Stock images are ready made and freely available at very low cost so it can be a tempting option but you run the risk of creating indifference and of not being original. Both of these are costly mistakes as you reduce the response rate and you do not build up any brand equity.

Visual storytelling can encompass anything that is not written words but says something about you – creating a positive emotional response to your brand. A smile in the mind if you like and it goes beyond merely identifying you. It makes your story feel true and alive.

It is well documented how much quicker we absorb images compared to text and, especially online, the conversion rate is infinitely higher. Spending some time to think about your brand platform and your visual storytelling before you create or update your website will, in my opinion, make the biggest difference.

So, how can we create better visual storytelling?
It really helps if you can prioritise your brand values and core messages. Imagine if you could only say one thing about your brand, what would it be? You then need to consider how can you say that one thing visually? Will you be features or benefits focused? All these considerations and more should create a brief for the creation of visuals that will become a powerful communication tool.
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If you feel you must use stock images, think about doing something with them; re-style, re-colour, crop, twist and turn them to get something that will mean more to the people you want to reach.

You can almost smell the coffee in this shot for Özerlat

Why not take your own photographs or get a photographer to take some photos for you? They will be unique and you can get exactly what you want.

Bespoke illustrations and branded infographics sets the scene for The Swedish Chamber of Commerce

Creating graphics and infographics using elements from your brand platform is very effective. Infographics are very shareable on social media as well, adding a tool to drive traffic to your website.

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Perhaps hand-drawn illustrations could work really well. It will create interest and deliver a sense of permanence. You could also consider patterns and textures and these could be overlaid with short sentences or graphics to drive home the message.

And, let’s not forget the power of moving images with an animation or short video about your brand. Currently this is the most popular enhancement to brands who are reaching out to people who spend a lot of time online. Above is an example of a whiteboard animation we developed for Z-Risk Engine.

I hope this has given you a few ideas and inspired you to build an even stronger brand. Don’t hesitate to get in touch to carry on this conversation and happy branding!