Engaging Sourcing

3 Tips for Engaging Audiences with Creative Visual Storytelling

3 Tips for Engaging Audiences with Creative Visual Storytelling

When we launched our 2018 Report: Engaging Your Audience with Visual Content, we wanted to shine a light on how these insights apply to creative teams who are producing and sharing visual content every day.

That’s why we asked three experts to join us for a live event, How Brands Engage Audiences with Creative Visual Storytelling.

These creative pros sat down with PhotoShelter CEO Andrew Fingerman to talk about how they use visual content, examples of what’s worked (and what hasn’t) in the past, and brands they follow for inspiration.

Watch the recording, and get the top takeaways below.


3 Tips for Engaging Audiences with Creative Visual Storytelling

1. Know Your Audience.

A piece of visual content might have a high production value and a powerful story, but it won’t take off if it’s not a fit for your audience.

For example, check out this Great Big Story, The Last Carousel Craftsman.

“While this piece still hit the bar for us as far as visuals and storytelling, we learned very quickly that the target audience for us does not necessarily resonate with carousels being made,” said Great Big Story Senior Producer Samantha Stamler.

On the flip side, the video below about a teenaged songwriter who was born without a jaw was perfect fit for the Great Big Story audience. The video got 15 million cross-platform views and over 200,000 social actions.

“It was visually compelling, and we took some risks in our storytelling,” said Samantha, adding that the uplifting message resonated with the audience.

2. On Instagram, give followers what they want.

Research shows 54% of marketers feel they don’t use Instagram effectively.

Mashable Art Director Dustin Drankoski says to give your followers exactly what they want on Instagram.

“For brands using Instagram, knowing what works and absolutely sticking to your guns on it is the most important thing,” he says.

For example, Dustin says he knows exactly what he’s going to find on Red Bull’s Instagram – quick videos packed with adrenaline.

Bridge the gap. #redbullcliffdiving #climb #basejump #flying #bridge

A post shared by Red Bull (@redbull) on

3. Get the most out of every video shoot.

81% of marketers say video is the hardest type of visual content to produce.

Taboola Content Marketing Manager Megan Morreale says the key is getting the most out of every shoot. If her team is going to shoot a video, they make sure the content is evergreen and they shoot as much B roll as possible.

“We try to create the most content that we can so we can use it in different ways later,” says Megan.

Bonus: Brands Our Experts Follow for Inspiration

When we asked our panelists which brands they follow for inspiration, they shared a range of innovative brands that know how to use visual content to engage their audiences. Check out their answers and give them a follow!

Dustin: Ikea, because of their short video campaigns, their experiential marketing pop ups and how they experiment with VR and AR on mobile

Megan: MailChimp, Help Scout and Brit + Co, because they do illustration very well, they do it consistently, and they keep it on-brand

Samantha: Patagonia, North Face, Vox and Netflix because of their compelling campaigns and smart distribution

Andrew: Yeti, because of their unbelievable documentary-style vignettes with customers

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