It only takes a quick glance at social media to see that the age of visual marketing is in full swing. In 2017, video content is expected to comprise a whopping 74 percent of all traffic on the internet, and platforms like Facebook and Snapchat are increasingly reliant on graphics to convey messages from brands and individuals alike.
Content isn’t dead; it’s just changing. Here are 5 ways you can use the evolution of visual marketing to power your brand story:
1. How-To Videos and Demos
If you’re selling a product online without a video, you’re essentially crossing your fingers and hoping that consumers have a solid understanding of your product or service to make an educated purchase decision. Written step-by-step instructions are great, but they’re not nearly as effective as an introductory video that shows someone – bonus points if you use an industry influencer – assembling, using, or reviewing your product. Zappos does a great job of this with their product videos:
2. Aspirational Content
Every successful business and product exist because they help solve a problem. Why will consumers fall in love with your brand? A lone shot of a product isn’t particularly moving, but an image showing your product in use in a unique and aspirational way certainly is. Help people visualize – literally – the connection between a better quality of life and your brand’s portfolio and sales will follow. This is a go-to approach for many brands, such as Starbucks and Nike:
There’s nothing new about infographics, but familiarity doesn’t diminish their effectiveness. If your brand is in an industry that’s particularly reliant on numbers and statistics, conveying that information in visual form is going to be much easier for consumers to digest than a long list of data buried in the middle of a wordy blog. They’re linked to audience engagement, too; compared to text-only content, infographics are 3x as likely to be “liked” and shared.
4. Online Quizzes
Let’s face it; people love quizzes. Even before social media exploded with little personality tests like “What kind of cat are you?” and “Which city should you be living in?” (the latter of which has been viewed on Buzzfeed more than 22 million times, by the way) there were print publications like Cosmopolitan assessing compatibility and matching people with their ideal colors.
Quizzes are engaging and, as a marketing tool, they can help introduce customers to your brand by using answers to the questions to steer them towards a product or service. The best part is that most people love sharing their results, and those posts help spread word-of-mouth, expanding your campaign.
5. User-Generated Images
Set up a contest and invite consumers to enter by uploading their own candid pictures, tagged with a unique campaign hashtag. User-generated content is hit-or-miss most times and will require effort on your part to sift through everything to identify the best submissions, but it’s an excellent way to humanize your brand and inspire consumer engagement at the same time. Here’s an example from a new Santander Bank campaign that was built around the idea, “money cannot buy you happiness”:
After all, you have mere seconds to snag a potential customer’s attention, and a high-quality infographic or clever meme is easier to skim than a 500-word blog. Incorporating dense, visually compelling content into your marketing strategy will both humanize your brand and drive business, and who doesn’t want that?