The Power of Visual Storytelling: From the Caves of Lascaux to a Riveting Website

It was September 1940 in Dordogne, France, when four boys and a dog named Robot set out in search of a legendary tunnel that led to a hidden treasure. Robot scampered ahead and began sniffing around a deep hole created by an uprooted tree. Was it the opening to the tunnel? After widening the hole with penknives, the boys slid 50 terrifying feet into a cool, dark chamber. They lit and lifted their oil lamp. . . .

Lascaux.jpg

Suddenly, the stone walls came alive with charging bulls, massive bison, stags, lions, equines, elk, and ibex—telling us stories of a world more than 30,000 years ago.

WHAT IS VISUAL MEDIA WITHOUT VISUAL CONTENT?

Fascinating things on the ceiling at Nichols Hardware Store.

Fascinating things on the ceiling at Nichols Hardware Store.

Bare cave walls. YouTube without video. A website without photos.  It is media that will not be crawled, indexed, and ranked well by the search engines. And if there's nothing relevant or useful or entertaining for your prospective customers, clients, or contributors to learn or consume, why would they stick around? If someone's going to look for and find a cave, aren't they more likely to stay if they discover the walls and ceilings covered with fascinating things?

MEASURING THE EFFECTIVENESS OF VISUAL CONTENT 

 According to HubSpot's review of 2014 data, the marketing software leader reported that "two major trends emerged and both highlight the effectiveness of visual content marketing . . . [They] reveal that marketers who are leveraging visual content are seeing significant increases in their blog traffic, social media engagements, visitor-to-lead conversion rates and inbound customer acquisition results." 

Here are a few things HubSpot learned:

  • When Social Media Examiner recently asked marketers which forms of content they most want to learn about in 2015, creating original visual assets took first place, followed by producing original videos. (Source)
  • 70% of marketers plan to increase their use of original visual assets in 2015. (Source) 
  • Visual content is a key component in each of the top 5 most effective B2B marketing tactics. (The 5 tactics are videos, webinars/webcasts, blogs, in-person events, and case studies.)
  • Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites, and 150% more retweets. (Source)
  •  Last year the amount of video from people and brands in Facebook's News feed increased 3.6 times year-over-year 

WHY YOU WANT YOUR CONTENT TO BE "COMPELLING"

It's not enough to just increase your amount of visual content. That content has to be compelling, which is, as Webster's defines it is: 

  • very interesting : able to capture and hold your attention
  • capable of causing someone to believe or agree
  • strong and forceful : causing you to feel that you must do something (italics ours)

 You want your site visitors to take action: download an offer or an app, buy your products, retain your services, join your cause, or, in today's parlance, follow your path to purchase. You want them to become a fan of your brand. 

Easier said than done. Marketing with visual content requires you to create it or find it.

WHERE TO TURN FOR VISUAL CONTENT

To begin to increase your compelling visual content assets, take a look at the portfolios of Sarah Huntington Photography and The Lincoln Studios. Or contact Laura Longley of  INC | I Need Content, who will provide you with compelling articles, blogs, enewsletters, ebooks, slideshows, webinars, white papers, and more.