Welcome to the pictorial revolution. I’m not just talking Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat – social networks designed for pictures – no, I’m talking all thing marketing turned on their head. Blogs that were once words are now infused with images and photos. Stats that were once floating numbers now appear in the form of infographics. Websites are composed of photographs, which ask us to hover over to reveal the content. And gone are the days of writing on friends’ Facebook walls – no, Facebook has become a photo documentary of our lives.
Why? The rise of technology gave way to an information overload, as a result we’re choosing to digest smaller nuggets of information and quickly filter out the overly complicated. The science bit – when we see images and visualise them in our mind, our brain works faster with less energy than if were to read that message. Hear a piece of information and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it, add a picture and you’ll remember 65%. Not only are pictures easier to digest, they also have more shareability than other marketing methods. Get the picture?
So how can you harness visual marketing in your own business to attract customers, drive engagement and boost sales? Here are five simple tips.
#1. Know thy platform
As well as the myriad of offline platforms for sharing visual content, there are a plethora of online platforms. It can be daunting knowing where to start and which will be most suitable for your business. Here’s a simple breakdown of the type of visual marketing different social media platforms work well for:
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The list is endless, but knowing how to harness each one for the biggest visual impact, will help you decipher which platforms will work best for what you’re trying to achieve.
#2 use good imagery
Did you know a consumer forms an opinion about your website within 0.2 seconds? And we can judge the emotional content of pictures in as little as 13 milliseconds? This means one thing; you’ve got one chance to make a first impression.
It is worth investing time and money on getting professional photographs, striking and interesting imagery.
Your content needs to resonate, engage and impact – instantly.
#3 be consistent
The beauty of the social media revolution is where before brands had a strict visual style, now you have the opportunity to be a lot more creative in the content you post. You can create a business personality, which extends way beyond corporate logos and boring PowerPoint presentations.
This doesn’t mean however, that anything goes, you still need to be consistent across multiple channels. You need a strong brand and corporate style that portrays the right message, style and personality that people recognise and relate to, whatever the channel.
#4 strike an emotional cord
Images create a more emotional response in the viewer, which makes them more engaging. Play on this. Ask yourself how you can spark an emotional reaction, be it intrigue, humour, anger, affection, through visuals.
This doesn’t mean posting silly photos of animals in miniature clothes, (although I’m not necessarily saying this doesn’t work!), but being creative with the visual posts whilst in keeping them with your brand and personality. For example, sharing a recipe if you’re a kitchen retailer, including a photo of employee of the month if you’re an IT specialist, using an image of a new office or fit out if you’re an interior designer, or creating a trend focus graphic if you’re a retailer – all gives your business a bit more personality and makes for engaging content.
#5 have a call to action
What do you want people to do? Perhaps visit your website, book a course, read a blog post, or simply comment on and share a picture? Whatever the goal, use of action words can encourage people to engage and do as you tell them. Dan Zarrella, author of ‘The Science of Marketing’ conducted a study and found blogs, tweets and Facebook posts that incorporate a call to action, ‘Share this’, ‘Like this’, ‘Please Retweet’ are more likely to be so.
So what you waiting for share this infographic, implement these tips, and harness visual marketing.