Visual Storytelling for Brands – 3 Case Studies & Infographic [VIDEO]

By Maria Peagler

Oct 31
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In this age of instant gratification, engaging your audience can sometimes seem like a race against ever-shortening attention spans. This week we’ve looked at how visual storytelling is a critical part of marketing.

To conclude the week, here’s a video defining visual storytelling and showing how three very different businesses are using visuals to tell their stories. Click here to listen to the interview with Ekaterina Walker, co-author of The Art of Visual Storytelling, and click here to view the full blog post and see the infographic on visual storytelling for brands. Timestamps & transcript are below the video:

00:00: How to Do Visual Storytelling to Market Your Brand

00:35: The Power of Visual Storytelling by Ekaterina Walker

01:12: Visuals Lead to More Engagement

02:25: Northern Valley Auto Body Case Study

04:35: Missouri Star Quilt Company Case Study

08:07: Marketing Experiments Case Study

09:44: Recap


This is Maria Peagler with, and in this video I am going to show you how you can do visual storytelling to market your brand. We’re here on the blog, and this is a post that we did that involves multiple case studies of brands who are doing visual storytelling well. And so I am going to show you examples of each of these brands.

But first, we’re going to define what visual storytelling is. And this comes from an interview that I did with Ekaterina Walter, who is co-author of the book, The Power of Visual Storytelling. And in it, Ekaterina says that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. And that the internet has caused the human attention span to officially drop below that of a goldfish. And so it becomes increasingly difficult to keep your brand’s message sticky. And so one of the best ways to do that is with visual content. Web posts with visuals get 180% more engagement. Viewers spend 100% more time on a web page with a video. If you’re doing a press release, if it has a video it will get 45% more traffic. And if you have a web page with an infographic you’ll get 12% more traffic. And so what you can do is to take your story as a brand and use visual content in the form of photos, videos, infographics, presentations, GIFs, memes, Vine video, you name it. Whatever is easy for you to create. Ekaterina suggests doing that by creating your visual road map. And that’s where you’re going to set the goals for your visual content. You’re going to listen to your customers and see what their pain points are. And from those two things you’ll identify your message, start your visual storytelling, identify what’s working and measure those results. So let’s take a look at three businesses that are doing this really, really well.

The first one I want to show you is one called Northern Valley Auto Body. They are a New Jersey Auto Body repair shop and I have never been there. I live in Georgia, so I am not affiliated with them in any way, but they do a fabulous job of visual storytelling. You can see their Facebook page isn’t perfect. Their timeline cover could use a little tweaking here. But what they do really well is they have a ton of photos. As a matter of fact, I’m going to go to their photo album and show you all the different albums that they have. So you can see they show that they do Ford cars, Lexus, Saab, Toyota, Honda, Mazda. My favorite one, though, is this Mustang photo album. They show a Mustang before and after. Here it is after it’s been restored, and they show the photos of the process that they went through in fixing this car and, frankly, what a mess it was beforehand. So the story that they’re telling with these photos is one of transparency and trust. How many times have you gone in to have your car repaired and you have no idea if you can trust the brand? You have no idea who the people are, what they’re going to be doing with your car. It’s always a little anxious for people, to turn your car over to someone when it needs repair, whether it’s a mechanic or a body shop. And because they are so open with their process, they’re showing you exactly what they do. And so their story is one of transparency and trust. And it was a very simple thing to do. These are not sophisticated photos. It’s just they took the time to whip out their smart-phone and document the process of fixing these cars. So they’re doing a fantastic job with their visual storytelling.

Another small business that I love to profile is the Missouri Quilt Company. And the reason they are so fascinating is that the founder—who is right here, Jenny Doan—she and her daughter opened a quilt shop at the height of the U.S. recession. It was about 2010. There was a woman who was a former Wall Street Journal reporter who also is a quilter, Meg Cox, who really followed this mother-daughter team because she really didn’t think that they were going to make it. The lived in a small town, they really didn’t have any kind of a business background, but they took their business from zero to being the largest employer in their small town. And they did it through visual content, specifically YouTube quilting tutorials. And it’s really smart the way they did this and I’m going to show you. This is their YouTube channel and you can see they’ve got all kinds of videos here. But the things that are really amazing to me about the Missouri Star Quilt Company is this. They started out having no idea how to do a really good video. In fact, if you look at their early videos, they’re pretty awful, frankly. The lighting is bad, there’s no titles on them. You can see they got far more sophisticated as they were going along. But here’s one, this video that’s two years old. There are some that are even four years old. And people don’t care what the production quality is. If they’re useful they get over a million views. And there was nothing special about this particular video. It’s simply a quilt that shows you how to make a quilt top in less than an hour. And it looks like they’re monetizing the videos, as well, with advertising. Let’s get past the ad and I’m going to show you the quality of this video.

See now they have this nice little intro here. That wasn’t always the case. So you can see there’s nothing fancy about this. The lighting isn’t great. But it’s a 13-minute video that shows you how to create a quilt top in less than an hour. That’s the key right there. This is a hugely popular video on YouTube. They have over 205,000 subscribers, a million views to this one video. And the amazing thing that they’ve done is not only has this sold fabric for them in their quilt shop, but it sells fabric at a higher profit margin. They focus on what are called precuts. And that’s what a jelly roll is right there. They’re two and a half inch strips that are precut so that, as a quilter, you don’t have to cut those. But it also means that as a quilt shop they don’t have to spend the money on the labor for an employee to cut that fabric. It’s precut. And so it’s quicker for them to sell to you and it’s quicker for you to put a quilt top together. So not only are they doing quilting tutorials that are free, it sells their product at a higher profit margin than most other quilt shops would do. So that’s the second case study.

Now the third case study is going to be a larger brand that’s based out of Jacksonville, Florida called Marketing Experiments. And they are pretty well known in the marketing industry, but you can see they don’t have anywhere near what the Missouri Star Quilt Company has as far as views or subscribers because it’s a B2B company. They are a company that holds marketing clinics, they do marketing research case studies. And what they do is fascinating to me, because they hold live marketing clinics—they’re really webinars, but they call them a clinic—where the founder, Flint McGlaughlin goes through and explains the findings of one of the case studies that they’ve done. They do some live optimization, they’re an hour long, they have a ton of good content in them. You can see that they’ve got a good number of views here, almost 18,000 views. But the other thing that they do which, to me, is so fascinating, is that they upload their slides to SlideShare, as well. So this is the same web clinic. But instead of having to watch an hour long video, they’ve uploaded it to SlideShare and you can go through the 73 slides in just a few minutes. Now, they don’t get nearly as many views, but I can tell you that, personally, when I want to see something that Marketing Experiments has done, I go through and I look at the slideshow.

And so these are three different kinds of visual storytelling. The Northern Valley Auto Body shop is doing it with images, showing transparency. Missouri Quilt Company, their story is quick and easy. You go to them to figure out how to make a quilt easy, using precuts. That’s their story. Marketing Experiments, their story is deep knowledge and experience in marketing. And they work with very, very big brands. And so that is their story. And they’re all doing it in a different way. Some are using video, some are using presentations and some are using images. But all three of these brands are using visual storytelling. Now you can learn more at the blog. We have visual storytelling week with not only a post that details all of these brands and more, so I will put the link to this blog post in the description. But we also have an interview with the author of The Power of Visual Storytelling, Ekaterina Walter. And it’s a 30 minute video, but we also have the transcript and clips of the interview so you don’t have to listen to the whole thing if you don’t have time. So this is Maria Peagler with on visual storytelling for brands.


About the Author

Founder of, Benjamin Franklin award-winner for independent publishing, award winning author of eight books, wife, mom, quilter and watercolor artist.

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