No one can question the power of the internet. Since its introduction more than half a century ago, it has helped us accomplish greater things. Take global communication, for example. Social media has made it possible for anyone to communicate with another person anywhere in the world. It’s a phenomenon that took the world by surprise upon its release.
When the initial wave of excitement over social media dialed down, image-based social platforms like Pinterest and Instagram followed suit. They redefined the customer experience and set a new trend in marketing.
Today, image-based content—or what is known in business as visual marketing—is becoming more of a permanent fix rather than a passing movement. Visual marketing is here to stay. Retailor your campaign to include visual content that’s relevant to your target audience.
The Gold Mine that is Visual Marketing
Online marketing is behind the decline of print advertising. Although it will take decades to obliterate textual content, we can now see how online ads are dominating the marketing world. Even in the virtual platform, text doesn’t reign supreme anymore. Visuals are taking a huge share in the market. In fact, professionals estimate that 84% of communications will be visual come 2018.
What exactly is visual marketing and why is it so powerful? Visual marketing is the radical use of design elements to connect with a target audience in a unique and creative way. It includes images, GIFs, slides, infographics, videos, checklists, and other graphics.
Visual content can strengthen your brand image and make your campaign more successful. To use the words of Anita Campbell, CEO and founder of Small Business Trends, “Harnessing the power of images and visuals will make your marketing more powerful and more memorable. Images, when done deftly, can turn concepts and intangible things into something concrete. That helps people envision your brand and your message in their mind’s eye—and remember you when it comes time to buy.”
Researchers found that colored visuals increase people’s willingness to read content by 80%. In the same way, contents with relevant images get 94% more views than those without graphics. It’s clear how visual marketing is changing the business landscape.
Key Elements that Drive Visual Marketing Success
Powerful though it is, visual marketing won’t sell itself. You need to learn how to use it to its full potential.
- Brand Story and Personality
Showcase your brand story through visual marketing. Good visuals coupled with good narratives forge lasting bonds with customers.
- Creativity and Resourcefulness
Differentiate your brand by doing something unique. Use your creative juice every time you communicate with your audience. Innovation is a good way to weed out competition and let your voice stand out.
- Depth and Impact
Unless your content makes the audience stop and look, it will be lost in the background. Make sure that your social media posts have depth so that you can develop a compelling case that hooks the audience.
- Humor and Entertainment
Humor is always a competitive edge. Use it in an impeccable way to enthrall your target audience and make them love your brand more.
- Relevance and Application
As a marketer, you should know your audience well. It’s your mission to understand what the customers find valuable. Use all the information you have to make your campaign more targeted and personalized.
- Call to Action
Lacing your visual content with a call to action will increase your chance of getting a better return on investment. Encourage your audience to engage with your brand across all social media platforms.
The Goal of Every Marketing Campaign
Brand awareness is just one of the many purposes of visual marketing. Thought leadership is another. Marketing in general is crucial to business, so you must leverage it as much as you can. Below are the five E’s of marketing according to Create, Connect, Convince.
Educate. Convey information about your brand. Your visual content must be as informational as your textual content.
Engage. Encourage your target audience to take part in growing your business. They are the most important resource you can use.
Enhance. Marketing is about promoting your brand, so don’t be afraid to blow your own horn and proclaim the benefits of your business. Just remember to do it in a non-intrusive way.
Entertain. When you’re posting through Facebook and other social media sites, you’re communicating with real people. Add emotion and humor in your content to entertain the audience.
Entice. You want potential customers to talk about your business. You want existing customers to buy your products. You can only do all this if you create a brand that is interesting enough to attract attention.
Visual is, without a doubt, the future of marketing. It will only be a matter of time before every content online is dominated by graphics and visual designs. Don’t wait until everyone else has taken all the spoils. Take your own share now and watch your business grow exponentially.
Bradley, Sarah. “Visual Marketing: What’s Out There and How It Benefits Business Owners.” Search Engine Journal. April 11, 2014. www.searchenginejournal.com
Ditteaux, Matt. “Visual Marketing Tips for Your Business.” SB Marketing Tools. n.d. www.sbmarketingtools.com
Kaushal, Navneet. “How to Leverage Visual Marketing to Grow Your Blog Traffic.” Business 2 Community. November 16, 2016. www.business2community.com
Kim, Larry. “16-Eye-Popping Statistics You Need to Know About Visual Content Marketing.” Inc. November 23, 2015. www.inc.com
Mawhinney, Jesse. “37 Visual Content Marketing Statistics You Should Know in 2016.” Hubspot. January 23, 2016. blog.hubspot.com
Moltz, Barry. “5 Ways to Use Visual Marketing Online to Boost Your Business.” American Express. October 26, 2011. www.americanexpress.com
Moritz, Donna. “The Shift to Visual Social Media.” Socially Sorted. n.d. sociallysorted.com.au
Schawbel, Dan. “Leverage Visual Marketing to Grow Your Business.” Forbes. n.d. www.forbes.com
Vats, Shashvat. “How to Use Visual Marketing to Grow Your Business.” Viral Woot. July 1, 2016. viralwoot.com