Unless you’ve been completely unplugged from all technology for years, you’ll know that visual content/communication and storytelling are incredibly important. I was going to say unless you’ve lived in the Stone Age, but communication there was purely visual! Think about all the carvings on rocks. Think about ancient Egypt and all the hieroglyphics. Not only is that visual content, but it also tells a story. As you can see images, signs, hieroglyphics, and other visual content has always been a big part of who we are as people. What better way to communicate your product to the public? It doesn’t matter if you’re a mammoth company like Microsoft or a small start-up business; this is how you effectively create a brand.
I’m going to give you a little psychological babble here. It’s a little deep, but it’s factual and it’s hard to argue. “People think using pictures.” John Berger, media theorist, writes in his book Ways of Seeing (Penguin Books, 1972), “Seeing comes before words. The child looks and recognizes before it can speak.” Dr. Lynell Burmark, Ph.D. Associate at the Thornburg Center for Professional Development and writer of several books and papers on visual literacy, said, “…unless our words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear. Words are processed by our short-term memory where we can only retain about 7 bits of information (plus or minus 2). This is why, by the way, that we have 7-digit phone numbers. Images, on the other hand, go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched.”
When we think we think in terms of a movie playing out in our head. Really focus the next time somebody is explaining something to you. You will see images of what the person is describing and then connect that content with the dialogue you’re hearing. That’s how you connect the story. Speaking of stories, aren’t you more engaged when listening to a story compared to when you’re listening to a seminar? Scientists actually have shown that our brains are more engaged when listening to a story, according to this New York Times article.
Combining the two pieces of content, visuals and stories, will make for a powerful 1-2 punch. To do it effectively, you need to tell a story people will care about. People love stories about cute animals and/or children. Bottom line, tell a human story, or a story that will make you feel something, but include how your product will make their problem go away. Here is where you throw in an eye catching piece of visual content. Show how your product will walk them through the path to victory. At the end, you throw in your call to action.
In reading the previous short paragraph, I bet you have several images in your head right now. That took you about a minute or so to read, right? Isn’t that better than having somebody explain the product to you in 30 minutes? You bet it does! Combine your visual content and storytelling and you will see how great that secret sauce tastes.