Visual Storytelling in 2024: Importance, Elements & Examples

Komal Chaturvedi
Komal Chaturvedi

Co-Founder & CEO, MotionGility

How to make visual storytelling videos
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    The modern world is experiencing two scenarios: 

     

    One where average brands struggle to capture their target audience’s attention and the other, where excellent brands have chosen actionable ways to grab as well as retain the attention.

     

    But what’s the differentiating factor that is integral in helping these brands achieve their target marketing goals?

     

    Visual Storytelling or as popularly known, Video Storytelling.

     

    Data already tells us that humans’ average attention span is 8 seconds. 

     

    So explore how these brands are beating it, plus making the most out of video storytelling, and why you should take advantage of the benefits they bring along.

     

    But let’s understand first what it broadly means…

    What is Visual Storytelling?

    visual storytelling

    Visual storytelling is a creative medium for telling engaging stories through catchy visuals. 

     

    Since humans are naturally drawn to stories, this artistic form of storytelling helps capture the viewers’ attention and encourage them to engage with the video.

     

    With growing demands for effective marketing tools to cater to audiences in 2024, brands are now more than investing in visual/video storytelling to generate desired marketing results. 

     

    For brands and video production companies, visual storytelling is more than an average video. 

     

    It’s a fusion of multiple elements such as icons, characters, storyline, motion graphics, etc., that help them communicate their USP or tell a story, at the least.

     

    Such narrative-based content helps brands stand out in a sea of millions of content pieces published every day on the internet with videos coming out as the top grosser at 53.72%.

     

    Here’s why videos are so crucial in storytelling:

    Need help understanding how brands can communicate their story & vision using visuals within 90 seconds?

    Why are videos so effective in visual storytelling?

    why are video effective in visual storytelling

    Essentially, a video is a bunch of creative elements synced together in a smooth-flowing motion. 

     

    With visuals being at the core of it, these elements when combined help brands showcase their vision, product, or services appealingly. 

     

    Here are 3 reasons why they serve as an effective medium in visual storytelling:

    1. Emotional Appeal

    Humans love listening to stories, whatever the plot and agenda is. 

     

    But when these stories are narrated and presented visually, they help establish a stronger connection between brands and viewers.

     

    And when emotion comes into the picture, the narrative automatically strengthens thus increasing the retention of content in viewers’ minds.

    2. Dynamic Content

    Videos are naturally dynamic meaning – Moving visuals and scene transitions allow brands to keep their viewers on the edge of their seats.

     

    As a result, these movements allow room for creativity where animators can make use of multiple video storytelling techniques such as metaphors, character switching, behind-the-scenes, etc.

     

    This helps in enhancing the overall quality of videos and elevates visual storytelling’s level for greater benefit.

    3. Helps educate viewers

    Apart from entertaining viewers, visual storytelling is an important medium for educating potential customers about a brand’s product or service.

     

    User education is supreme in today’s cluttered marketing scenario and hence, using educational videos in a storytelling format can help reach the right set of audiences.

     

    What’s more important? Well, these videos can also be integrated into brand awareness campaigns as they involve a major chunk of the video storytelling concept at large.

     

    Here’s an example of an educational video based on visual storytelling:

    3 Most-used Visual Storytelling Techniques

    There are numerous techniques deployed by animation artists globally to enrich their video’s appeal.

     

    Usually, these techniques or tips are aimed at helping professionals pick up important plots that hold the ability to grab the viewers’ attention.

     

    Below are the 3 preferred techniques or principles etc:

    1. Put Color Psychology to work

    Each color possesses a unique characteristic that can be leveraged to add emotion to certain situations in the video.

     

    For instance: A tint of yellow in the background during a failure scene can instill a ray of hope and kindness in the setting.

     

    Colors work as an extension of the narrative and help brands evoke emotion and relatability with the video’s plot.

    2. Make your character the Epicenter of the video

    visual storytelling in 2024: importance, elements & examples

    In every animated video, there’s one character or object that acts as a protagonist of the entire setup. 

     

    Now why is this crucial? Well, when visual elements are showcased revolving around a single point, it helps viewers grab the video’s key aspects quickly. 

     

    This encourages them to stick to the end, thus increasing viewers’ retention of the video.

    3. Use visual metaphors strategically

    Visual metaphors involve analogies that help explain a certain plot or concept interestingly.

     

    For example: Using exaggerated visuals and words to amplify a character’s negative habits to generate action from the audience.  

     

    These metaphors play an integral role in impacting the emotions and decision-making abilities of the target viewers.

    4 Critical Components of Visual Storytelling

    components of visual storytelling

    Now that you know why videos are the flagship element of visual storytelling, it’s necessary to understand the components behind the creation of videos.

     

    Here are 4 components that come into the picture:

    1. Storyline

    The most integral aspect of any video storytelling – Storyline or generally known as the video’s script.

     

    This is when the central plot is developed which is intended to hook the audience’s attention. 

     

    A good hook compiled with an engaging plot and actionable CTA at the end, is all you need from the storyline stage for better results.

    2. Background Setting

    Goes without saying – Your visuals need to have an important say in your video as, without them, your video is another piece of boring elements put together with no plot.

     

    Visuals are more than appealing art pieces. When set up nicely in an energetic environment, they can draw attention even to the most complex of topics.

     

    Therefore, your video’s background setting should be the one that allows you to build up the narrative and persuade viewers to take action.

    3. Storyboard & Illustration

    visual storytelling in 2024: importance, elements & examples

    A storyboard is essentially a blueprint of your video storytelling that provides actionable insights into your video’s what, when, and how.

     

    Once created, this storyboard provides immense help to illustration artists to create catchy visuals that complement the script and portray an appealing piece of marketing content.

    4. Animation

    This is where the entire storytelling through visuals process boils down to. 

     

    Animation is the last stage where all visual elements are brought together in a sequential frame consisting of transitions, character movements, icon placing, etc., and shaped into a beautiful video.

    Visual Storytelling Examples

    For obvious reasons, there are numerous video storytelling examples you would come across on the internet.

     

    Here are our favorites:

    1. What is B2B Marketing?

    Concepts when demonstrated aesthetically turn out to be interesting pieces of marketing content, thus boosting a brand’s awareness in its target audience.

     

    Here’s how we picked up a general marketing concept and leveraged the power of storytelling through visuals.

     

    If you look closely, the concept of B2B marketing has been demonstrated using characters, icons, and motion graphics by breaking them into five stages for better user comprehension.

     

    This allows for an easy flow of visuals and story in a manner that grabs viewers’ attention.

    2. Welcome | Airbnb

    Airbnb is widely recognized for its innovative and creative marketing campaigns that highlight how individuals listing their properties on its platform reap multiple benefits.

     

    In their videos, they strategically leverage the concept of narrating engaging stories through visuals, thus helping them persuade tourists to book their stays via Airbnb.

     

    By integrating a diverse set of visuals, their videos have garnered millions of views across social media platforms.

    3. Honda - Paper

    It’s unlikely that you haven’t come across this beautiful and Emmy nominated commercial by Japanese automobile giant – Honda.

     

    The company chose the path of sharing its decades-long legacy through visuals shaped in paper cut-outs animation style and conveying its brand journey.

     

    Compiled by illustration and animation artists in a comprehensive 4-month period, this video is a must-watch on any day!

    Want to take your target audience on a visual journey and generate engagement using video storytelling?

    Conclusion

    Millions of videos are uploaded on YouTube and social media platforms weekly. 

     

    So if you wish to make your brand’s video stand out from your competitors, choosing a storytelling video can be a beneficial decision.

     

    Being an award-winning explainer video company experienced with delivering quality explainer video services to brands such as Nissan, ICICI, HDFC, etc., our team of visual artists can help you create an effective video.


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