Visual marketing is essential for effective content and business success today. By incorporating images and videos into your content and defining a cohesive visual brand strategy, you can better connect with your customers and level up your marketing. More than ever before, people are visual learners. 94% of first impressions from customers are design-related and incorporating visuals into your layouts can make all the difference to how potential customers perceive your brand.
Using visuals in your marketing is key to engaging your audience. Compelling visuals also make content more shareable, which expands your reach. To leverage visual marketing and make a real impact, you must define your brand’s visual style and clarify your strategy. Here are a few ways to ensure your digital marketing strategy is visually engaging.
Why Visual Marketing Is Essential
Visual marketing is a vital component of any business’ creative strategy. Studies show that visuals greatly impact how people consume and engage with content. Our brains process visuals a staggering 60,000 times faster than text, so when it comes to conveying important information, visuals can help brands be more effective and more efficient.
With social media and short attention spans dominating, visuals are critical to capturing interest. Photos, videos, graphics, and illustrations get noticed, making content more shareable. When people share your visual content, your reach expands exponentially. Visuals also forge emotional connections with your audience. The imagery, colors, and media you choose evoke feelings that text alone cannot.
The power of visuals applies to search as well. Eye-catching and informative visuals like infographics or data visualizations rank highly in Google searches, increasing your visibility and traffic. If you’re not leveraging visual marketing, you could be missing out — it’s highly likely your competitors are actively using visuals to engage their audience and promote their brand, which leaves your business behind. Whether embedded in social media, content marketing, or SEO, it will allow you to connect with your audience, improve brand perception, increase traffic, and gain a competitive advantage.
Define Your Core Values
The first step is to define your brand and core values. Your brand’s visual identity makes a statement about your company and products, so your visuals must reflect your brand positioning, values, and key differentiators. For example, your visual style should be polished and sophisticated if you aim to be a high-end, premium brand. A quirky, unique style fits a fun, creative brand. Consider the tone and style of your visual assets and how they reflect your core values and reputation. A visual style guide helps communicate your brand standards to anyone creating marketing materials or content for your company. It helps ensure consistency and cohesion across mediums, making your brand recognizable.
Determine the Right Visuals to Use
Once you’ve defined your visual brand, the next step is deciding which types of visual media you want to incorporate into your marketing strategy. The visual mediums you choose should reflect your brand values and customer preferences.
For example, still, images and product photos are great for showcasing the quality of your items or reflecting your business culture. At the same time, video is effective for search and can be used for educational content such as tutorial videos, explainers, or behind-the-scenes footage. Illustrations and graphics add a fun element to your brand and are ideal to convey creativity and uniqueness. At the same time, infographics can be a brilliant way of communicating data and information in an easy-to-digest way. Consider experimenting with different mediums to determine what your audience responds to best and enjoys. You may also find certain visuals resonate more on different social platforms.
Ensure a Clear Storyline
For maximum impact, your visual marketing efforts must tell a cohesive story. Don’t just scatter random visuals through your content and social media — each image, video, or infographic should have a purpose that links to your brand messaging and values. Start by developing an outline or storyboard for how visuals will flow together and complement the overall story you want to convey. Determine the mood, style, and theme they should embody based on your brand positioning and customer base. All your content should evoke a consistent feeling and aesthetic.
Staying on message with a cohesive visual story and making meaningful connections with your audiences will positively impact their perception of your brand. Customers feel a stronger bond with the brand when visuals provoke the intended emotion and present a consistent experience.
Experiment with UGC
User-generated content, or UGC, is created by your customers, fans, or brand advocates. It includes social shares, reviews, blog posts, photos, etc. UGC is extremely powerful as it provides authentic, unstaged experiences with your brand, building trust. Running social media hashtag campaigns or photo contests that encourage customers to share images interacting with your brand is a great way to source UGC.
Businesses can also ask users directly to share photos of them using their product or participating in a brand event. You could also offer a giveaway or discount as a prize for the best submissions. You can share contest entries on your social media channels with their permission.
While incorporating UGC requires work, it fosters engagement and trust, translating to brand awareness and sales. People want authentic interactions and visuals from real customers, not just polished marketing content. Leveraging passionate customers’ stories and experiences benefits your community and your brand.
In today’s digital age, visual marketing is essential for brands that want to connect with their customers in an impactful way. Unlike texts alone, studies show visual content captures attention and fuels engagement. By incorporating compelling visuals into your social media, content marketing, and SEO strategy, you’ll gain a competitive advantage and reap benefits like increased web traffic, brand awareness, and customer loyalty.