With images now an essential part of your digital marketing strategy, here are three tools which can help improve your visual content.
One of the biggest and most influential components in the marketing industry today is visual content. From Pinterest to Instagram to Snapchat, images have taken over copy in a big way. You may ask what they have over text, and the answer is emotion and speed. Communication doesn't get any more direct than that.
The amount of photos captured and uploaded has exploded in recent years, and no one has the time to read anymore because according to Forrester research, a one-minute video is now worth 1.8 million words. And we’ll keep seeing this trend grow as 70% of marketers start gearing their content toward visuals, not only by re-appropriation but by creating new images.
What this means for us marketers is our branding should no longer be limited to words. We have pictures, memes, GIFs, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Live videos to connect with our fan base, and so do our fans. They can show their love for a brand through the same media.
Remember Coca-Cola's #shareacoke campaign? It was an image-based content marketing campaign using user-generated content. Their smart move re-ignited a conversation around the brand, connecting it with a wide audience tapping into their thirst for personalization and identity. In other words, new age marketing gold.
One of the key elements of the campaign is engagement through incitement, revolving around - you guessed it: visuals.
Pin it, repost it, hashtag it: what works best is when these visuals create a web of information and social proof around your brand. Just make sure it’s all brand-relevant because more than ever with this new visual content phenomenon, a brand needs a clear voice.
Constant exposure and the rapid speed at which new content appears enforces authenticity, and to stay true to one’s identity.
Why Great Visuals Matter
Ever heard someone say they’re a visual learner? Well, we all are - we’re very much visual beings. Graphics stimulate different parts of the brain, enabling a more profound understanding of the material before us.
When you think about it, our eyes help us see the whole picture. Even when you’re having a conversation with someone, words only account for 7% of what’s communicated as opposed to body language which takes up a whopping 55%. Put simply, our brains process information remarkably faster through image rather than text.
If that’s not enough to convince you, here are some more compelling visual content statistics which prove the value of great visuals:
- People retain over 5x more information pairing a visual with audio information than when we hear the information alone (Source: BrainRules)
- Video content this year represents 74% of all internet traffic (Source: KPCB)
- 4x as many consumers prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it (Source: Animoto)
- When images are relevant, people spend more time looking at the images than they do reading the text on the page (Source: NNGroup)
On top of all that, using visuals means you bypass virtually all potential language barriers, opening you up to a global audience.
The Importance of Using “Real” Photos
We’ve been living in the digital age for a while now, and everyone has a mountain of information at their fingertips, which makes it easier to compare and contrast the different brands out there.
Let’s say you’re putting together a new website and are tempted to use stock photos – consider this: If a potential customer sees the same image on your site as on a competitor’s, it makes both brands seem sterile, like they’re lacking in creativity and individualism.
Failure to effectively differentiate your brand with visual content makes it all the more difficult for your audience to distinguish between your actual product offerings.
Once again, authenticity is key. As a result of the over-automation of virtually everything, brands with a human touch are gaining an edge.
We’re seeing companies feature their actual employees, their offices, their work lunches, instead of a parade of stock photos. In fact, stock photos have gained so much notoriety for being fake, they’ve become memes.
‘Hide Your Pain’ Harold will tell you all about it. He’s the best in the business:
People want to see the inner workings of a business and how you operate. Behind every great product is work, blood, sweat, and tears, and that’s what needs to show, otherwise your company, your product and the way you market it is generic – just like every other brand that treats their customers like numbers on a list.
The following (in the easiest way to remember) is a sum up of why “real” photos take the cake:
- They can tell it’s fake - They’ve seen your site, and maybe a dozen others offering a similar product. If they see the same image, they’ll know you’re just using visuals for the sake of it and not to add value.
- Are you just like everyone else? - Not if your images are new, fresh and original. Try your best to stand out instead of using the same material that’s available to everyone else.
- Do you believe in your product? - It needs to feel like you, yourself, would buy what you’re selling. Believing in that means you’re willing to make the effort to think, brainstorm, and plan instead of simply going online and picking out stock photos.
Read the full article: Free Mobile Apps to Improve Your Visual Content
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Priscilla is a lover of all things sales and marketing-related. Anything that has to do growth-hacking is also of great interest to her. In her free time, Priscilla enjoys watching movies, travelling, and playing with her doggo.
Written by : Priscilla Manning