Since the dawn of humankind, we have been using visuals to share stories, spread ideas, and keep memories alive.
Visual communication is essential for brands to connect with their audience on a deeper emotional level. It allows companies to communicate their values, purpose, and mission in a way that resonates with customers, fostering brand loyalty and advocacy.
But what makes stories successful? To answer this question, we collaborated with our Visual Communication team to create this illustrative article that shares their professional insights and practices.
Visual communication is visual storytelling. In other words, creating visuals that tell a story.
A picture can evoke emotions, memories, and narratives deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness. Whether it's a photograph, a painting, or a movie still, a picture can be a powerful catalyst for storytelling, enabling us to explore new ideas, share our experiences, and connect with others on a deeper level.
Our Visual Communication team at Trinetix uses a variety of storytelling methods. Here are some specific examples:
A question you might be thinking about —is visual communication necessary? The answer is, surprisingly, no.
Word of mouth can go a long way, and just scribbling a note and pinning it to your business’s door could be enough to attract a loyal following. However, you have to be extremely lucky or have a product/service that is genuinely unique. Otherwise, you’ll get lost in the crowded, competitive market.
Visual communication is important because it:
Storytelling can help businesses and brands connect with their audience in a more meaningful way and ultimately drive sales and revenue.
Now that we know what visual communication is, let's discover why it’s a valuable tool for businesses.
According to Deloitte, around 80% of customers' decisions are based on emotions. Although clients usually start interacting with brands following rational considerations such as price, benefits, and convenience, emotional factors turn customers into brand advocates.
Visual communication helps brands address their customers’ rational considerations (price, practical use, quality of service) and emotional needs (trust, safety, belonging, joy) by demonstrating the synergy between their values and business practices (e.g., equality, animal welfare, support of charities).
Overall, visual storytelling can help businesses and brands stand out in a crowded market by creating a more memorable and emotional connection with their audience.
A qualified visual communication team does more than create quality visuals that match the brand’s culture and identity—it knows how to turn those visuals into stories.
You can use many practices to tell stories depending on what you want to achieve, but our team has identified six practices that work for every project, big or small.
The context refers to the background or circumstances surrounding the communication, while the format is the presentation style or medium used to convey the message.
The following two examples illustrate the importance of context and format in visual communication.
1. Different contexts require different approaches to visual communication. A marketing campaign targeted at millennials would require visuals that are appealing, trendy, and relevant to their interests. While visuals intended for a professional setting, such as a business proposal or a conference presentation, would require a more formal approach to design.
2. The format can be used to highlight important information. A billboard must deliver its message in a concise and clear manner. A format that is easy to read and understand will help the audience comprehend the message quickly. In contrast, a cluttered or confusing billboard may result in a missed opportunity to convey the intended message.
Whenever you find yourself unable to explain the choice of a format or who your content is for, it makes sense to review the project entirely—maybe there's a better fit for your target audience’s preferences.
Accordingly, knowing why you chose a certain content, platform, and audience indicates that the context and format fit the end goal and will bring the expected results.
Visual communication allows for more than promoting the emotional and practical benefits of using a product or service. It helps to humanize the brand by harnessing the power of real customer experiences.
While businesses used to stick to "safe" or "neutral" scenarios for their marketing campaigns, now they’re expected to explore their own humanity and demonstrate that their products are made by humans for humans—which means involving real people and customers in their storytelling, sharing diverse experiences, and emotional stories.
This tendency isn’t exclusive to B2C areas only: regarding B2B campaigns, using case studies, client testimonials, and success stories provides target audiences with a much-needed perspective and facilitates trust-building. Once potential clients see the evidence of human interactions, they are more likely to entrust the company.
Due to this, visual communication teams always inquire about success stories or client case studies that can be used to inject more humanity into their message or reach more target audience segments.
Creating visual content means making use of every second because we respect our time and everyone else's. Also, a simple, punchy message will be more memorable than a complex, droning one.
On average, it takes seconds for potential customers and clients to assess the visual communication and decide whether it's worth exploring the company further. So, suppose the video they came across is overly long. If its message is too vague or complicated, the percentage of viewers making the target action will be disappointingly low.
According to the MAGNA study, smartphone users give digital ads on YouTube and Facebook around 10 seconds before skipping them and moving to the content they're interested in. Therefore, if a company wants high view rates and clicks from all devices, its ad must get viewers hooked on its message and visuals in the first 10 seconds.
However, we shouldn’t forget practice #1—context and format. If it's a technical video for experts, we should include all the information, no matter how long it ends up being.
If we look back at the iconic movie scenes or video ads, we'll realize that most of them had next to no dialogue or narration. Nevertheless, we can easily recall the emotions and the plot from the expressions, music, visuals, and atmosphere that are still fresh in our memory. This is why "show, don't tell" has always been the most important rule of visual storytelling.
Like movie viewers, people who consume video marketing content need to see and experience the message instead of simply reading it. They want to be convinced and involved—which can't be accomplished with words alone.
Aside from emotion-driven engagement, there is also a pragmatic angle: according to the Chatterblast study, around 78% of viewers prefer to watch video ads with sound off. Moreover, videos watched without audio delivered more conversions, website visits, and interactions than videos viewed with sound—people liked what they saw, not what they were told. With that in mind, creating narration-dependent videos or videos that only make sense with the sound turned on can end in losing a large segment of an audience.
For that reason, it’s always better to reflect on what you plan to tell in your message and think about how you can show it without words. With the plethora of visual tools and insights from a visual communication team, the task becomes less of a challenge and more of an opportunity to create an original and compelling visual story.
Dynamic storytelling in the form of videos and animations is almost always better than static content because it can capture and communicate a wider range of emotions and experiences that are difficult to convey through still images.
According to HubSpot, 66% of customers preferred learning about a brand via its video content—demos, how-to videos, and testimonials. Also, they admitted that watching videos helped them relax (32%) or entertain them (26%)—which makes video the very marketing tool capable of meeting the target audience's rational and emotional needs.
Given that tendency, it’s not surprising that around 86% of businesses added video content to their arsenal of marketing tools, with 33% of them preferring animated ads over live-action ones.
So, if video marketing wasn't a part of your promotion strategy, you may be missing out on opportunities to connect with your audience and grab their attention.
Creating original content like a personalized brand style and identity may seem like a major investment, but it gives back tenfold.
Here are three ways creating original content will boost your brand’s reputation, worth, and recognition:
Prominent brands are easily recognized by their unique style and the amount of creative effort they put into their visuals and stories. Currently, creativity and authenticity are the elements that people expect—which is why every visual component, from video ads to company logos, must create a lasting impression on the target audience. This can only be achieved through creating custom visuals/stories that reflect the brand's vision and mission.
Qualities like integrity and consistency are the ones that convert people into loyal customers, affecting their buying decisions and making them interested in following the brand. So, once a brand chooses its trademark style, this style needs to be aligned with all the marketing materials and employee-oriented content, ensuring a complete and trust-generating brand image.
Companies that invest in developing individual brand designs and incorporate them into their communication instantly get more trust and responsiveness from clients. After all, if a brand puts so much effort into every detail, it has to be as thorough in its approach to solving customers’ pain points. Additionally, when a brand has a clear idea of what it represents, it signifies its confidence in its journey and plans.
To create visual communication, you need a team of creative professionals. Trinetix VisComm team includes creative copywriters, art leads, graphic and motion designers, illustrators, and other specialists. We dive into the company/brand’s strategy, product, or service to break through the white noise.
No matter the project scale (social media posts, flow charts, process diagrams, live-action ads), the goal of a visual communication team remains the same: to deliver a thoughtful, emotion-evoking story that conveys brand personality and triggers a response.
Want to know more? Let’s chat! Meet the Trinetix Visual Communication team and discover how their creativity and skills can set your story in motion.