Do you remember a moment when you were able to visualise, even almost taste or smell, the scenario of a story in a conversation?
What about the time when you could feel the joy or sorrow of the other person without experiencing the exact thing?
Stories are powerful and have been around since the Stone Age — from carvings on cave walls to illustrations on papers and finally to photos on social networks. The ancient art of storytelling is not be taken lightly because a well told story is capable of evoking emotions among your audience.
Putting this art into practice (and doing it well) is exceptionally essential when it comes to telling your brand’s story using pictures. Instagram certainly is your best friend for this purpose because it is, after all, the new word-of-mouth marketing.
When it comes posting pictures on Instagram, ask yourself the following main questions as a guide incorporate storytelling on your Instagram platform.
#1 What Message Am I Sending Out?
Remember the saying ’A picture is worth a thousand words’?
While that rings absolutely true, it is also important to remember that your audience is made up of individuals with varying ways of perceiving words and pictures. The picture you post should carry the essence of your brand story regardless of your audience’s demographic factors, which may affect the way they perceive it.
Hence, the key trick to doing so is to keep your message as simple and straightforward as possible.
When it comes to great storytelling, TOMS takes the cake in using Instagram to demonstrate their ethics and values behind their products while ensuring both theirs and their customers’ stories are told and heard.
#2 What Kind of Emotions Will This Picture Evoke?
A huge part of storytelling revolves around conjuring images and evoking emotions among the audience. Before you hit that ‘Post’ button, take a pause and ask yourself the following questions:
- What kind of emotions will this picture evoke?
- Will it make my audience laugh? Sad? Reflective? Curious?
- Are these emotions aligned with the message of my brand?
- Why do they matter?
- Will my audience continue to be a part of my brand story?
Andrew Knapp is best known for his photo series, Find Momo, on Instagram (see image below courtesy of @andrewknapp on Instagram). This series features his adorable Border Collie, Momo, who travels with him and loves hiding in various places while Knapp snaps a picture of it and makes his audience find Momo. The rush and excitement of going through Knapp’s Find Momo series is relatively similar to playing a game of ‘Where’s Wally?’ which leaves audience looking forward to updates from Knapp.
While it all started out as a casual fun project to share the story of Knapp’s and Momo’s life on the roads, Momo now has his own book consisting of pictures from the photo series and more. Based on the amount of hearts and smileys that were left on Knapp’s Instagram account, Momo certainly has a large database of followers!
#3 How Can I Engage Their Imagination?
Apart from getting your message across and evoking emotions through your stories, a good storyteller is also able to take their audience on a journey via engaging their imagination. This should not be a lacking of thereof when telling your brand story.
One of the best ways to engage and tap into your audience’s creative mind (whether or not they believe they have one) is to run a photo campaign which provides your audience with a platform to interact with your brand and inject their ideas into it.
Converse’s latest ‘Made by You’ campaign (see below courtesy of @converse) sets a solid voice for calling out to their customers to share their stories, of their shoes, as part of the effort to encourage customers around the world to exercise their creativity and to celebrate self-expression.
Incorporating the art of storytelling on Instagram is exhilarating because it allows you and your audience to embark on an unrestrictive journey with your brand just by using pictures and a few words. Therefore, go ahead and engage them with your creativity!
Last but not least, remember to be consistent with your Instagram posts and don’t be shy in interacting with your audience in the comment section.