ARTICLE | The power of visual marketing across all channels
In today’s noisy, cluttered media landscape, we are exposed to more than 600 individual brand messages per day. Couple this with our rapidly declining attention spans (now down to 2.3 seconds on mobile); and it’s clear it’s never been more difficult for brands to reach, and connect with, customers. More than ever, every single interaction has to be considered and planned with intention.
One of the simplest ways to effectively communicate is through visual marketing. Not only does it quicken a brand’s ability to make a connection, but it also improves the learning process - a human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.
Visual marketing also moves the relationship dynamic from one-dimensional (tell) to two-dimensional (show and engage). Brands can easily become the educator, and at the same time tell their story in a much more refined style. A blogger wearing your brand, a 10-second behind-the-scenes Instagram story on a shoot, or a beautiful curated brand video can provide a much greater level of insight and depth into the brand than text platforms.
Social media has really transformed how customers discover, search and purchase - not only by opening many new ways to interact with a brand, but it has also changed behaviours.
A third of internet users globally are now on Instagram, but it’s the rise in engagement and conversion rates on this channel that’s interesting.
As at last month, top brands reported a 4.21% engagement rate on Instagram, and 0.07% engagement rate on Facebook. For one of my clients, Instagram is driving more than 8 times the amount of website traffic over Facebook, with a healthy conversion rate.
Each platform serves a different purpose and plays a different role in the purchasing cycle, however bearing in mind that most of our purchasing decisions are made with emotion driven by ‘feel good’ factors, shoppable imagery and video on a visual platform such as Instagram present a huge opportunity for brands.
So, how to do visual marketing well?
- Consistency, consistency, consistency - any deviations from the original brand and content strategy erode trust and credibility with the customer. Keep the power of timing and relevancy top of mind.
- Original and on-brand content - there are many quick and cost-effective hacks to generate great, engaging content. Don’t forget to amplify and tailor across all channels.
- Make it relevant and attainable - engagement rates are much higher in a customers’ own network, and with mid/lower-tier influencers. Aspirational brand and product shoots are integral, but don’t forget to interlace with “real” content that the customer can relate to.
- Embrace storytelling - use visual formats to tell your story, and showcase purpose and passion behind the product or service you are selling. Make it so “on-brand” that no one else could copy.
- Engage community - include your customers in the conversation, ask for their feedback, share their stories and reward them. If you look after them online, they’ll become ambassadors for your brand. As research has stated; 92% of people believe what someone says about a brand, only 33% believe what a brand says.
- Add a call to action, make it easy for the customer to know what to do - they are already engaged with you if they are following your account, so make it quick and easy for them to get to the desired next step (purchase, visit product details, enter competition, share their thoughts/purchases).