One of the more difficult aspects of marketing is figuring out how to capture the attention of an audience that has a shorter attention span than ever. The marketing and advertising mantra of “say it fast and say it clearly,” has never been more relevant than it is now. Recent studies indicate that your average person sees in excess of 4,000 advertisement and marketing related messages a day, ranging from billboards to spam e-mails to the myriad of banner advertisement. Given this massive number, businesses have to consistently find more effective methods to make an impression on consumers.

Social media has become one of the go to tools for businesses looking to enhance branding and target key consumer segments. While social media does indeed work well, most businesses barely scratch the surface when it comes to getting the most out of their social media campaigns. The use of audio and visual tools such as pictures, videos, and podcasts are among the most underutilized online tools, particularly amongst small businesses. Effective use of these tools can turn a ho-hum social media campaign into a winner.

Key Benefits of Online Audio and Visual Tools

  • Personality

Businesses sometimes make the mistake of assuming that social media won’t benefit the specific services and products they offer. The truth of the matter is that all businesses have a personality, regardless of what they do or sell. Sharing pictures and videos of things like company events, celebrations, or something like a creative skit makes a company seem more personable and attractive to do business with. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Instagram are a few of the best choices for sharing video and pictures with large audiences.

  • Product Placement and Demonstration

Videos are an affordable way to show products and services being used in everyday scenarios and offer detailed tutorials on their proper usage and benefits. Making a video can be as simple as using a cell phone camera and uploading it to social media or sharing site with a click of a button. Free hosting and social media sites are also a cost effective way to share professionally shot videos.

  • The Chance to Go Viral

While the term “viral video” is often associated with funny and cute video clips, business related videos often go viral as well, meaning that they rapidly grow in popularity via sharing and re-posting. Going viral is a largely relative term; going viral for a business might simply involve reaching a few more viewers than expected. The chance for a video to reach large audiences with minimal cost or effort is one of the most valuable benefits of using online audio and visual tools.

Popular and Effective Online Audio and Visual Tools

  • YouTube

Entertainment and information titan YouTube is the most fourth most visited website in the world. YouTube is simple and free to use, allowing users to instantly upload and share videos. YouTube provides businesses a low to no-cost way to share instructional and informational videos to current and prospective customers. YouTube accounts can significantly drive traffic to a business’s website, as well as assist with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). While uploading videos is free, businesses can also pay YouTube to maximize their videos visibility to the desired demographic.

  • Podcasting

Podcasts are rapidly overtaking traditional FM/AM radio as a means of providing on-demand entertainment, commentary, and information.  A computer, headphones, and a microphone are all that are required to start a podcast, with numerous websites offering free podcast hosting services. Podcasts are a great way to offer more detailed information on products and services, engage clients, and market in an entertaining manner.

  • Pinterest

A relatively new player in the social media world, Pinterest is a website built entirely on photo and image sharing. Unlike many other photo sharing websites and applications, Pinterest allows users to directly sell products through their website. Pinterest gives businesses the ability to create a broad visual representation of their services and products, as well present the overall personality of a brand. Like most social media sites, Pinterest is extremely easy to use and is free of charge.