Visual Storytelling for Non-Profits — Stand Out from the Noise

Tail end of a goldfish

Visual Storytelling for Non-Profits — Stand Out from the Noise

In today’s world, humans are generally overstimulated. Human attention spans last less than eight seconds. That’s less than the attention span of a goldfish! With all the noise and chatter from being constantly connected to the web via our phones, computers, etc. we are hardly able to digest any information at all. That means it can be a problem to compete for the attention of your non-profit audience. How do you successfully get your message in front of them and make a lasting impact? Visual storytelling is one of the best ways for non-profits to make a message stand out and to capture attention before people leave your site.

Why Visual Storytelling Works

Non-profits have stories that are worth sharing. Using a story in your marketing materials, website blogs, social media, etc. is a perfect way to connect with an audience. And in a way that really means something to them. Viral content has the ability to reach millions of people, and good stories are the ones that are most likely to be shared. Images and videos are easy to digest, fun to engage with, and create a deeper impression than words alone. Here are some tips to help you make the most of visual storytelling at your non-profit.

Develop Your Personas

The first step is to ensure that you know the personas of your target audience. Step into their shoes and think about what they want, what type of content they are likely to interact with and how you can best reach them with your message. As you develop a story, keep these factors in mind. Let your audience needs guide your plan.

Set Clear Goals

What do you want your visual storytelling campaign to accomplish? Knowing this will help guide your efforts and ensure that you reach your audience. Make sure your goals are specific and measurable. For example: increase your Facebook following by 20%, boost visitors to your landing page by 25%, etc. These goals will help you stay on track, organized and on budget. It will also give you a clear idea of how much content you will need to pull off your campaigns throughout the year.

Use Free Tools

Creating visual stories doesn’t have to cost a bundle. There are a lot of free resources you can take advantage of that can help you create and share content easily.

Canva: Canva is a free, web-based app that lets you choose from hundreds of templates for infographics, posters, Instagram posts and more. It also lets you edit the pictures by adding in quotes or other text on top of the image. These are great for sharing on social media and using in blog posts, emails, newsletters or landing pages.

Facebook Live: Social media is leading the way with video and especially live streaming video. You can create short videos that tell stories about your organization, the people you work with and more. Check out this post for more inspiration and ideas.

Resonate: This is a book that gives wonderful insight into presenting visual stories that transform audiences. It provides some great tips for designing presentations and reaching audiences in new ways, and can help you think about how to use this powerful format to spice up your next presentation.

Even if you’re not a designer or don’t have a full-time design team on staff, your non-profit can still find ways to make visual storytelling an integral part of your marketing efforts.

Learn more about visual storytelling and see some examples in our digital impact reports.