2019 is almost in our rearview mirror, and with that ends a decade that has morphed everyone into a visual storyteller. The founding of Instagram kicked off 2010 in filtered style, changing the way everyone looks at content and their own visual identity.
In 2012, The New York Times put Scrollytelling on the map with their stunning Snow Fall: The Avalanche At Tunnel Creek. The shift to a more immersive experience had begun, and it started changing the way readers interacted with journalism. For me and other visual storytelling professionals, we had to fly by the seat of our pants to keep up with all the moving parts that started emerging.
The latter half of the decade saw the explosion of online video-based storytelling that fed the hunger for constant and fresh content. And the technologies continue to move at rocket speed. There are loads of amazing interactive and transformative experiences to be found. I highly recommend checking out last year’s digital storytelling winners at World Press Photo for awesome inspiration.
So, what’s left for visual storytelling in 2020?
Organizations are completely overwhelmed with the ever-changing landscape of content marketing, and many times it’s a push just to get something out. But this can hurt their authenticity, and, ultimately, audience loyalty.
As visual storytellers, who are passionate about making an impact, we want to help communication professionals put out more purposeful content. It’s become clear in the last ten years that visual storytelling has been an integral part of any organization’s workflow, but so many haven’t fully figured out the best practices. Now the job is to support them in curating a visual identity that is real. That may mean helping to tell their stories with a more consistent tone that resonates with their audiences on social media, or figuring out how to visualize data-driven content. Let’s make 2020 about cutting down on the fluff that is out there and inspire veritable engagement.
Audiences are yearning for genuine interactions online. We, as professional storytellers, need to keep pushing how global game-changers communicate with their audiences so that they can connect in authentic, thoughtful ways.
Here’s to a great decade, everyone! Let’s help make the next ten about connecting in more meaningful practices!