Marketing remains a vast field which comprises of different professional activities such as sales, advertising, promotion, and distribution. The whole world of marketing is so complex that to define it as one entity is not feasible.
The introduction of internet has truly revolutionized the prevailing brands and gave a new ray of hope to emerging brands. Brands just love to promote themselves online and keep a vast customer pool under control. The amount of freedom e-commerce websites and social media platforms give is just the right recipe that was missed by business world for so long.
Especially social media sites have emerged as a firm pillar on which online market is holding on. People just love to be on social networking sites. In this era of multi-tasking, where everyone handles more than activity at once, brands keep a close watch on the users on these high potential platforms.
With the emergence of image-based social platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram, people love visual marketing platforms. Ability to choose by seeing in the virtual universe of internet, in an astonishing platform of images is a gift every shopper dreams of.
Typically marketing is a strategy to engage customers with brands. On the other hand, visual marketing is a term to encourage promotional displays in order to ensure customer engagement and an increase in sales.
Why Visual Marketing?
The key to marketing is creativity. As a brand owner, your efforts must be directed to use innovation for weeding out the competition and become top-notch of the industry. Customers are getting bored and yawning their way out of the brands, owing to the marketer’s traditional way of promotion, which is by textual content.
Entertaining the target audience with appealing images can increase your brand reach and can aid you in building a vast customer pool. For the people doubting the potential of this fabulous platform, visuals (images) are processed 60k times faster than an ordinary text message inside human brain!
Addition to this, most of the information transmitted from the brain is visuals. Seeing other stats such as what is preferred more by the customers; visuals or content, marketing professionals can simply make out the importance of visual marketing platform in virtual space of the internet.
Professionals sometimes get confused about how to make use of this extremely potential and effective podium to increase their sales. Since the successful commencement of visual platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram, users are getting more drawn towards the image-based platforms.
This behavior of customers clearly depicts the relevance of visual marketing for business owners. These social media platforms are some good way using which brands can drive more traffic to their websites.
Visual marketing can be seen as a unique way to communicate with your target audience. Gone are the days of overused text content ways to perceive the consumers. With the age of technology rising to its peak, visual marketing is slowly sweeping the textual market share to its own plate.
There is always a bottleneck in the process of engaging customers; that is the misinterpretation of intended message communicated. It does not really matter how ideally the text is written, making the customer think what you want them to is not easily achievable.
But seeing the humans love for image and how our brain reacts to visuals as compared to content, many social media sites have started investing in image-based marketing. It’s high time for all you marketers struggling to make their name in Online marketing industry; get on the horse and start riding now!
How to use Visual marketing?
It might happen to you that you might be able to understand the real value of visual marketing, yet you do not know how to utilize its potential. I will take you step by step via each social media platform and tell how to utilize their space and caliber appropriately.
Talking about globe’s most popular social networking site Facebook, which is having 1.6 billion active users per month, presents a great opportunity for marketers to showcase their product line.
With so many users hopping onto Facebook every month and with a 15% increase in users every month, marketing professionals consider Facebook as the most traffic generating social networking sites of all.
Visual marketing on Facebook has been a crucial move by the brands as the customers are highly active on this podium and expects greater service area comparatively.
Always remember that if you want to upload a video, Facebook accepts the entire available formats but recommends MP4. Similarly, if you want the videos to be presentable to FB audience, then make sure to keep the resolution under 1080 pixels.
Uploading GIFs and Memes are also an attractive way to pull up a large chunk of customers.
Facebook can take large video files up to 1.75 GB and if you consider quality as the main parameter to draw out customers, it is advisable to upload high definition videos. Creating engaging videos and incorporating call to action can increase your brand’s visibility and hike the reach of your business.
Starbucks, a strong player in the coffee world has been creating an impression in the minds of customers by creating eye catchy images such as above. On the occasion of Father’s Day, Starbucks adopted visual marketing as its tool on Facebook to reach out the maximum users’ altogether.
Similarly, with around 90 million likes on Facebook, Coca-Cola is been doing all the right moves with visual marketing.
See how intelligently Coca-Cola did not talk about its brand or product; rather it just gave a perfect romantic situation with the brand embedded in it. That is called wise visual marketing strategy.
Apart from this, few other tips to implement visual marketing on Facebook are listed below:
- Quotes: Quotes plays a vital role while drawing the attention of users. Because of their versatility, quotes are considered to reach all sorts of demographics. Like if you are sharing some inspirational quotes, it can reach millions of audience crossing the barrier of race, religion, caste, region, gender, and language.
- Special Occasions: Like the example I gave in Starbucks pic, utilizing the potential of several occasions should be the strategy of smart marketers. There are several occasions coming and going. Brands should keep a close watch on what sort of occasion is approaching and how can you cater to the users on a festive day.
- Cartoons: Brands thinking that cartoons only cover the young audience i.e. kids are totally wrong. Cartoons are likable by so many users despite their age, color, gender, and religion. As most of the users log in to Facebook after a long & tiring day at work, so seeing a glimpse of cartoons may prove as an optimistic move.
- Mascots: Just like the cartoons, Mascots are another important source of visual promotion available on Facebook. Owing to its special flair and its own personality, Mascot is a popular way by which customer engagement is done with ease.
- Humor: Making people laugh is considered as the hardest task in the world. So, making your Facebook visuals more humorous gains you a competitive edge over others. Customers love the posts that make them laugh or smile, so it is an impeccable way to attract more attention to your brand accordingly.
- Mini-Infographics: These are the visuals that inform or teach something to its readers. It can vary from simple facts to step-by-step images of teaching users how to make tea. Brands mainly utilize this kind of visual to flaunt their expertise in their respective industries.
For twitter, you can create loads of visual content and keep on tweeting it on a regular basis. Additionally, you can also hire a designer and increase your budget by incorporating other creative employees in the workforce.
Or you can be wise and do the visual marketing on twitter in a much effective manner.
Adding Call to Action
For engaging customers on twitter and increasing your brand reach, one of the most creative platforms is twitter. Understanding what makes the user take action may increase the chance of bringing both the audience and brand on the same platform.
Be it clicking, retweet, signing up or commenting, as a marketer you should not leave any action to chance. Unlike the traditional marketing, you have to make sure that your twitter followers know exactly how they are supposed to go hand-in-hand with your business.
You can ask your customers to download your product’s new version or ask them to retweet and incorporate a call to action in the subsequent message.
As a brand owner, you may never want your user to call you a spammer website. So, provide your audience something of substantial value and then back through with relevant content on the other side of the link.
Tell your brand Story
We all know that Twitter users move much more swiftly than any other social media websites. So, if they find your brand boring and repetitive content is seen back to back, say goodbye to a large piece of sales revenue that could be yours.
Share your story with the customers and make it kind of unique to draw maximum attention. As I said earlier that anything which inspires people seeks no barrier and gets through all demographics. So, tell your target audience about how you started this company and what inspired you.
In addition, you can flaunt your competitive advantage by incorporating it in tweet graphics. Make sure to express your business personality via a lot of informative, entertaining and relevant tweets.
See this image above, showing the strength of twitter and its customer base. During the Super Bowl 2013, Oreo managed to infuse fun swiftly and effectively at the power outage, which stopped the game for 35 minutes. This shows how you can relate your brand by any latest happenings and make a story.
Add videos in Tweets
Because visual marketing is growing at an outstanding rate, so users love to see videos in the tweets. As a business owner, you must put your efforts to capture a huge customer pool by incorporating creative videos in your tweets. Informative and educational videos that make customers learn about something is becoming very popular on twitter.
The marketing manager should make use of eye-catching thumbnails and should keep it topical.
Your Business Your Brand
Seeing the facts that users love the visuals, it is the responsibility of each brand to market their message in much imagery based way. Brands utilize this extremely versatile stage to ensure they are promoting their brand in a streamlined manner.
Some businesses make sure to include the creativity in one graphic message only. Pulling your target audience towards your brand is directly proportional to the innovation you are putting in your efforts.
You can have a look at the above graphic message and can make out what I am trying to say. Moz blog ensures to use text overlays on the graphic yet informative image used to pull more writers to their websites.
If we are talking about visual marketing and not referring one of the few most alluring websites that have been able to increase their user base to a climbing 200% in just 5 years, it will be a big loss to you as a marketer.
We are talking about Pinterest, a visual platform, which comprises of millions of stupendous images. This interest based websites, where people post images that inspire them and also they can repin these posts if they like.
Pinterest is just like a virtual podium, where you can see billions of images posted by millions of users and these images are repined again millions of times. Just imagine how much potential prospects are available on Pinterest today.
To tap the target audience, there are some factors that have to be kept in right order. Listed below are the few steps that are necessary for a brand to increase their visual marketing effectiveness.
Make Visually Attractive Images
For any brand, which is trying to make a long lasting impression on their target audience, innovation is the key recipe. To ensure customers like what you are pinning, tell your graphic designers to include appealing images in order to increase their customer reach.
The ideal example for this is given by Wall Street Journal, which has ensured to keep the quotes of great personalities and named the board as quote wall.
Make customized Images
Making images tall make Pinterest love your pin. Brands should keep in mind that making images tall is most beneficial for capturing the users who are logged in on phone devices.
Adding simple but clear text overlays on the pins also provide you a fair chance to pull more audience to your website.
If you want to see an ideal example of how an image on Pinterest should ideally look like; give a glance at the image above and you can note that the image is tall, the message is clear, text overlaying is creative and brand is connecting with the people. The brand Pixel8Ltd has also ensured to utilize the colors and settings that are conveying their own brand.
Marketers can use high-quality images to create more buzz among the customers. As per the professionals, pins look best when they are vertically aligned. Also, it is recommended for the marketing personnel to keep the aspect ratio of 2:3 to 1:3.5. Maximum 600 pixels of width images are considered ideal for creating an impact on Pinterest.
Images that too tall are not advisable to pin. Marketers and professionals should keep a tight balance between making the pins too long or relatively much shorter.
Some brands make a collage out of a pin, which is considered creative, but to an extent. Adding more than 5 separate images in a pin is highly not advisable as it creates a ruckus like an image and audience may get confused.
Make use of Rich Pins
It is very important for brands to know about the promoted pins introduced by Pinterest this year only. The 6 rich pins (movie, article, product, place, recipe and app) available for marketers direct the users to their specific domain related sites.
If you are using movie pin, it should lead you to a movie review, trailer or other similar pages. In case you are using a product pin, it should lead you to a place where you can check the stock of product, see the price and can make the purchase decision accordingly.
Brands should have a clear mind set up while using these pins for the promotional purpose.
Humans have been actively involved in reading the textual content for 100’s of years but they have been relying on visual content for thousands of years. Based on this concept, Instagram has emerged as one of the fastest growing networks on the internet.
The elegance with which Instagram has been engaging customers is completely outstanding. You do not need to set up a visual marketing campaign necessarily to reach success in this industry. Jotted down are few points that give you an idea of what to do on Instagram to make a difference and bring more customers to your brand.
Quality is evergreen, Quantity is overrated
Marketers often come up with great taglines but when it comes to visuals rarely innovation is needed. Merely using a collection of images of different landscapes does not start a visual marketing campaign.
Thinking like a consumer can provide you different set of ideas and thoughts that could add innovation to the visual campaigns by which you want to create a brand presence on Instagram.
Andrew Knapp, an interface designer, and photographer has created an innovative and addictive way to interact more people on Instagram. Instead of putting images that can draw users, he has started #findmomo campaign. Users have to find his dog momo in every image.
Many marketers think that if they keep posting images on Instagram, their work is done. But smartly managing these pictures and adding intelligent ideas can boost the customer engagement to a whole new level like it did in the case of Andrew Knapp.
Know your viewers
Simply putting the apt image for different situations is not enough for the marketing managers. Professionals focusing on customer interaction should post an image which can make users think for a second because of its depth and conceptuality.
If you can make your audience stop at the image you posted, this is exactly what you need from your campaign, isn’t it? Triggering an emotional bridge with the target audience should be your major objective.
Also, identifying the perfect image is not enough; you should try to see if the image is matching up with the message you are going to embed it with.
Getting likes are not enough
There is a big misconception that if an image is being liked by many users, then it is relevant. I said it’s a misconception because not always likes gives the feedback you want to have for the image you have posted.
Ensure to have patience, in order to capture feedback and till then keep a hold on your creative wings. For an apt feedback, you can put up a vote by giving multiple alternatives or you can start a split-test between two images to assess their performance comparatively.
You might be a great artist, who wants to bring out his inner Picasso and make a difference; but guess what Instagram is not an art training school. You have to care about your target audience the same way you do about your creativity. A customer comes first always when it comes to Business!
Visual marketing is the future of digital marketing for sure. Marketers can deny it now, but in coming years, visuals are going for a dominant run over another source of marketing.
I have mentioned four of the major platforms and their usage strategies of visual marketing. Along with this, there are few more platforms such as Tumbler and allied that are making an impression on the minds of users.
Marketing managers can take some wise decisions now to promote their product line in a much comparative and difference-making manner.
I am signing off now quoting “What we see, we perceive more & faster that what we read”.