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6 and a Half Elementary Rules of Visual Storytelling According to StorifyMe

Jana Filipovic
minutes long

So, in case you haven’t noticed, we’re kinda all about visual web stories here at StorifyMe. If you're wondering why we're all up in your business with this information sharing method, our answer will be simple and convincing: it works.

In case you haven't noticed, the internet itself is an extremely visual medium, and if you're even a little like other humans, you too prefer your content easy on the eyes. That's just one of the basic facts of life and the reason why visual storytelling can and should be a part of any marketing strategy.

On the off chance that this is a subject that strikes your fancy,  we’d like to share some of the most important and basic rules (in our storified opinion) of telling your stories with still or moving pictures with little to no help of words:

1) Show Don’t Tell - Old but Gold

This one is important to remember (and apply) if you want to be a successful storyteller, regardless of whether you’re using the visual stimuli or relying on words alone. But, as mentioned many times before, visuals are more effective at evoking emotions, conveying messages and stimulating the memory process, and generally more popular, so you might as well go down that picturesque road...

Actions speak louder than words, and pictures too, so use this to your advantage. Don’t tell if you can show, right?

2) Be Honest  

Vulnerability resonates with people, so don’t be afraid to show that you’re human (or a collective of humans) just like your audience is. You, just like them, need your sleep, need to breathe, have your favorite series, and are constantly learning from your mistakes. Emphasize how regular your life is so people can connect with you.

When you show "people behind the brand" or "put a face on an idea"  you’ll see amazing results. Not only that audiences nowadays have a "spidey" sense when it comes to fakeness, but they also resent the feeling of not being heard or appreciated. By being approachable, honest, and responsive you’re upping your chances of them reaching and enjoying your storified microstore.

3) Spice It Up!

Meaning, make sure that whatever you’re putting into the internet-verse has conflict and subsequent resolution. No story is interesting if there’s no tension, and boring isn't exactly the way you want to go about visual product storytelling, right? You want your tale to have an audible heartbeat, high stakes, a mystery to solve, and a battle for your hero to win. Problems, roadblocks, figurative fires to put out and obstacles on rocky roads make the journey more compelling.

There has to be something to fight for and someone to fight with, but smooth sailing, no matter how relaxing, will lull you to sleep. They may tell you otherwise but, at the end of the day - humans love drama! That is the spark that will motivate them to follow your story right to your storified landing page.

4) Keep It Short and Simple

And sweet of course! Stuffing your web story with loads of unnecessary things is a sure way to lose attention and momentum. Make it simple, loud, and clear, easy to comprehend, and to quote. Get their attention from the get-go, make it crystal clear who’s the hero, who’s the villain, and why they have to listen/read/watch until the end.

Information overload is unavoidable nowadays, so make an active choice to be different, no-nonsense, straight to the point kind of a story-sharer.  Don’t go around visually and textually overwhelming your potential customers. Your storified articles should contain just the necessary amount of words and visual detail to get your message across. No more, no less.

5) Structure and Movement

Anything that you do share should have a beginning, middle, and end, a clear framework that everybody can easily identify and follow. Make sure that you answer all the important questions, but stir up their curiosity enough to wonder what happened next.

Besides, structure helps your story move and remain interesting. That’s why it is important that you use every pixel and every word carefully, and present it as a unified, coherent entity that’s bursting with energy. No matter if it’s a storified guide or storified ad, anything that you showcase has to have structured action that flows naturally within it, from start to finish.

6) Share Your Knowledge in a Creative Way

Think outside of the box, and be clear about what you want to say, but avoid being too obvious or corny about it. Keep them at the edge of their seat, eagerly awaiting your next contribution to their humdrum scrolling routines. Clever plot twists and tasteful surprises will make you the audience’s favorite and you know what comes with that? Engagement - the main currency of today's online world.

While you have their attention, use it wisely. Yeah, you can and will get them to click on your storified landing page and storified microstore, there’s no doubt about it but think long term. If you offer something valuable, educational, entertaining, something they don’t stumble upon every day, something that will make their lives better, or at very least, more interesting... You’ll have them on the hook for the foreseeable future!

Practice Makes Perfect!

People started to tell stories to share something they knew in a fun and interesting way. They continued to do so for years, decades, centuries to come, and the ways they did it changed and evolved. Oral stories turned into written ones, and those were enriched by visuals when the timing was right.

Today, we can pick and choose what kind of stories we create and consume. There are plenty of rules to this art form, not just these 6 (and a half) that we list here, but, as you saw in the title - according to the StorifyMe team, these are the ones that give you a good basis to start with. Why? Because visual storytelling is only going to get more important, influential, and crucial to master.  This skill will help you in all of your life’s endeavors, if you want to become a magnificent visual storyteller, you have to work on your craft. And we don't' have to repeat which storified team is always there to assist you will every storified need, right?

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