The need for great visual content is on the rise if you want your product, service, movement or policy to make a positive impact today and flourish.
Straight out promoting is giving way to content marketing, aka storytelling marketing, or even "helpful tips" marketing as the public becomes savvier about how they make choices about how to spend their time and their money.
Video is where visual content is moving to, especially short videos.
This can feel a bit overwhelming, especially if you're a small team (or say a team of one, as I often am), or on a tight budget, or both.
That's why I like to use the framing tool of visual connectivity to edit my various communications pieces. It's the second of the four ways I use "framing" as an editing tool to create more engaging communications and storytelling.
Whether you're going to use stock imagery and graphics, or create your own images, graphics and videos from scratch, you can use "framing" to break things down into far easier and more doable baby steps.
Visual Framing Questions to Ask Yourself
1. Does this visual (video, photo, graphic, etc.) I have in mind make emotionally engaging sense for the communication or story I want to use it for?
Whether you want to portray happiness and well-being, or alarm to inspire action, your visual imagery or video work best if they match your tone.
In the video above REI breaks down how easy it is to make your own granola bars in a very cleverly made video, and reinforces their focus on being helpful to those who want to get outside more. By focusing on the ingredients and just the "hands" making them they've tremendously simplified the creation process for the video.
2. Does this visual I have in mind make sense considering the market or audience I want to attract more of?
If I want to attract more baby boomers to bicycling (who have the disposable income) maybe images of young men with beards on mountain bikes or super young super skinny urban hipsters aren't my best choices for models.
Or if you want to attract more women it might be a really good idea to focus 80% of your imagery on them.
3. Does the visual(s) I have in mind move my brand, movement, policy, product etc. in the direction I NOW want to go?
Is what I'm sharing moving me forward or backward in the story I want to tell about who we are and what we do?
Since 2012 the husband and wife creative team of Melissa and Chris Bruntlett ofModaCity have been creating fun engaging videos to showcase happy, healthier living through active, sustainable transportation.
Above is one of their 2018 pieces in collaboration with Hub for Bike to Shop Days: Downtown Vancouver.
>> Stage the background for your videos + images so they're more pleasing to look at.
ModaCity demonstrates the fun of biking to shop by sharing a day of shopping by bike with four preteen girls cleverly narrated by the President & CEO of the Downtown Vancouver Business Improvement District. It's a very clever move.
In one swoop they illustrate beautifully the buy-in by the business district AND that biking can mean freedom for young people.
The storytelling is staged to shows off not only different scenes of downtown Vancouver well, but the local bike infrastructure as well.
This, by the way, is organized in advanced through a process called "storyboarding" which we'll delve into deeper in the future.
>> Consider creating templates
Whether you're creating power points for live presentations and webinars, or social media still images, graphics or video, you don't reinvent the wheel every time, consider instead using a template, or a series of them depending on the platform.
Templates can help you create a stronger brand presence with a consistent look and feel, and once they're set up, they can help you save substantial time.
You can baby step your way into this by testing fonts and color choices out first (and again for those new to graphic design Canva.com is a great low-cost way to wade in).
As you know I'm in the process of developing a line of my illustrations as graphic clip art, cards, journals and other gifts to help support the work I do with Pedal Love.
I'm testing out different fonts so I can narrow it down to just 3 choices.
This way I'll make it easier to create social media cards quickly AND as I create products for sale I'll only have 3 fonts I need to have the rights to use.
Note: If you're going to sell items and use Canva you'll need to buy an extended license from them.