Capturing Attention with Visuals in Storytelling

April 19, 2019

I’ll admit it, I still like books with pictures in them. I remember getting to that grade school milestone when I read my first chapter book…without pictures. I’ll admit it was a let down and to this day I love pictures in books even if it’s only a map at the beginning of an epic tale. I’m a visual learner and I’m not alone. The majority of people, 65% of us, also identify as visual learners. When we hear information, we’ll only remember 10% three days later, but if we add a relevant image we are 65% more likely to retain that information. (Source: BrainRules)


Visuals pack a mean punch. Consider the attention span of the average internet user scrolling through their news feed. It’s only when something catches their eye do they truly stop to investigate, and even then the moment can be fleeting. Since we process visuals 60,000 times faster than text alone, an image can grab that moment. Including a visual element is a no brainer when you want to attract attention and engage with your audience.

Social media image posts are top performers over all the other types of posts including videos, links and text alone. The most effective visuals are infographics and illustrations which drive more engagement than stock photos or videos. It’s no wonder since they cut the time needed for users to process information. People love images, are we are wired to respond to them. Given the choice between studying a cool graphic or deciphering lots of fine print, I’ll take the visual.