Visual Storytelling: Make Your Marketing Strategy Standout

Posted by on May 13, 2014 in Branding, Marketing [ 0 Comments ]

ID-100184248The human brain processes images around 60,000 times faster than words (Tweet This!). Your brain works with sound and image, but never words. In today’s high paced advertising world, you want to maximize the amount you communicate to the skimming eye in the most memorable and eye catching form: images. Here are some brands that know how to tell a story visually and what we can learn from their success.


Last year, Google’s video about the reunion of two friends from India and Pakistan went viral in a pleasant display of the power of visual storytelling. It tells the story of two elderly friends who were separated by the two countries division as children and their younger relatives who use all of Google’s features to reunite them.

The Lesson: The ad integrates the brand, linking it together with positive emotions. The idea being that the viewer will associate these same positive emotions with Google itself. Look for stories that tug at the heart strings and put your brand at the center of it. Scan the headlines for the popular news items and adapt them to your needs. Look into the art world, and try to mirror a popular movie plot or music video. Give people something familiar and your effect will be more widespread (Tweet This!).

Related: In the Battle for Eyeballs, Video is the Difference Maker

American Express

During the recent notorious winter that stranded thousands in their homes across the contiguous United States, American Express released this timely photo ad on their Facebook page. It’s very simple, but it communicates so much using only imagery. It’s a clear message to the stranded: you may be twiddling your thumbs and limited to snow activity for fun, but don’t forget about your Amex card to help you manage the bforedom.

The Lesson: Topical messages work wonders, even if only for a limited time. In the middle of summer, it might be hard to remember the feelings of winter. An ad such as this is best with a precise release date. Pay attention to the world around you. What are people thinking about and how can you connect your brand to it in a meaningful way?


If you can reach out and move someone, people are more likely to pay attention. TOMS declared to the world that for every pair of shoes they sold, they would donate another pair to someone in need elsewhere in the world. The tell this story visually by posting photos on their Facebook page of those who received the products and the other communities they have connected with along the way.toms

The Lesson: Everyone would like to be a part of something that makes the world a better place. TOMS is actively doing something about it and directly involving their customers while still pulling in a profit for their business. You don’t necessarily have to give your product away, but look for ways that your business can help others and create some good together. Pick a charity or cause and link your donation amount to a customer purchase.

Related: Why You Should Treat Your Customers Like Friends


The most compelling stories are about people to whom everyone can relate. Starbucks celebrates their customers by posting the photos on their Facebook page of coffee that people post on their Instagram feeds or elsewhere on social media. They are able to tell their brand story by using fresh, customer generated content that feels interactive and fun at the same time.

The Lesson: Involve your customers in your brand. Your business is nothing without your loyal clientele (Tweet This!). The more they feel a connection to your brand, the more likely they are to spread your name via word-of-mouth. Social Media success is a critical part of branding, so put some thought into it. Post their photos of your product, or if that’s not practical for your business, try to take pictures of your clients while you’re working and tell a short, single sentence story to give people something to connect with. Make their faces a part of your brand.


While you’re looking for interesting stories to tell, don’t overlook what may be perhaps your most interesting story of all: your own. IBM has been around for a long time and has come a long way from where they started. At the end of 2013, they brought in the new year by posting old photos of the company’s early days via their Facebook feed. They displayed old, massive computers and clunky desktops with outdated hardware that feels like it never looked new.

The Lesson: Even if you don’t have an old company, you may have interesting stories to tell about the formation or “early days” before the customers met you. It doesn’t have to be as archaic as IBM’s text-based monitors however. Create a special Instagram feed that is just for these pictures, or hop onto a current trend like Throwback Thursday, and release your favorite old photos via social media every Thursday. Be creative and people will appreciate the effort.

Related: Get advice from marketing experts so you can tell your brand’s story.

Author Bio: Owen Andrew is a writer with a strong passion for emerging technology and social media strategies to help enhance ones brand. He enjoys drinking his morning cup of black coffee while attempting the newspaper’s crossword puzzle. He hopes the readers of find this article helpful as well as informative. 

(Images via Dallas Lights, IBN Live and Google)

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