“An image is worth a thousand words!” As cliché as it sounds, images are taking over narrative in the digital space. In fact, 63% of the social content today is visual; and engagement is 100-180% higher than engagement with text only.

We learned all of this and more at Ragan’s Visual Communications and Infographics Summit. The conference included great sessions ranging from shooting video on a budget to Instagram and Pinterest tips for PR professionals. Here are the major highlights we can’t wait to share with you!

Shel Holtz, Holtz @shelholtz

Due to the growing demand for visual content, editors and publishers are constantly looking for high quality images and video. Businesses need to realize that newsrooms should be an integral part of a corporate website. Each newsroom needs to have:

  • An image gallery sorted into categories
  • Both high and low-resolution images
  • A video gallery
  • High quality images and video that media will find interesting

Here are five image types you can use to keep the variety in your newsrooms and on social networks.

  • Orienting – behind the scenes
  • Humanizing – portraying identity
  • Interacting – engaging with the audience
  • Placemaking – helping people understand location
  • Crowdsourcing – using a hashtag

Joie Healy, Cisco @JoieHealy

Social posts with videos attract 3 times more inbound links than plain text. By using video storytelling, you can humanize your company’s purpose and build brand affinity with your audience. Here are some key tips for video storytelling:

  • Build a mini-newsroom to source and develop low-cost content
  • Hold weekly meetings with your editorial team
  • Keep your story short and make it visual by using engaging images vs. talking heads
  • Don’t miss real-time opportunities such as company events and employee activities
  • Take advantage of your social network to leverage content distribution

Michael Bepko, Whole Foods @bepkoboy

Visuals speak a universal language while communicating feelings much better than words. In addition, the brain processes images 60,000 faster than it does text. Visual storytelling can be a powerful tool for your brand and capture a greater audience. Here’s where to start:

  • Conduct an audit of your existing content – think about complex topics, emotional aspects and relatable moments your audience will crave
  • Understand the role each visual plays in telling the story
  • Use content curation in addition to creation
  • Play to the right channel
  • Stay focused on your audience and their needs
  • Hone in on your most powerful messages
  • Don’t forget to measure and optimize!

Jen Grant, @cr8tivejen

Instagram is the 8th most popular mobile app with the highest engagement rate of all social platforms (4.21%). This means 58 times more engagement than Facebook and 120 times more than Twitter. If your brand has a visual story to tell, don’t miss the opportunity to include this powerful social platform in your strategy. Here are some key things to keep in mind with the management of your Instagram platform:

  • Most popular filters are: Lo-­‐Fi, X-­‐Pro II, Valencia, Mayfair and Rise
  • High lightness images result in 24% more likes than dark images
  • Open background space 29% more likes
  • Blue as dominant color generates 24% more likes than red
  • High levels of texture have 79% more likes

These are just a few major highlights on visual storytelling. If you have a question, drop us a line and we’ll be happy to provide more insight!