Post #1 of 4 in the series: Visual Content Marketing
Marketing content is being produced at warp speed. Many struggle to get their message heard within crowded platforms. It’s hard to wrap your head around the facts that 700 Youtube videos are shared on twitter every minute and Facebook users upload 350 million photos a day. The only way to keep up is by contributing high quality visual content, which our brains process 60,000x faster than text content. Visual content is typically enjoyable and easy to digest, making it more likely to be viewed and retained. After all, people only remember 20% of what they read.
For marketers, the added value of visual content for marketing lies in its ability to tell a story quickly. Images are emotional, fully capturing viewers’ attention unlike words. If the video or picture is easy for people to share, like and respond to, it might even go viral. This means more clicks, views, and conversions.
SOCIAL TRENDING VISUAL
The trend toward visual content is reflected in the social media industry, with visual heavy apps like Instagram and Pinterest catching up to giants like Facebook and Twitter. Pinterest accounted for 3.6% of all referral traffic in 2012 – more than Google+, Youtube and Linkedin combined. Facebook and Twitter have taken note, adapting their platforms to allow more visual communication. Twitter now pulls pictures and videos right into its timeline.
There’s plenty of data to back up these decisions to head in a more visual direction.
• Facebook pages with video and photo albums create up to 180% stronger engagement.
• Facebook photos 2x as often as text updates.
• Videos are shared 12x more than links and text posts combined.
• Tweets that contain images receive 150% more retweets.
• Photo and video posts on Pinterest refer more traffic than Twitter, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn and Google+ combined.
No matter how much information is packed into 140 characters, it seems that a picture continues to be worth 1,000 words.
For more information or a social media evaluation for your evaluation, please click here.
WAYS TO USE VISUAL CONTENT
However, simply posting pictures isn’t enough. Your content has to compete with everyone else’s, so it must contain certain qualities. There’s no formula for making a viral content, but in general, it should be high quality, attractive, and memorable. Easier said than done, but here are some tactics that can help.
• Maintain an active account on a visually-based social media platform, such as Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube.
• Share relevant graphics from other pages when the message aligns with yours.
• If you reach your audience via emails, optimize images for the mobile market. 88% businesses report that video embedded emails improve their campaign performance.
• Replace your plain old PowerPoints with animated slides and your white papers with infographics.
• Use visual content as a reputation builder. 85% of customers are more likely to buy product after watching a video.
• Use images and video in press releases, posting them on social media channels so your audiences comes across the news naturally.
• When your audience responds or shares your content, engage with them and do it quickly. For more on how to listen and respond, read my last post here.
• Stay on-brand, but don’t be afraid to have fun. Figure out which images work best and post more like them.
Check back for the rest of the posts in this series, which will cover more hands-on ways you can incorporate visual content into your marketing plan.