Visual Storytelling: what it is and how to apply it in Instagram stories

It is said that humans are genetically predisposed to process images 60,000 times faster than written text , but you probably already figured this out for yourself , browsing the endless photos that fill the screens of our smartphones every day.

Instagram, in particular, is one of the platforms where Visual Storytelling perhaps finds its maximum expression. But what exactly does Visual Storytelling mean ? Why do we hear about it all the time?

What is Visual Storytelling

Visual Storytelling is nothing more than the telling of a story, through the use of images.

Said like this it also seems like something simple, I take a picture, add a few sentences and that’s it, but if it were really that simple, we certainly won’t be here talking about it.

Making Visual Storytelling means telling the story of a brand finding, in the images, the right key to generate an emotion in users (and therefore possible buyers), to transmit clear and immediate messages, but especially to be able to be remembered.

Why this is the secret: finding a way to visually distinguish yourself from the sea of ​​competitors crowding the market. Do you understand now why it is not simply a matter of taking a picture and posting it on your own channels?

Even our distant Paleolotic relatives, in their own way, understood the importance of the story through images, even before discovering writing. Drawing was the fastest and easiest way to share a concept and create a living memory.

Do we even think only of the photographs we take while traveling, do they not also represent a sort of story of the things we have seen, but also of the emotions we have felt? And when we look at a photo after a long time, doesn’t something spring up in us that triggers a chain of memories?

This is the power of images, this is what we need to keep in mind when we talk about Visual Storytelling

How to do Visual Storytelling through Instastories

But let’s get to the focal point of the speech: how to apply a Visual Storytelling strategy to Instagram Stories.

Personally I love Instagram Stories, but the thing I love most is experimenting with new formats and techniques to try to generate engagement around my profile and the content I share.

Instagram stories are one of the most creative and versatile tools to use to enrich your communication with interesting and, more often than not, interactive stories.

Furthermore, Instagram Stories are “browsable” just as if we were reading a book made of images, which flows before our eyes, telling us a story we can actually interact with.

How to create captivating and effective Instagram Stories

A Visual Storytelling strategy must be able to strike, of course, but above all to communicate a message.

The best way to make an Instagram stories effective is to take advantage of the different stickers and tools available, both on Instagram itself and on external platforms.

visual storytelling stickers instagram

Here are the stickers you need to use for your Instagram Stories and why:

  1. Location: to add the place where you are or where your story is set
  2. Hashtag: to be found even by those who do not know you, but who follow a specific hashtag
  3. Survey: to interact with your audience and improve your communication even more
  4. Questions: Ask users an open question to get more information on a specific topic
  5. Gif: to add a touch of irony and creativity to your stories
  6. Emoji: as above, except they are not animated
  7. Music: to add something more to your Visual Story, with a song that helps you feel the atmosphere
  8. Emoji slider: Create fun questions to simply answer with an emoji!

But that’s not all, because in addition to stickers, you can enrich your story on Instagram Stories with different types of formats:

  1. Type: plain text
  2. Live: direct
  3. Normal: photo
  4. Boomerang: repeats a short video in loop
  5. Superzoom: focuses attention on a point on the screen, zooming in
  6. Focus: to highlight the speaker’s face, during a story
  7. Rewind: shows the video you made backwards
  8. Hands-free: to create 15-second videos without touching any buttons

But if you want to create really different and recognizable Stories, then I suggest you take a qualitative leap and start using some external apps, like these I’m going to list:

  1. Snapseed: to change the colors and sharpness of the image and add text
  2. Vsco: Snapseed’s brother, to edit images and add different frames and text to them
  3. Canva: to create real templates and make your stories unique


To do Visual Storytelling it takes time, passion and creativity … but also a good dose of training, that’s why I will participate in the Visual Marketing and Storytelling Day next 28 September , organized by Studio Samo.

But training doesn’t make sense if you don’t want to experiment and play along with it. Creating a Visual Storytelling strategy certainly needs planning, based on the chosen objectives, but the testing phase must not be missing, which has always helped us understand what works best and what doesn’t, for our brand.

I’ll conclude the article by leaving you a couple of ideas on how to take advantage of Instagram Stories for better visual marketing, which knows how to tell a story.

visual storytelling instagram stories

visual storytelling instagram stories

Visual Storytelling

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