Building The Ultimate Toolbox For Visual Storytelling


Wibbitz Research Hub ReportBuilding theUltimate Toolbox forVisual StorytellingInsights into the tools required forbuilding a successful visual contentstrategy in a multiplatform worldFeaturing alook insideAP’s toolbox!

OverviewVisual content is becoming an increasingly important wayfor companies of all kinds to reach their target audiencesand achieve their business goals. Thanks to the technologyof today’s digital age, audiences are viewing information innew ways, from smaller, more portable screens on mobiledevices to third-party apps and discovery platforms. Andas audiences make this shift, they rely more and moreon information presented in a visual way. In response,businesses in every industry are pivoting to meet thisdemand for visual content.Of course, as the visual content landscape expands, sodoes the number of tools available to creators to produceas much effective, high quality visual content as possible.Tech platforms are a necessary resource for companiesto leverage their existing resources, from tech to talent, tosuccessfully achieve multiplatform visual storytelling in asustainable way.That’s why we decided to investigate the resources that gointo building the best toolbox for a successful visual contentstrategy. In this report from the Wibbitz Research Hub, wetake a look at which types of visual content creation toolsare most popular, in what ways those tools support businessgoals, and how visual content supports business successoverall. We also reveal how the Associated Press is stockingtheir visual storytelling toolbox, provide insights from ourown premium partners, and investigate the trends we predictwill influence the visual content creation landscape over thecoming year. This report will help storytellers understandhow to equip their toolboxes to support a successful, scalablevisual content strategy for the years to come.METHODOLOGY AUDIENCEWibbitz surveyed 1,478 professionals inNovember 2017 whose jobs are involved inthe creation of visual content. Respondentsrepresented a variety of industries, includingtelecommunications, entertainment andleisure, advertising and marketing, health andpharmaceuticals, and education.TABLE OF CONTENTS1 The Role Of Visual Content in BusinessToday2 The Visual Content Creation Tech Stack2.1 Automation Tools for VisualContent Creation2.2 A Look Inside AP’s VisualContent Creation Toolbox3 The Future of Visual Content Creation4 Takeaways for your Toolbox

01The Role of Visual Contentin Business TodayVisual content creation plays a role in every element of business success, although somecompanies use visual content to their advantage better than others, and not every industryhas adapted to the push for a visual-first strategy at the same time. Overall, we found thatvisual content makes a noticeable impact on every major business goal, and influences websitetraffic and brand awareness most significantly. We also learned that most businesses that areproducing enough visual content to meet their needs have been around for a longer period oftime, and have introduced a greater number of tools to support the creation process.How long has visual content creation played aHow has visual content made an impact on yourmajor role in your business?business’s success?5-10 Advertising & MarketingYEARS Finance & Financial ServicesUNDER Food & Beverage5YEARS Non-profitWEBSITE TRAFFIC85%BRAND AWARENESS84% Telecommunications & Technology EducationSOCIAL MEDIA ENGAGEMENTLEAD GENERATION AND SALESIs your team producing enough visual content tomeet the needs of your business?AVERAGE NUMBER OFTOOLS USED FOR VISUALCONTENT CREATIONAVERAGE NUMBER OFYEARS COMPANY HASEXISTEDYES6-1011-20NO3-55-1081%71%

01The Role of Visual Content in Business TodayWhat types of visual content does yourHow many people are on your company’s visualteam produce?content creation IDEOS89%11-156-1015%16%INFOGRAPHICS83%“We’re in the travel and lifestyle business,ILLUSTRATIONS81%so words can only go so far. Using ourwriters’ own photos and videos helps addto our authenticity and lets our audienceconnect on new levels. Our audience canchoose to read or watch more and more ofour content (or both). I’m a big believer inversatile storytelling and being nimble withANIMATIONS68%format and medium.Brandon TuckerManaging Editor of Golf Advisor

02The Visual Content CreationTech StackIn this section, we took a deeper look into the specific types of tools visual content creatorsuse on a regular basis. Graphic design tools are the most popular category, so it’s no surprisethen that photos are also the most popular type of visual content, with video and video editingtools coming in at a close second place. And specific tools aside, a more robust tech stack alsosupports business success overall. Almost every creator who reported using more than 20 totaltools for visual content also said that they were meeting or exceeding their business needs.How important are visual content creationWhat is the total number of visual content creationtools to your business?tools that you use on a regular basis?CRUCIAL OR INTEGRALMY TEAM DOES NOT USE2%7%50 SAUTOMATIONTOOLS67%15%%55%20%27%98of respondents usingover 20 tools say theyare producing enough visualcontent for their business%72of respondents who saythey are not producingenough visual contentare using 1-5 tools

2.1Automation Tools For Visual Content CreationAutomation tools for visual content creationAutomation is a relatively new development in the creative professional field - and accordingto our findings, newer companies are more willing to adapt their workflows to include thesenewer technologies. We also found that most companies using automation tools for thecreation of visual content are able to produce all five types of visual content - and those thatare not leveraging automation are much less likely to do so. Almost half of creators that relyon automation tools work with small, intimate visual content creation teams, a result that maybe supported by the power and efficacy of automation tools. Furthermore, people who rely onautomation tools report better business success as a direct result of visual content creation.OF RESPONDENTS WHO USE AUTOMATION TOOLS FOR VISUAL CONTENT CREATION:Number of years company has existed:Number of employees on visual content creation team:13%18%35% 80 3046%10% 1041-8010% 1021-3021-4020%11-2011-2026%22%

2.1Automation Tools For Visual Content CreationWhat types of visual content does your team create?DOES NOT USEAUTOMATION TOOLSUSES AUTOMATION TOOLSComparing usage of automation tools to team’s ability to createvisual LLUSTRATIONSANIMATIONSHow has visual content made an impact on your business’s success?INFOGRAPHICSALL RESPONDENTSUSES AUTOMATION TOOLSComparing usage of automation tools to visual content’s impact on a businessBrand AwarenessWebsite TFULIMPACTFULSLIGHTLYIMPACTFUL6%2%NOT AT ALLIMPACTFULSocial Media L2%NOT AT ALLIMPACTFULLead Generation and ULIMPACTFULSLIGHTLYIMPACTFUL23%3%NOT AT FUL7%NOT AT ALLIMPACTFUL

2.2A Look Inside AP’s Visual Content Creation ToolboxA LOOK INSIDE AP’S VISUAL CONTENT CREATION TOOLBOXForeword by Francesco Marconi, Strategy Manager & AI co-leadThe symbiosis between two worlds — journalism andtechnology — that have historically had different culturesand business models, is creating both tension andopportunity. To respond to audience’s increasing demandfor visually engaging content, news organizations areincreasingly behaving like startups and journalists areexpanding their skills beyond just reporting. They areleveraging new tools for visual journalism, buildingproducts and exploring new platforms to distributecontent and grow audiences.With shrinking budgets and revenue pressures, manynewsrooms are being encouraged to think innovativelyand deploy new tools to enable visual storytelling atscale. The training of journalists is quickly becomingsimilar to that of computer science engineers, who mustlearn new programming languages every year. As newsconsumption patterns change, journalists at AP areactively exploring new storytelling models and deployingnew reporting tools in their daily workflow.In addition to building some of our tools in-house - from a “before and after” photo slider, a quote cardkit makerand even a timeline generator – AP is also using and experimenting with these external emerging tools:Videos & PhotosGraphics & Data VisualizationsDroneBase - capturing aerial footageGraffiti - mobile data visualizationsWibbitz - video automationPower BI - interactive data visualizationsPremier - professional video editingIllustrator - custom graphic creationTrint - automating video transcriptionLive U - broadcast quality video streamingAnimations & 3D/VR/ARIris (formely Bambuser) - mobile live streamingGifToaster - GIF creation of newsworthy momentsSamDesk - UGC photos and videosCinema 4D - 3D modeling and animation in VR/ARClarifai - automatic photo taggingUnity - 3D environment building for immersive media

03The Future of Visual ContentCreationOur findings show that more than three quarters of our respondents are planning to expandtheir visual content creation efforts in the coming year. That’s most likely because audience’sdemand for visual content is steadily increasing, so increased effort will be necessary in thefuture to ensure continued success. What’s the most popular way creators plan to accomplishthis expansion? By introducing new tools to support visual content creation, of course - and wecan expect all four types of tools to be implemented by over half of these respondents. And asfor the types of visual content that will get more TLC in the coming year, it’s no surprise thatvideo tends to be the most popular.Do you have plans to expand your visual content creation62%59% 58%efforts in the coming year?53%54%51%43%42%44%42%BUDGETNEW VISUAL CONTENTCREATION TOOLSNEW TYPES OFVISUAL EOSYESAUTOMATION TOOLS23VIDEO EDITING TOOLS7732%INFOGRAPHICS%WEBSITE DESIGN TOOLS%GRAPHIC DESIGN TOOLS41% 40%TV Guide’s social audience has more than tripled YoY and reached record highs in 2017 in large part from increased visualcontent creation. The team will be exploring more data tools to empower actionable business decisions as it relatesto video. This isn't just from a content creation standpoint but also from a strategy point of view. The landscape ischanging so rapidly that TV Guide wants to ensure we have data backing up all business decisions.Gina MasciaSenior Audience Development Manager, Head of Growth & Engagement at CBS Interactive

04Takeaways foryour ToolboxRegardless of industry, company size, or amount of visual contentalready being produced, companies will need to continue adaptingtheir visual technology toolboxes in order to satisfy audiences onevery new platform and device. It’s clear from our findings that theneed for visual content and tools that support its creation has beengrowing exponentially in recent years, and that in the coming year,that expansion will only continue on its current trajectory. Whethercompanies are hiring fresh talent, introducing innovative tech tools,trying out new content types, or just expanding their investment invisual content overall, the shift towards a multiplatform, visual-firstbusiness strategy is well on its way and will continue for theforeseeable future.While there’s no doubt that visual content creation is an important partof any successful business strategy today, there are so many ways toexecute visual content creation that it’s easy for companies to get lost.Our findings in this report show that building a robust toolbox of visualcontent creation resources makes production easier and distributionmore effective to boost your business’s bottom line. Whether you’relooking to build brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, boostengagement on social media, or increase lead generation and pack yoursales pipeline, it’s clear that visual content plays a key role in long-term,sustainable business success.

Wibbitz is a text-to-video creation platform built for publishers. The platform usesadvanced technology to automatically produce premium branded videos in seconds.Wibbitz supports production for thousands of videos every day, allowing partnerslike Forbes, USA TODAY Sports, and Time Inc. to better engage their audience andincrease monetization with video. The platform enables publishers to produce videosmore efficiently, using intuitive editing tools and top-quality licensed content frompartners including Reuters and Getty Images.Are you looking to ramp up your video production?Request a demo to find out how Wibbitz can support yourteam’s visual content strategy!REQUEST DEMO

their visual storytelling toolbox, provide insights from our own premium partners, and investigate the trends we predict will influence the visual content creation landscape over the coming year. This report will help storytelle