3 Ways Banks Can Use Visual Storytelling

By Doug Wilber

Do your customers find your content easy to absorb, appealing—even compelling? The stakes are high. If your bank’s communications are perceived as stale and confusing, it can be difficult to resonate with your audience. Even banks have something interesting to say, and visual storytelling is the most reliable way to land a compelling and memorable message with the audiences who matter most.

Consider that the human brain is said to absorb up to 65 percent of visual information but only 10 percent of written or spoken information. Social media statistics back that up: On Facebook, images lead to about 2.3 times more engagement than text-only posts. And according to the ABA State of Social Media report, survey participants said the top three types of content that drive engagement for banks are photos, videos, and graphics. Financial institutions should take note of this trend.

Forging connections through visuals

There’s no single paint-by-numbers strategy to creating great visuals on social media, but content that addresses customer pain points or strikes on an emotional level is often successful. Mortgage loan officers, for instance, tend to see high engagement on posts that share closing photos because they capture the special moment when someone officially buys a new home.

What resonates with your audience will ultimately depend on who they are and what they expect from your institution. These three visual storytelling tips, however, are a great place to start sharing content that will help you build connections:

  1. When educating, use infographics.

One of your biggest responsibilities as a financial institution is to be a source of education for your customers. But financial education can be dry, complex, and (let’s be honest) boring to the average consumer. Infographics are a great way to break down potentially confusing subject matter into a format that consumers will not only understand, but also remember.

If you want to present a lot of numbers around a subject, for instance, an infographic is your best bet. Instead of presenting statistics in an intimidating table or list, put them into a visually appealing infographic that directs a reader’s eye toward the most important data. Be sure to optimize the size of your infographics for each social channel: 1200 by 630 pixels for Facebook, 440 by 220 for Twitter, and 1080 by 1080 for Instagram. Otherwise, you risk having some of your infographic cut off in users’ feeds on desktop or mobile.

  1. Show off your community connections.

Eighty-seven percent of consumers reported they would purchase from a company that supports an issue they care about. That means you should be involved in the things that matter most to your community.

Pitch in at school fundraisers or community food drives, and share videos and photos of your efforts. This will not only show how you are making a larger impact, but it will also connect with people on a human level. Research shows that even B2B customers are emotionally connected to their vendors, and see about 21 percent of appeal in a brand due to its business value—but double the appeal for its personal value. Find out what your community cares about and show the personal value you bring to the table.

  1. Celebrate employee achievements and milestones.

To take humanizing your brand a step further, highlight the humans within your organization. People don’t want to see paid advertisements on social—they want to see stories. Share images of your employees that showcase their milestones and achievements. Audiences will find inspiration in their successes and remember their faces. Then, when consumers are in search of a financial product, they’ll be more likely to go to the people they already recognize and relate to.

Today’s consumers speak a more visual language on social media, and banks need to join the conversation. Visual assets help you educate consumers as well as humanize your brand by showing off employees and community involvement, rather than just promoting products and services.

Doug Wilber is the CEO of Gremlin Social, an integrated solution that combines social media marketing with ABA-endorsed compliance tools to make it easy for financial services companies to master the social media landscape and engage customers using social networks. Gremlin Social helps ensure safe use of social media communication while maximizing social marketing campaigns, guiding strategies, and monitoring returns on investment​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​. Doug has worked in the fintech space for more than a decade and has experience working with Discover Financial Services, PYMNTS.com, and Assembly Payments, among others. He’s also advised a number of fintech-focused startups in the Greater St. Louis area.