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Storytelling Frameworks For Churning Out Great Visual Content Every Time

Everybody loves a good story.

And these stories help brands connect to their audience effectively. While stories can be told with text alone, they become much more appealing when paired with a visual, thanks to our brain’s response to colors, imagery, body language and other visual cues.

So to reap a good ROI using your visuals, it is crucial that you focus on the various aspects of storytelling. Let’s explore them here:

The “Before & After” Bait

Remember those weight loss ads, with before and after images? Those work brilliantly to ignite the hope in the target audience and persuade them to buy or heed to your call to action. These before/after image doesn’t have to be limited to weightloss sector. You can craft clever marketing messages showing the “before side” (call that the “problem world”) and the “after” phase (the world where the consumer problem is solved thanks to your product).
Instead of before/after, you can try other variations too like today/tomorrow, old way/new way, and so on. You get the idea.
Also this before vs after doesn’t necessarily have to be in image format always.

You can try GIFs too:


Or videos.

Most explainer videos, which communicate a brand’s product story and vision, start by exploring the consumer problem and then introduce the product as the hero that saves the day. It goes more a like a problem world vs new world where target customers see how the product/solution brings about the “happy ever after” end to their problems.

Even investor pitches and presentations use this formula. You highlight the market problem or current state and present your solution.

The “Hero’s Journey” Storytelling Style

The Hero’s Journey storytelling formula helps you identify the key consumer questions that need to be answered before they decide to buy from you. Integrate this technique with the buyer’s journey funnel to craft visual content stories that your audience will resonate with.
Explore charts and pointers from Nancy Duarte’s book “Resonate: Present Visual Stories That Transform Audiences”

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Under this, you craft a buyer persona. Draw up the character traits of your target audience, their interests, goals, and desires. Then plan your marketing campaign (language, tone, and narrative) to appeal to that persona.
Remember your customers are scattered in three different phases- awareness, evaluation and purchase mode. Create a buyer persona for each segment. Give a name to that audience segment. And run a market ad to push consumer from brand awareness phase to the purchasing mood.

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You Don’t Remember Numbers But You Remember Stories:

Case Study: The London School of Business discovered that people have different levels of information retention based on how information is delivered to them. When they hear statistics alone, they retain only 5% to 10% of what they hear. When stories are used to convey that same information, retention jumps to a remarkable 65% to 70%. So when you are making a presentation or a video or a research poster, present it with a story that will resonate with your audience.

The Neuromarketing Tactic

Our brain notices things that don’t fit the pattern.
Neuromarketing hacks play on people’s unconscious desires in trying to influence them to take the intended action.
Craft visual content that strikes an emotion- delight, surprise, amaze, anger, awe – choose the right psychology factor in your visual content to influence decisions.

Robert Plutchik’s “wheel of emotions” reveals some of the underlying emotions that influence your customers, which – when leveraged – can boost your conversions.

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This also works in Price Psychology, like how to get buyers to choose a certain package by offering discounts and coupons.

The Direction Cues Technique

What’s the first thing you see on an ad poster? The headline or that icon? Every visual element carries a “weight” and our eyes scan the image according to this weight hierarchy. For example, if a person’s wearing a flashy shirt, our eye focus on that first, and then maybe the face. Or if he is wearing some fancy shoes? We notice that next. So “flashy” here is the element’s weightage, and depending on how we see things, it influences your perception of that person.

Explore directional cues tactics like contrast, grids, and arrows, or size of the element, and show examples of how we scan graphic ads.

The 5 Question Technique

Great content answers 5 question- Who, where, what, why and how
Who are you making the graphic for, where’s the advertisement going (site or social media, be specific of the platform to make the right graphic ad), what’s the problem, why should they buy your product/service or give you the attention, how do you solve that problem


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