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Salsa Blog

Visual Storytelling - Seeing is Believing

by Nicole Lampe, Digital Strategy Director, Resource Media

According to TIME Magazine’s Kara Pollock, 10 percent of all of the photos made in the entire history of photography were taken last year. About 300 million are uploaded to Facebook every day, and 70% of users’ activity revolves around pictures.

These statistics—along with the meteoric rise of Pinterest and Instagram— confirm what most communicators have observed: we’re visual creatures. And that is particularly true in an age when the average person is bombarded with the equivalent of 174 newspapers’ worth of information every day. Who has time to read?!

Technology may have fueled this visual revolution, but humans have always been hardwired to respond to imagery. We connect emotionally to things we see rather than read. We even retain information better when it’s communicated visually.

Resource Media’s Liz Banse spent the better part of two years wading through cognitive research on this topic and interviewing experts from corporate brand gurus to fundraising strategists. She’s broken down the three top scientific principles and seven key recommendations in our Seeing is Believing best practices guide.

As a nonprofit communications firm, we’ve noticed that organizations spend a lot of time and money vetting and finessing their messages, but often give image strategy short shrift. Having seen firsthand the power of pictures—whether to change hearts and minds about a proposal to ship coal through Pacific Northwest communities, or to secure front page coverage for a story about clean energy in Nevada—we wanted to help groups harness the power of visual communications.

Fortunately, technology has made it easier than ever before for nonprofits to take and test photos. Most of your staff are probably carrying around perfectly serviceable cameras at every moment—on their smartphones—and many of your members are likely uploading images relevant to your cause on Flickr, Instagram, or Facebook. And did you know that Salsa makes it easy to A/B test emails with different photos to see which generate the most clicks and shares?

We’re excited to be conducting A/B testing campaigns with a couple Salsa community members this year. We’ll be sharing results and lessons learned on a webinar series in June. Hope to speak with many of you then!

In the meantime, we have lots of how-to guides and other resources online at www.visualstorylab.org. Have picture power stories to share, or ideas for future tip sheets and trainings? Drop us a line.

Download Your Copy of Seeing is Believing 

Topics: Marketing