It takes 50 milliseconds to make a first impression, finds Social Media Strategist and Visual Marketing Specialist Donna Moritz, who dived into the art of visual storytelling at the recently concluded Tech Manch Digital Conference 2017 in Mumbai.
Moritz spoke about the power of visuals, stating that it takes only 13 milliseconds to process an image. She recalled how she readily signed up as a speaker at a recent conference in Kerala the moment she saw a captivating image of Munnar’s lush green tea plantations. While this revelation made brand owners and marketers in the audience sit up and take notice, Moritz went on to highlight how consumers view and engage with content in today’s times. She says that by 2019, 84% content will be visual and by the same year, 80% content will be led by video. Brands and marketers, therefore, need to ‘think differently’.
The power of visuals:
It takes 50 milliseconds to make a first impression
It takes 13 milliseconds to process an image
By 2019, 84% of content will be visual
By 2019, 80% of content will be led by video
Visuals have 7x higher conversion rate
Delete marketing, insert storytelling
Moritz advises brands and content creators to ‘delete marketing and insert storytelling’ by first recognizing the shift in where the consumers are and how they are engaging with content. She encouraged the creation of ‘micro moments’ i.e. not jumping into big pieces of content but creating meaningful snippets. While storytelling has changed over the years, even today, it is capable of establishing an emotional connect, which is why brands would do well to use storytelling to make consumers stick around and eventually, build trust in their minds.
Key elements of visual content
Meaningful content can be created in various ways, according to Moritz, but great visual content is rooted in five key elements: The content must be 1) original, 2) relevant, 3) timely, 4) optimised and 5) snackable. It is also imperative for brands to optimise on the ‘call to action’ feature in addition to creating snackable, easy-to-process content. Moritz illustrated these key elements through examples such as Paper Boat’s Train Journey video. She admitted she felt emotional watching the video and could sense the nostalgia despite not having experienced Indian Railways first-hand.
While Paper Boat may have invested in high-budget videos to create maximum impact, Moritz believes that smaller businesses can also ‘tap into memories’ using alternative inexpensive ways. She cited the example of the ‘book cricket’ game video shot on an iPhone, which also manages to ‘unlock emotions’ similar to a high-budget video.
How to amplify your communication
Moritz states that a brand’s customers are its best marketers and there are ways to make that happen. If a brand’s audience is empowered and given the right platform, hashtags and ideas to be able to share their stories, they become the brand’s marketing department. She gave the example of how Kerala Tourism invited travellers at airports to take a virtual tour of Kerala’s houseboats by putting on headphones sitting inside a specialised booth. The travellers walked away getting an as-close-to-real experience of a Kerala houseboat. Moritz also urged brands to encourage fans and customers to share ‘in the moment’ using tools like short-format video, Instagram Stories, etc.
Moritz concluded the session by advising brands and marketers to create a visual presence, be a storyteller and put thought and heart into their communication.