuals back that up and make the story easier to understand.

Connecting with your customers pain-points is crucial for building trust, and clearly explaining how you’ll solve these problems should be at the core of your messaging and storytelling.

Not only is your audience scrolling social media for answers to their problems; they’re also looking for video that addresses them.

For example, according to data from Hubspot, 96% of consumers reported watching explainer videos to learn about a brand’s offer.

Social Media College (SMC) is an excellent example of a brand that uses great visual storytelling to demonstrate how it solves problems for its audience.

Take a look at SMC’s YouTube thumbnails, which feature pictures of happy customers. Each thumbnail tagline is either a short headline or a quote that concisely describes a problem SMC helped them solve.

Use a Clear, Easy-to-Understand Tagline

Good marketing copy goes hand-in-hand with visual storytelling. The more clear and concise the copy, the better.

An important part of your brand story is the tagline you choose. You can use your brand story as a springboard for creating this tagline.

Here are some iconic examples of classic, catchy brand taglines to get your creative juices flowing:

  • I’m Lovin’ It (McDonald’s)
  • Just Do It (Nike)
  • L’Eggo My Eggo (Eggo)
  • Let’s Go Places (Toyota)
  • Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands. (M&M’s)
  • Shave Time. Shave Money. (Dollar Shave Club)
  • Think Different. (Apple)
  • Zoom Zoom (Mazda)

Notice What Works, Then Repeat It

Finally, success in online marketing depends on your ability to notice and repeat what works. You can do this by studying your analytics to see what kind of content performs best for you.

Once you have a clear picture of your content performance, you can decide where to scale back—and what to create more of.

For example, you might notice that your static images aren’t performing as well as carousels or Reels. Rather than doubling down on static posts, adjust your video posting strategy and monitor the results.

Over time, you’ll also want to stay aware of changing trends and algorithms. Most brands can’t use the same strategies indefinitely. Your visual storytelling strategy will need to evolve with your audience and the market.

Create Easy, Eye-Catching Graphics That Fit Your Visual Story

Finally, no visual brand story is complete without original graphics.

Using a graphic design tool like Snappa makes it fast and easy to create your own original visual content.

snappa instagram templates

Our user-friendly interface, complete with professionally-designed templates, has everything you need to create optimized graphics for each social media platform, including design elements, a great font library, and eye-catching stock photos.

Final Thoughts

Now that you know how to be a better visual storyteller, it’s time to put what you’ve learned into practice. With the right visual guidelines and tools, you can tell a beautiful story across all aspects of your online presence.

If you need a little help creating amazing graphic designs and images, Snappa can help! You don’t have to be a professional graphic designer to jump right in. Get started for free here.