Warning! How Visual Content is Changing Brand Strategy
“People just don’t read anymore.” Steve Jobs made this statement in 2008 at the annual MacWorld Expo, and even then it wasn’t a surprise to marketers. It’s even more true in 2012, as the visual content explosion threatens to climb rapidly for the foreseeable future.
But what is this trend doing to your brand strategy, and what should you be doing to incorporate it? Well, visual content offers businesses a unique opportunity for real precision marketing, which has so far been missing from traditional marketing methods.
We’re Visual Animals
Humans are, anyway. We’ve always known it, and while the educated few conducted their love affair with the written word since the time it was invented, everybody else was doing it visually. From the rock art of the ancients to the elaborate tapestries of the middle ages, people have loved – and responded to - pictures. One of the first forms of advertising was the use of murals, such as an early wall painting found in the ruins of Pompeii showing bread on sale to worshippers at the temple of Apollo. Ok, it’s unlikely that this was part of an official brand strategy, but you never know. The fact is, people responded to it by buying the product!
The Role of Visual Content
So how do you make sure you use visual content to its fullest potential in your brand strategy? There are a number of ways, especially for online marketing, such as:
- Using video. According to stats provided by Nielsen, 70% of online consumers watch online video. This accounts for the rapid increase in popularity of business videos, posted on websites and tagged with keywords. It works.
- Posting on Slideshare.net. This community site for sharing presentations is one of the top 200 most-visited sites in the world. With 60 million monthly visitors and 130 million page views, its success confirms the appetite for visual content. And you thought presentation slides were out of date!
- Pinterest and Instagram. These two new social media platforms make sharing visual content simple and fast, and opens a window into your brand for consumers who are looking for your product. You can’t get more precision marketing than that!
But our company is on social media, you say. It’s doing nothing for us except taking time to upload posts. Why do you think that’s the case?
Making it Part of Your Brand Strategy
Too often, business people inexperienced in social media dive headlong into creating a profile and posting, without a proper strategy. To use visual platforms like Pinterest and Instagram effectively, approach them the same way as you would any other marketing channel: with a plan:
- Research who your target audience is for each profile, and create more than one if necessary.
- Drive traffic to your website from your social media profiles by posting links, rather than information.
- Schedule your posts as you would for a traditional communications campaign, and follow the plan.
Make your visual content marketing a part of your overall brand strategy, and co-ordinate it with your other marketing for precision marketing with maximum impact.
Publish Quality Material
This is the biggest issue in the online environment. Google’s recent Panda and Penguin algorithm updates showed the online community just how quickly website with poor quality content could be knocked out of the rankings. Well, the principle doesn’t just apply to written copy! It applies equally to audio-visual content, with video, podcasts, photography and even design elements taking a beating in search if they plagiarise other sites, use keywords badly or don’t include the various types of tags available.
You also need to budget for visual content as you would for any other aspect of your brand strategy; get real film makers and photographers to create your branding material and forget about snapping your products with your mobile. Publish good quality visual content and your traffic stats will show the returns.
Contact us to schedule a free, 60-minute consultation with a business marketing consultant to discuss how to incorporate visual content into your brand strategy and benefit from the precision marketing opportunities available for using it.