Marketers have long talked about the power of visual content to grab attention and engage your audience.
However, with the advent of only visual social media networks – like Instagram and Pinterest – visual marketing no longer became a must and must have.
Without high quality visual content, there is no brand exposure on some of the top performing platforms, including Instagram and Pinterest. While you can advertise links and text on these networks, non-visual content is likely to go unnoticed.
While video is important, just posting video is not enough. Every other brand does, and the consumer’s eye is pretty used to bright, eye-catching images at this point.
What you need is to stand out – which is becoming increasingly difficult in our era of the visual web.
So what can you do to develop a more effective visual marketing strategy?
It’s all about ingenuity and experimentation, but here are some ideas to get you started:
1. Turn your social media images into works of art
Make your social media images unmistakable: It’s that simple.
Well it sounds easy and of course it will improve the performance of your content – but how exactly can we do that?
Fortunately, there are tools for this, so it’s quite doable.
Quickart from Lightricks is my latest discovery and it was an instant catch. The app lets you apply artistic patterns, filters, and effects to create memorable visual content that can’t be missed:
My favorite thing about this particular app is that it is insanely easy to use. You don’t spend hours figuring out sophisticated photo editing tools like layers or mask tools, but the result is always unique and creative. It’s free too.
2. Mark your pictures well
The people are very visual. Our brains rely on images and visualizations, which is what makes visual marketing so effective.
Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text, and retain 80 percent of what we see versus just 20 percent of what we read.
When we think, we tend to imagine things. Our brains easily display colors and shapes instead of text or numbers. We visualize associations and connections between different concepts and entities.
By creating visual connotations, images make information more memorable, and this is where the real power of visual marketing lies …
Visual content makes your brand more memorable and recognizable, which leads to better clicks and higher conversions in the long run.
Branding your images is an important step – but not lightly. You want people to only know your brand through your wealth – and yet, you can’t create your images all about you as your audience is quick to lose interest.
- Use a recognizable color palette
- Put your brand in an interesting and creative context
- Make sure that every single asset contributes to the consistent representation that your brand should be associated with.
If you’re looking for examples of effective – but not overwhelming or boring – branding, check out Boxed Water’s Instagram account. They turn each picture into a story that tells the same narrative: “Life is good and nature is great as long as you save this planet”.
- Create self-centered images
- Are you using too much of your logo (watermark? Not a good idea for Instagram content, for example)
3. Reuse your pictures anywhere
Take your strategy to the next level as your branding is consistent from asset to asset: connect all of your channels to every single asset.
This is a great way to create the “my brand is everywhere” illusion that ensures your audience will remember you well: your customer sees your picture on Facebook, clicks your link, sees the same (or similar) Picture it on your website and finally see it again when you search Google (and there you can no longer resist).
To create this #anywhere strategy, carefully use consistent images and visuals everywhere. For example, Leadpages offers matching visual elements (visual identities) in their Instagram feed and on their website:
And UPRIGHT uses the same visual elements in both its Instagram ad and its linked landing page:
In this way, by using a non-intrusive visual branding, the brands create trust in the users who land on their website and create a kind of cross-channel recognizability.
To take this idea even further and crawl Google for something relevant, we should see the appropriate image or element that immediately catches our attention and prevents us from going elsewhere:
How can this cross-channel visibility be achieved?
By using a consistent conversion strategy, including:
- Reuse social media images on your website
- Use the same image (in different dimensions) across multiple channels
- Basic application Image SEO Practices for posting these graphics on your website and on social media channels (this includes using optimized alt text, a variety of hashtags, and a description (or immediate context). There are many of them Tools to Help Bloggers Do it right.
Here I always use Text optimizer The tool allows you to expand the list of keywords for which your image is displayed. The tool uses semantic analysis to identify related concepts and entities that you can use in the image description / caption, tags / hashtags, etc. when posting each image somewhere. For example, here are semantically related concepts for [skyscraper]::
The tool also prompts you to diversify your tactics and avoid them Keyword filling by suggesting that you use related and synonymous words in your copy.
Bonus: Include visual advertising
You need all of the above steps to get this right: you need to create effective graphics, brand them in a non-intrusive way, market them across multiple channels, and then invest in visual advertising.
Fortunately, you have a few options including:
- Instagram ads
- Pinterest ads
- Facebook ads
- TikTok ads
There are also more innovative options like Unsplash advertising These focus more on changing brand perception and building brand associations than on clicks and views.
Visual marketing can boost the performance of many, if not all, of the other advertising tactics that you are currently implementing, including content marketing, traffic generation, SEO (or better, on-SERP marketing), etc.
The best thing about visual marketing, in my opinion, is that you’re never really done. You always need to innovate, try new tools, and discover new tactics to stay ahead – or at least keep up with your niche.
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