Visual storytelling is the rave of the day. It is being used by companies of all sizes to market their products online. Job seekers, too, use visual storytelling as a way to communicate their talents meaningfully. Doing so, it is believed will help future customers, clients, and employers remember your story. In fact, research demonstrates that after three days have passed, audiences will remember about six times more of what they are told when visuals are used in comparison to an oral presentation alone. Before we delve into this article, let’s describe visual storytelling.
Why are stories accompanied by visuals (images, photos, movie clips, illustrations, charts, graphics and animations) retained into memory faster and for longer periods of time? Studies analyzed by Harvard Business Review (HBR) and posted to VisualStorytell indicate that consumers are so overloaded with information that it costs companies almost $1.0 trillion annually in wasted time and effort. Visual storytelling could be a way to communicate more effectively, make a more lasting impression, and reduce the time needed to exchange useful information.
The same article explains that:
- 4.6 billion of pieces of content are published each day!
- Almost 2/3rd of global mobile data transverse across the internet is video not text-based.
Visual Storytelling Defined
Telling a story visually involves the use of visual media. If you are familiar with Powerpoint slides, Youtube, TikTok, Podcasts, and Pinterest; then you understand this point. These mediums tell a story, sell a produce, or present an ide through the use of visual media. Some of the elements of visual storytelling are: still photos, illustrations, and videos. These elements are supported with ancillary items such as animated graphics, still graphics, music, voiceovers, still captions, sound effects and what nots.
Visual Storytelling for Visual Remote Job Resumes
Now that we are familar with visual storytelling and the way in which they can be developed, let’s take a look at how these visual storytelling techniques can be applied for use by the remote job seeker.
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The career advice column of Indeed, suggests that visual storytelling can be applied in the form of an “infographic resume.” They indicated that it is an alternative technique to help the remote jobseeker’s resume stand out and emphasize one’s best qualities. Some human resources experts are adamantly opposed to the integration of creative visuals into the traditional resume template while others are more supportive. To the other extreme, Paul Drury argues that visual resumes are driving the hiring landscape of the future. He explains that the advent of social media and its constant use has re-wired our brains such that we are less prone to be moved by written text and more influenced by visual stimuli.
Visual Storytelling for Remote only Business
Visual storytelling for businesses involve steps: determining objectives, creating a concept, plotting a storyboard, and using royalty-free stock images. A brief summary of each follows.
Determine Your Objectives
What goals are you trying to achieve with your video? If your company mainly provides services and products remotely, visual storytelling is of paramount importance. Do you want to introduce a new product to your customer base? To explain what makes your services top-notch and far superior to your competitors? Do you want to go viral and gain brand recognition? By establishing a list of objectives, you’ll be able to decide what kind of content should go into your video. Think about your target market, and start brainstorming ideas and keywords in line with their expectations and values. If you’re trying to solve a pain point for your customers, how will you convey that in a short video? Now’s the time to get your and your team members’ creative juices flowing!
Come Up With a Concept
Once you’ve determined what you’re trying to achieve by releasing a video, it’s time to organize your thoughts and come up with a concept or theme that will make your visual creation stand out. Remember this step is critical. Particularly for the remote only service provider. Your company can’t rely upon face-to-face presentations and the charisma of sales and customer service agent to sway the opinion of a potential buyer or the perceptions of your customer.
Thinking through the concept is a step that can not be understated. The key is to make a list of all the ideas you and your partners came up with, focus on the one that seems the most interesting or intriguing, and start developing it. Will you use actors for your video or graphics and animation? What kind of music should play in the background? You should also decide on a format or aspect ratio for your visual story: social media channels allow for landscape, portrait, 360-degree, or square. Additionally, try to gauge the right length for your project, with your audience staying engaged long enough to get the gist of your message. Keeping it under three minutes is usually a good rule of thumb.
Create a Storyboard
When explaining a concept in a remote only format, the story must be succinct and precise. The storyteller must also anticipate potential questions and client reservations in advance and build the responses into the story coherently.
A storyboard looks a little bit like a page out of a comic book. It is made of a series of boxes containing drawings or sketches that describe each scene in your video. Underneath each box, your storyboard should contain the text and dialogue you want to be appearing or happening in the scene. This visual representation of your project will help you flesh out your ideas into a script, and you’ll be able to organize events and move them around to form a coherent story. Include your characters, props, and scenery in your storyboard, which will help you figure out the scope of your project and what kind of budget you’re looking at in order to complete it. Then, it’s time for lights, camera, and action!
Use Royalty-Free Stock Footage
Don’t forget, in addition to telling a story, visual story telling when used by remote only businesses must also be impactful. One way to improve the impact of your message is to ensure that the story conveys strong affiliation with its target audience. What is affiliation and affinity? They are terms used in marketing to entice the buyer to be more likely to purchase goods or services from you.
If you’re a small business, it’s probably safe to say that your advertising budget for creating videos isn’t Hollywood-sized. But you can still deliver high-quality content to your followers by using royalty-free stock footage: simply go online and browse through a large collection of HD clips, 4K clips, motion graphics templates, and video loops to find the images that will best fit your message. For a small subscription fee, you’ll have access to incredible footage that you can use for your next advertising campaign.
Select Relatable Images to Build Affinity
How is affinity increased? By using photos and images that are relatable and represent the accepted social norms. So if your target population is German-European, you need to make sure that the photos of married couples indicate that the traditional engagement ring is placed on the left hand but the wedding band is worn on the right hand; for instance. These small details are critical to your company’s success.
So when you select royalty-free photos for your remote company, make sure the people in the photos are an adequate representation of your market.
Awareness of National, Regional Dialects and Expressions
If you’ve ever lived overseas and viewed television programs or commercials presented by actors using the English language you will immediately notice dialects and expressions that are non-native. So even though English, Spanish, French and German may be universally accepted languages of business, you need to have a clear understanding of dialects and commonly used expressions. Using an Australian actor reading from an English script and presenting it to an audience in the US state of Mississippi and vice versa may not be well received. Further Bavarian German may be different from HochDeutsche. So while both are considered to be German, presenting it unknowingly to a market for which it is not intended can lead to poor results.
Visual Storytelling for Remote Employers
One clear objective of remote employers is continued remote employee engagement that will maintain high levels of productivity, morale, and remote job satisfaction. Visual storytelling could be an effective method for achieving these. If you recall the educational teaching and learning pedagogy, “tell, show, do, and apply” visual storytelling lies at the crux.
Other articles you might like:
- 10 best practices for training remote employees
- Remote onboarding benefits and challenges: Remote employer case studies
- 21 ways to improve remote work for your employees
Further, as parents can attest, children learn most not by formal instruction, but by watching and imitating the habits of their parents and peers. The psychologist, Albert Bandura coined the concept, Social Learning Theory to emphasize that “social behavioris learned by observing and imitating the behavior of others.
Using these facts as a backdrop, some of the steps remote employers can use to help drive remote employee engagement follows.
Use to grab attention
Want to attract attention during a virtual meeting with remote workers? Then you may need to use a illustrative story to wake up your team. If your fallback is to use a drab PowerPoint slide prominent in the 90s, then you’re behind the eight ball. Even written articles without images attached attract 94% less views than those with images.
Explain the concept to be learned then show it illustratively
Explain the concept, business process or procedure to be learned then show it illustratively. A video of a remote worker actually completing key aspects of a task or charts and illustrations segregated by individual tasks can be much more informative than a lecture to a group format and even a one-on-one virtual presentation without the use of step-by-step illustrations.
Use to reinforce prior learning
Visual stortytelling can be effectively use to reinforce prior learning. Studies show that experienced employees mentally disengage when they are completing mundane tasks or tasks that they have dones rountinely for years on a day-to-day basis. The researchers explains that our brains allocate fewer cognitive resources to processing information that is familiar. This is the reason why visual storytelling would be great to augment a virtual presentation because a targeted visual story can be used to reinforce prior learning.
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