As the saying goes: “A picture is worth a thousand words,” and no person knows this better than a marketer. Visual marketing is a form of content marketing where images, videos, infographics, memes, etc. take precedence over words when getting the message across. In brand promotion, the more creative ideas you have, the more successful your visual marketing strategy will be.
Picture book storytelling
Remember when you were a kid and voraciously read picture books and comics just because they had images inside? Well, the same principle still applies to adults: a story is made better with the addition of pictures that ease the storytelling process.
In visual marketing, content must be round up in a memorable story told quickly, so it is easier for users to share it. Once the story generates emotion, people are more likely to share, doing the marketing for you.
Use compelling imagery
Besides an interesting story, the images need to be extraordinary as well. You will do what journalists in newspapers have been doing for centuries: match the picture with the textual content. Enticing imagery won’t just get your likes and shares, but it will increase the chances of someone finding it through an organic online search.
The images you select need to be fully optimized to match specific platforms’ size and format. They need to be relevant to a particular industry or a niche (avoid generic images as much as possible). They need to feature the color scheme of your brand to reinforce your company’s visual identity.
Memes are a legit marketing tool.
It might seem like an odd thing to state, but memes are communication forms like any other medium. Avoiding them just because they are frivolous will get you behind your competitors who probably use memes extensively.
A typical meme conveys a social symbol or a cultural idea that makes them relevant for a certain group of people, precisely what your marketing strategy needs. However, creating a good meme is not as easy as it sounds.
If you’re inexperienced in creating this type of visual content, search for memes that have recently gone viral to look for inspiration. Keep a close eye on trends and topical issues to create up-to-date memes. The subject of the meme needs to be close to your area of interest and easy to imitate.
Finally, don’t forget to keep the meme short and carefully choose the medium you will publish it on (9Gag and Reddit seem to be popular nowadays).
Although online marketing is ideal for visual ads, you shouldn’t neglect the offline, real word ad campaigns. Traditional marketing methods can still get you far in many places. For instance, placing outdoor flags near your office is bound to grab the passerby’s attention.
Further on, there are flyers, business cards, catalogs, etc. that drive traffic to your website and increase the number of sales in brick and mortar stores. The best thing about offline marketing is the drop in costs over the years. If you bulk buy flyers or T-shirts, for example, you can count on a huge discount, making the effort of advertising offline worth the effort.
Repurposing and diversifying visual content
We’ve mentioned earlier that imagery goes hand in hand with a good story. However, pictures aren’t the only form of marketable visual content. There are pies, flowcharts, podcasts, webinars, presentations, e-books, videos, etc. that can get the message across just as effective as a picture or a meme.
Creating content variety is a priority in visual marketing. Luckily, you don’t have to be 100% original, as images can be repurposed and turned into slides, for example. On the other hand, long videos can become images or memes by snapshotting video content. Of course, such repurposing of visual content shouldn’t mar the originality of content you create.
GIFs are fun and educational.
Just like memes, GIFs have become popular during the past couple of decades. The Graphics Interchange Format, better known as GIF, has been around since the late 1980s. Today, GIFs are used mostly for fun, although they have an educational role and are more interactive than an image but shorter than a video.
There are scores of free GIF generators today, and social platforms such as Facebook, Tumblr, Slack, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, etc. support this format. These are all reasons enough to promote your brand using GIFs, both funny and instructive. By doing so, your branded GIFs will join tens of millions of GIFs shared daily.
As a number of social media platforms enabled live videos, their popularity had been on a steady rise for half a decade now. One the notification pops up that someone is streaming live, the instant reaction of the users to join their videos. This presents the ideal opportunity for managers to promulgate their brand’s visual content.
The content you designate for live videos shouldn’t be perfect; quite the opposite, it should be messy and shaky to add a human touch to it. Not only will potential consumers be able to relate to your brand, but they should get a piece of the behind the scene action, making them think they are unique.
Creating this sense of uniqueness is the pinnacle of a good marketing strategy, and live videos are there to deliver. As far as the content is concerned, everything from interviews with experts in the field to real-life customer feedback or employees’ daily life is bound to catch the viewers’ attention.
Taking a selfie before dig into a meal has become so trendy that the phenomenon got its name: “foodstagramming.” Instead of being critical to the practice, you can make good use of it by getting a slice of the action, pun intended. If you’re a restaurant owner, then the appearance of food and the plates it is served on should be just as important as the food’s taste and quality.
We hope that the eight ideas listed above got you thinking about what you can change in your visual marketing strategy. Humans are visual learners, so investing in brand promotion through images and videos is profitable.