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7 Compelling Visual Stories Worth Studying

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A picture is worth a thousand words, especially in digital marketing strategies. For the longest time, webpage visuals were lackluster. Tech had to catch up before we could bring web stories to life. Developers with resources and big organizations with bigger budgets were the few with the capability– until now.

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Problematic PDFs

PDFs have been the visual go-to for those without high-tech capabilities or significant funding. In our mobile-friendly world, PDFs proved to be problematic. The lack of alternatives made it a necessary evil.

PDFs weren’t what readers wanted. Plus, the images weren’t great– readers had to zoom in on text to see it clearly.

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No-Code To The Rescue

Now, no-code platforms enrich our strategies for sales and marketing, allowing us to add resonating visuals to our stories. When so many of the world’s population identify as visual learners, it’s a game changer for reaching your audience.

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What’s In A Visual Story

Visual storytelling includes the use of:

  • Images
  • Graphics
  • Illustrations
  • ​Photos
  • ​Videos
  • ​Data displays
  • ​Infographics
  • ​GIFs
  • ​Animation
  • ​Maps
  • ​Comics

Visuals add layers of interest and are a powerful form of conversion marketing. Audiences stay longer on your webpage, captivated, increasing the probability of conversions.

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Benefits of Visual Storytelling

Visuals make stories more fascinating. They generate interest at the beginning of the customer journey and draw in the audience at the top of the marketing funnel. Additionally, they serve to engage, entertain, and educate, making information more easily digestible and memorable.

The following legends make exemplary examples of visuals that pull audiences in:

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1. The New York Times

“The New York Times” regularly puts out great visual stories. One notable example is Sabrina Imbler and Eden Weingart’s use of cartoon illustrations and “scrolly-telling” to help explain their views on climate change and how “Peat” helps with carbon capture.

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2. NBC

Erin Einhorn and Olivia Lewis’ visually compelling piece on segregation in Detroit includes scrolly-telling, historical photos, data visualizations, and aerial views. It’s impossible not to get reeled into the story that’s presented, despite it covering a vast chunk of historical information.

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3. El Periódico

In their exposé on an illegal spy operation of a government authority in Barcelona, Ángeles Vázquez, Silver Larrosa, and Eva Domínguez lay it out like a comic book. Scrolly-telling and illustrations make for easy digestibility as readers devour it at their own pace.

News media outlets must have strong visuals to grab their audience’s attention. Here are some other products and services whose stories are killing it:

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4. Airbnb

Airbnb has made a niche as a liaison– it produces nothing and sells nothing. Rather, some of its customers are producers, and others are consumers. Airbnb matches those offering up whole or parts of their homes to those travelers wanting to rent.

Articles, imagery, and videos help the producers get started. Visuals ease the minds of potential guests who may naturally have reservations about staying in the homes of people they don’t know. Check out how their visuals in this video tell a story about a significant ethical service they provide to families in crisis.

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5. Nike

A marketing icon, Nike understood the power of great storytelling almost before it was on anybody else’s radar. They released a one-minute commercial honoring hall-of-famer Michael Jordan's basketball career in 1999. They didn’t mention their brand until the last few seconds, in which their slogan, “Just Do It,” and the Nike swoosh logo appeared over an old school photo of Jordan.

It stood in stark contrast from most commercials of its day, which were very sales-pitchy. Nike is still one of the greatest brand storytellers of all time. Nearly everything it does includes a backstory. One of their many other noteworthy storytelling projects was their Equality campaign, which aimed to celebrate differences and inspire change through athletics.

With a goal to connect heart-to-heart with your audience, you grow beyond being just a business. Smart brands regularly launch initiatives to connect with movements that agree with their branding.

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6. Twitch

The live streaming platform Twitch explains itself in a clever ad. Using visual elements like illustrations and videos, the ad serves as a guide for marketers to learn how to advertise to Twitch’s users successfully. The video grabs and holds the reader’s attention. The background and information are extensive and educational, but the visual effects make it easy for the reader to digest at their own pace.

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7. Burt’s Bees

This natural skincare line has a great founding story. The brand also believes strongly in environmentally friendly, ethical practices and transparency. Its “About Us” page employs text and photos to enlighten customers on what it stands for.

The company explains its history and environmental exploits with stunning, impactful photos. Their stories spill over into their social media, especially YouTube. Videos educate the audience on the brand and the most vital ingredients in their success– the bees.

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We are constantly refining marketing techniques. Sales pitches and lengthy product explanations no longer work today. Audiences want stories that connect them to brands. As consumers evolve, so do we. Visuals help engross audiences in stories more quickly and effectively. Take the lead from some of these examples and include visual storytelling in your marketing funnels to optimize sales strategies.

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