The old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” has come full circle. With the
shift from text to photographs in social media — consumers now upload some 2.5 billion images a week — many companies are starting to take a different approach to marketing their brands.
Heavily visual platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr are connecting products and services to consumers and providing innovative ways to appeal to people with images. Seeing as 60 percent of people are visual learners, using photos, videos, and the like in your marketing efforts can help to capture their attention and encourage them to engage with your brand online.
So, how do users benefit from visual content, and how should this play a role in your marketing strategy? Let’s take a look.
How Visual Content Relates to Customers
Visuals educate your audience in a simple, easy-to-digest way. The more empowered your customers feel about your product or service, the more they will relate to it and trust you. Use images to tell a story or to demonstrate how your offering can help people (without actually spelling this out in words). Connect their personal interests to your brand and you’ll convert them from mere browsers into dedicated buyers.
Dropbox offers an excellent example of using visual content effectively on its company website. After watching the short, two-minute video on its homepage, prospective users immediately understand how the product works. The company uses visual storytelling to relate a familiar scenario to the average consumer, and it demonstrates how its product (cloud storage) makes accessing files while out of the office a hassle-free experience. Dropbox also relies on clean, simple imagery across its website to deliver a relaxed, inviting message to users.
Various Types of Visual Content
Here are eight types of visual content you can implement into your marketing campaigns.
- Photographs — Grab people’s attention and flaunt your product’s value through a simple, clear picture rather than text. Use photography in as many of your marketing campaigns as possible, including social profiles, emails, landing pages, and white papers.
- Videos — Video content is a force to be reckoned with. YouTube attracts 1 billion visitors who view more than 4 billion hours of video a month. Create videos (interviews, tutorials, or mini commercials) for your product or service launches. You can also use video as an ongoing method to keep users coming back for more on your company blog. SEOmoz does an excellent job of this with its Whiteboard Friday posts.
- Infographics — Use data-rich graphics to educate customers without being overly self-promotional. Host them on your website or blog, syndicate them to your social media pages, and offer them up to bloggers and media outlets as a resource for their readers. Check out these examples of well-done, widely-syndicated infographics to get an idea of what works.
- Branded Tumblr Blogs — Launch a Tumblr to give users a behind-the-scenes look at your brand by sharing bits of personal content. Kate Spade is a great example of an early Tumblr adopter. Its blog is chock full of insider photos from candids of spotted products in the marketplace to fun photos of employees. This strategy can be a used for a social campaign or as an ongoing tool to encourage viral sharing.
- Animated GIFs — This late 1980s trend is not only making a comeback, but also dominating the internet in ads and dedicated Tumblrs. Use these moving images to share the more relatable side of your brand’s persona. They can be shared on your blog and social profiles to tell a story or during a holiday campaign. For example, clothing retailer Uniqlo successfully incorporated these animations in its “GIF Box” campaign.
- Fonts — Using vivid typography communicates your marketing message in a clear and bold way. Combine it with vector images and icons to make an otherwise bland copy pop. You can use typography in your email marketing campaigns and SEO-optimized landing pages to drive higher conversions.
- Slideshows — Popular sites like SlideShare make your presentations fun and easily shareable. Use slideshows at industry events, during presentations with clients, and webinars, among other places. Make your slides eye-catching by incorporating original, relevant images — charts, graphs, photos, and graphics. Learn how to make a killer slideshow from this presentation, which has been viewed more than 1 million times.
- User-generated images — Encouraging users to send you photos of themselves using your product or service offers a strong testimony to prospective customers. You can turn this user content into a campaign on Instagram or Pinterest. Feature customers on your blog, and invite them to share the post with their network. Yoga clothing retailer Lululemon is one of many companies that fueled its success with user content.
What are some ways you have implemented visual content into your marketing strategy? Share your tactics in the Comments field below.