Are you a business owner who wants to attract more clients to your brand in 2017? Do you think that your content marketing and social strategy needs a reset? Do you want to move through the new year with a visual content marketing strategy that gets your business ahead — and quickly?
If you are ready to change things up in your marketing strategy in 2017, then read on to get our top six tips for using visual content marketing to attract — and keep — your clients interested. At the end of the day, your brand and your products should speak for themselves and stand on their own.
It is a given that when you use visuals to boost the likelihood that a potential customer will see your ads, blog posts and promotional materials — you can pique their interest, direct them towards your site and ultimately keep them engaged.
That’s why something as simple as the importance of a logo is key to building up your visual content marketing strategy. If you’re ready to see your marketing take off and become even more effective in 2017, then read on to get our top quick tips for getting there with incredible visuals. Here’s what you need to know:
Tip #1: The Importance of the Logo
You don’t have to go full force into visual content marketing at first. In fact, it may be better to start off more slowly – with the basics. Never underestimate the importance of a well-executed logo. You want to get a logo designed that not only is memorable but makes sense to the customer. You don’t want him to sit and stare at your logo, wondering what it spells or what it is. You want a bold, well-designed logo that communicates one or two of your brand goals.
If you’re a soap company, for example, you might want a logo that feels clean and new. You might use soft colors and script to evoke this.
If you’re a sports drink company, you might want to communicate energy and adventure. Therefore, your logo might use bolder colors and fonts. One great example is the Bud Light logo and its history.
A designer can help you arrive at the perfect logo for your company, but it’s always important to remember that your logo often will be the first visual customers will see of your company. It’s your brand awareness statement, and you need to make sure you’re getting it right if you want to build on the logo and spread awareness about your company.
A logo that no one understands or doesn’t particularly like will turn customers away, so consider testing a few of your top contenders with a focus group to see how they react to it. You’ll learn a lot about the importance of a logo in just one group and you’ll be able to tweak your design to appeal to the largest target audience possible.
Tip #2: Create Exciting Infographics
Incorporating creative infographics are a key way to tell a story about your brand with a novel approach. Executed well, an infographic can give your customer real data that influences their decision about whether to invest in your products and services.
Data tells a meaningful story, but it won’t reach your audience if you just blog about it. Present the data in a visually appealing way, and you’ll create a shareable social graphic that will have your audience both entertained and feeling like you have added value to their experience. And that latter point is really key.
Customers want to feel like you are offering them new, helpful information — and infographics can do that in just a few seconds. A great example of an informative infographic is The Shape of Change from Maersk.
Tip #3: Incorporate Video
In 2017, expect more visual content to incorporate video. Social platforms more than ever are prioritizing live videos on platforms such as Facebook and pushing video content to the top of users’ news feeds.
That’s great information for you as a brand curator because you’ll want to make sure you are moving toward that video trend in your marketing strategy. As with any visual marketing, you’ll want to start small if you want to do it yourself. Video work is highly technical, so it may be more worth it to hire a professional.
Adopt some of the same key rules of other visual content marketing: Give your readers exclusive access or a behind-the-scenes look, tell stories about how your brand is making a different in the real lives of people, and don’t be afraid to take some risks with humor.
Tip #4: Give your Audience Exclusive Access
If there is anything we know about customer behavior, it’s that they act when they think they are getting some kind of added value or exclusive offer. It makes it more enticing for them to engage — and they believe their money is going to something of greater value than they are investing. That simple marketing concept is something that you can translate effectively into the visuals you use in your content marketing strategy.
So, for example, how do you create an exclusive visual for your website, blog, social channels and more? You go behind the scenes.
You want to show your audience something that no one else but your employees have access to. You want to show them how the shoe is made or what the editor’s desk looks like. You want to show them what is behind the stage, essentially. And you can do that with a beautiful photo snapshot that holds the moment in time.
You’ll then use that visual as a teaser for your customer to learn more about the brand and its products and services. The still photo in this case always acts as a creative and simple teaser that evokes curiosity and the pleasure of being an insider.
Tip #5: Don’t Forget Memes, Screenshots and Visual Instructions
One of the downfalls of brands trying to tweak their marketing campaigns is that they are risk-averse. For the right audience, taking a risk with humor is a great way to laugh with your customer and grab their attention. One way you can go about this is a meme.
Memes are visuals that you can create with simple design tools. The key is to be clever and to use humor to create a shareable social graphic that relates to your brand. Don’t use memes every day — but look for the right moment to float them on your social accounts and analyze how they perform after a few days.
Another visual tool that you shouldn’t underestimate is using screenshots and instructions to direct customer behavior. This can be a way you continue to add value to the customer’s experience and teach them something new.
Let’s say you are a garden center trying to boost flower sales. You can create a graphic using numbered steps and screenshots to show your potential customers how easy it is to prune a rose bush, for example. Step-by-step instructions presented in a visually-appealing way will give your customer that value-add he or she needs to keep paying attention to your company — and hopefully, buying those pruning shears!
Tip #6: How to Integrate Visuals Across Platforms
First of all, you should use high-resolution photos. If you want to turn away a visually-inclined audience quickly, look no further than the blurry, low-resolution image. If you’re going to go to the trouble of reworking your content marketing strategy so that it is more reliant on visuals, you’ll need to make the investment in crisp, high-resolution images that are at least 1,200 x 630 pixels or more.
Once you’ve got the hang of taking high-resolution photographs, creating memes and infographics and shooting video, it’s time to integrate them across platforms. The key is to layer. You can use some of the assets on different platforms — such as web, social and email.
But you’ll also want to be attuned to which visuals perform the best on those specific platforms.
A great example is the photo-sharing app Instagram. You can create an account for your brand and take on the goal of posting an engaging, interesting and/or beautiful photo about your brand at least once a day.
Once you start a social account, it’s really important to keep populating it and posting new photos frequently. You’ll keep your audience engaged through this visual content marketing strategy — and you’ll remind them that you are a brand to watch. They’ll forget about you if you don’t keep up a regular posting schedule.
Use this platform as a way to incorporate the other tips in this guide — such as giving a behind-the-scenes look at your company — and for introducing incentives such as giveaways.
You can build on the foundation of a photo app, by sharing those same photos in your email newsletters, on your blogs and turning them into a short musical montage using video.
As your customers begin to interact with your visual content across platforms, they’ll begin to develop a brand awareness.
Also, remember that certain visuals work better on specific platforms. For example, you might want to post cool infographics in both an email newsletter and on Twitter. You might want to float a meme only on Facebook, Twitter or your blog. Video seems to work well across platforms as long as it is interesting and clickable.
As you begin more visual content, save it in one place. You can use a free, Cloud-based platform to create a photo library of images that are at your disposable when you need a great image.
One word of caution, however, for your photo library: Many socially and web-attuned customers will recognize if you are repurposing the same images too closely together. So, once you post an image, give it a few weeks before trying it out again.
Ready to Create an Incredible Visual Marketing Strategy?
The great thing about the first quarter of the new year is that it creates the perfect opportunity for mixing things up and trying something new with your marketing strategy. It’s the perfect time to infuse your content strategy with a new level of creativity.
You can do that slowly by introducing compelling, beautiful, engaging photographs that keep your clients interested. Keep these six quick, pro tips in mind as you are cultivating your new strategy. Float out new photos on a brand Instagram account, post a funny photo in an email or blog, show a photo that gives your target audience an insider view or exclusive access.
You’ll appeal to your potential clients, especially Millennial audiences, and what is known about this type of customers is that they won’t even take your website seriously if you don’t have great visuals. So, make it a priority to infuse all your platforms and marketing materials with high-quality, interesting photos that evoke inspiration and emotion as they tell the story of your brand.
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