Leading Viewers on a Visual Journey

The secret to online interaction is leading your viewers on a journey, such as showing how a pair of shoes can shape up a wardrobe and sparkle on a date.Visual communications is much more than a great picture or cool video. It involves capturing the attention of your viewer and leading him or her on a journey to a mutually satisfying destination.

The journey can be short, such as a 6-second Vine video, or a longer visual exploration. The journey is really a personalized story that can be funny or informative, reflective or explanatory.

Website designers and content generators grow frustrated when viewers don't interact with their prize handiwork. Too often, their designs and contents are the sum of parts, not a smooth-flowing narrative.

Some refer to the viewer journey as the customer experience, but that phrase is too sterile to capture what is really needed. Here are some ideas:

  • If you are selling high-quality men's shoes, you should walk your customer through how each type of shoe would enhance his wardrobe and his appearance for different occasions, including dates. Men need visual cues.

  • If you are selling a professional-grade mixer, you should walk your customer through how the device will expand what you can do in the kitchen and save time. You can bring recipes to life using the mixer.

  • If you sell furniture that requires assembly, you should consider a SlideShare presentation that can lead your customer step by step through the process at his or her own pace. You could add funny videos showing how you could spend the free time you will have by quickly assembling the bookshelf. 

   • If you are a hardware store, you should provide clear instructions and helpful tips on how to start and operate a rented power washer. A good addition would be an infographic on dos and don'ts with power washers.

  • If you market Alaska cruises, offer a video that allows would-be passengers to take a virtual cruise on their computer. Include a gallery of striking photographs of wildlife in Alaska — and the wildlife aboard the cruise ship.

Vendors who tell the best stories give themselves the best chance to connect with customers and prosper. Of course, you still have to engineer ways to get people to your website or social network. Having a great story to tell will ensure they linger a while when they get there.