5 Ways to Tell a Story Visually with Post-Its


The brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. In digital marketing, with so many brands, channels, and devices competing for our attention, visual storytelling is essential get your audience to engage. When we say that our clients sometimes response with, “We don’t know how to do that, and we don’t have a ton money.” Visual storytelling is an art, but it doesn't have to be expensive. In this post I’ll show you five simple ways to tell a story visually with post-its.

The Post-it is universal and ubiquitous. Called everything from sticky notes and desk wallpaper, they were a great invention from 3M that continues to be used in this digital age. There are even digital knock-offs of Post-it notes, and Post-its have been used to create art. It sounds too simple, but it can be powerful. The power comes from the simplicity of the Post-it, and the context that you put it in. 

Here are some examples:

Another Summer of Judgment or Time Tested Awesomeness

Dirty BBQ.jpg

This image might be used in a Facebook ad, or on a Pinterest board adjacent to a pictures of new grills for sale with the text, “Are you ready for another summer of judgment?”  It might also be used in a blog post about why old, beat-up, Webers are the most awesome grills that turn out the tastiest barbecue ever (#WebersRule).

Make Time for Your Community


This is a personal pet peeve of mine. Some of my clients get caught up in social media consumption, and content creation, and don’t respond to comments from their community, or review comments for feedback. With new clients, our staff tend to spend a lot of time facilitating community engagement, and, in turn showing those clients how important it is.  This type of image could be used in an article about that very topic, or to promote tool that makes community management easier. 

By changing the images and the screen, or  - Change to political image with post it.

The Sign on the Door


There are lots of directions you can go with this. This could be used as part of a Pinterest board about little boys or girls that are into Harry Potter, or about kids relationships with dogs. You might use in a story about how pets can transcend family relationship problems. It could be used in a blog post about parenting, or as part of a Facebook contest looking for images about how children communicate. Simple additions to the shot such as door decorations, scattered dress-up clothes, or other toys laying on the floor can change or expand the meaning of the image. This is a starting point, you can take it somewhere different, or leave it to the imagination of your audience. 

Briefcase Note


This is another image that is ripe with possibilities. The note on the briefcase or purse, left by a loved one. You could add text to make it more specific, or be less specific and let the viewer’s imagination run free. Depending on how you approach it, the viewer can  ponder the image in the context of the blog, Pinterest board or other social media content it’s adjacent to, or drive an emotional connection your trying to evoke in the content.

Date Tonight?


This is one of my favorites. It’s full of social commentary. It can be as simple and straightforward as a couple looking forward to a nice night out. It can also be more charged, if the surrounding content addresses the challenge of the ever-present smart phone and how that affects relationships. Images like this can be simple, powerful, and flexible enough to use in a variety of marketing copy. 

Context is the Key to Creating an Emotional Connection

As you can see, context is key. What you put the Post-it on, and the other things that can be seen in the shot take the viewer into the picture. Those visual elements, as well as the words you include, and the words you choose to exclude, all play a part. They bring the pictures alive, putting the viewer in familiar situations, and touching common emotions. You can evoke feelings of home, family, stress, success, failure, desire, and more. The emotional response created by the image will impact how the viewer perceives and processes the content adjacent to it. It's simple, and a great way to tell stories cost effectively through visuals.