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Think of a funny meme or picture quote you came across on your Facebook timeline or Twitter feed recently. Would you have spent the time to read it if it was just text?
Every single day on the internet, more than 600 million new tweets are generated, along with more than five million hours of video on YouTube alone and several billion words. In that maelstrom of information, visual content such as pictures, infographics and videos are much more appealing to the eyes than blocks of text. As a result, they are much more effective at getting potential customers to stop and check out your marketing content.
Despite the fact that visual marketing has been a buzzword in marketing circles for a few years now, many businesses have not been able to get the hang of it. As with many other marketing practices, the clicks and conversions simply won't roll in unless you're doing it right.
Here are three effective ways you can make visual marketing work for you this year, so you'll get the most bang for your marketing budget buck.
1. Tug on the heartstrings
The pictures and videos that go viral are usually those that have an emotional angle to them, and that's not surprising when one considers the fact that emotional marketing has always been the most effective way to make a good, lasting impression.
Take advantage of this by making sure your visual content across all channels tie into a single brand story that conveys the values, interests and passion that drive your brand.
Ivy Cohen suggests five approaches you can use: Inspirational, Aspirational, Love, Milestones and Local Focus. Explore them all and see which one would suit your particular audience best. Engage professionals who understand how to maximize the effects of color schemes, shapes and typography for maximum effect. The more connected to your brand your target market feels, the more likely they will be to patronize you.
One easy way companies have been doing this is through behind-the-scene pictures and videos that showcase the company culture, thus drawing customers further in and cementing their brand loyalty.
One thing to keep at the back of your mind is that your messaging must be authentic and honest for it to work. Don't just copy what others are doing. Instead, find the perfect balance between your brand's identity and your audience's soft spots.
2. Focus on mobile
The importance of mobile optimization in marketing is no longer a matter of argument. Up to 70% of people accessed the internet from their smartphones or tablets in 2017 and that figure is much higher when it comes to social media.
The smaller screen real estate means that reading long-form articles is simply not as convenient, but it means you can have a field day with pictures or videos that are easy to digest and more importantly; easy to share with a tap.
To take full advantage of this, ensure that your images are optimized for viewing on smaller screens and are as light as possible; to enable easy sharing using mobile connections. Also make your videos as brief as possible and ensure that images are not too filled with text, so as to make for easier reading.
As part of your mobile strategy, you should also make it a point to expand your reach to other social media services. It is true that Facebook, Twitter and Instagram draw the most traffic, but Pinterest, Snapchat and Tumblr have also been seeing significant increases in their user bases. Since there is less competition there, you'll likely find it easier to position your brand as an authority in your niche.
3. Encourage customer generated content (CGC)
Recently, a Bazaar Voice report showed that CGC plays a significant role in signaling trustworthiness to potential customers. In the study, that trust boosted sales in various ways, most notable among which was the 97% increase in conversion among shoppers who interacted with CGC compared to those who didn't.
From the Share a Coke campaign to the Reunion Tower photo challenge where visitors took photos from the observatory and shared them on social media, it's clear that this is something that can work for any kind of business.
Apart from the fact that peer endorsements are much more influential than direct advertising, CGC also helps by boosting your brand recognition through keeping you in your target market's newsfeeds for a much longer time than if you only had to rely on your own posts.
One great way to drive CGC marketing campaigns is to put in an element of competition and offer prizes. When combined with the implicit desire to trend on social media, that will certainly increase interest and participation.
All things considered, it is clear that visual content is an area in which every brand must play if it is to remain relevant and maximize marketing reach and conversions. Apply the tips above using quality content and you'll certainly see significant increases in your marketing success.