A Picture Really is Worth a Thousand Words

When I got into this field decades ago, I quickly learned the value of visuals when I saw clients become more excited about a single graphic than the entire strategy process. Part of that enthusiasm was the client's emotional experience — a spark of engagement from visual storytelling. But, with today’s access to technology, it’s become even more relevant.William Bradford cites that 65 percent of the population requires visual cues to help them learn and enhance recall. That means two-thirds of people may miss an important concept if it's not supported by visual aids. Perhaps it is part of our cultural DNA, since we made cave drawings thousands of years before we learned how to write words.

Yesterday’s cave paintings are today’s social media posts. Social sites are the platforms, but it’s the visuals that grab the reader’s attention. So, how do we make our stories more compelling?According to Hubspot, blog posts that included infographics generated an average of 178 percent more inbound links and 72 percent more views than all other posts. These simple visual stories that communicate complex concepts are like the kindergarten graphics that helped us learn to read.And, it’s not just infographics — our world revolves around photos and videos. With an increasing 2.5 billion smartphones with high-quality cameras, everyone is a photographer/videographer. The technology is easy to use, and we really can get professional outcomes. Because of this, more of us are evolving discriminating tastes about visual imagery. We crave visual stories about real people and real experiences. That authenticity is part of the reason Instagram and other visual platforms have become critical communication tools.The bottom line: if you want communications to be compelling, build them around images. Snap fun photos. Shoot engaging videos. Sketch simple concepts. Include visuals in your storytelling and you will connect more quickly with those who are important to you.Having trouble finding the right visuals to accompany your communications? Let us know in the comments below! We’d love to help.