Social media and mobile apps have made our storytelling more accessible, more immediate and more visual. Where our ancestors struggled to catalog photo albums and written accounts of their lives, the new generation has a shareable, electronic history of their life’s experiences from birth.
Whether or not this is a good thing at the personal level is a point of much debate. But, the benefit for brands is undeniable. Interactive social media is the best way to broadcast your brand’s personality and the popularity of mobile apps have made interrupting targeted audiences with your brand’s story easier than ever.
Recent developments like Twitter’s facelift and Facebook’s new app, Paper, are evidences of a trend towards concise, visual tidbits. Text-heavy status updates are giving way to memes, filtered Instagrams and Pinboards. In fact, the popularity of tools like Instagram Video and Vine are lighting the way for the future of visual storytelling. Simplistic, authentic videos deliver the punch line with minimal set up.
Brands that want to meet the consumer at the cutting edge need to look forward to the future of storytelling in highly visual media. Early adopter brands such as Sharpie and Harley Davidson use Instagram to crowd source content and showcase aspirational imagery that tells the story of the brand and those that use it. These efforts toward sincere and candid content have rewarded them with unprecedented growth.
The next chapter in digital engagement won’t just be written, it will be illustrated by brands that embrace their visual story and the stories of their customers.