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The 1st Annual Visual Storytelling Summit

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Mitch Talenfeld

This week, we attended the 1st Annual Visual Storytelling Summit presented by the Visual Storytelling Institute.  It was a great event for, but not limited to, those who publish content in an effort to help generate leads.

What is Visual Storytelling?

Also known as, “Content Marketing”, visual storytelling is:

“A visual narrative (also visual storytelling) is a story told primarily through the use of visual media. The story may be told using still photography, illustration, or video, and can be enhanced with graphics, music, voice and other audio.” visualstorytell.com/blog/what-is-visual-storytelling 

What is important to know about visual storytelling is the understanding of neuroscience and the understanding of the human brain and how it processes information that is first gathered through our eyes.

According to Milica Mormann, a research assistant professor at the University of Miami, the human brain processes only about .0004% of the total visual bits of information that is available within our eyesight.

Here is the breakdown:

  • When humans look around (glancing at objects) there is 11,000,000 bits of information that is comprised of colors, sounds, smell, etc.
  • 10,000,000 bits of that information is “visual”
  • The human brain only process 40 bits of the 10,000,000 bits that are visual to humans as we “glance” at a object or scene
What’s important to know about Visual Storytelling?

The most important information that I’ve been hearing over and over when experts present case studies related to the “current” human attention span is that humans now have the same attention span as a goldfish; 8 seconds.  This means that as marketers, we are challenged with grabbing the visitors attention in less than 8 seconds. That amount of time includes the time that it takes for the webpage to load.  So, in addition to having visual elements on the webpage to help transition the visitor from glancing at your webpage to gazing at the content within your webpage, your page needs to load quickly, especially on a mobile device.

Images, graphics, infographics, animated gifs, and videos are the digital assets which marketers need to invest more time leveraging as a tool to help capture and communicate their messaging, effectively.  Leveraging visuals on landing pages, in blog posts and articles, on banners, and on homepages allows the visitor to use a part of their brain that processes the most amount of information, our sight.  As a result, the visual elements of a web page can be the most important catalyst that engages the visitor and helps your story resonate in their thought process.

What’s your story?

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