By Tyana Daley
There’s a new trend in social media marketing: visual content. Need evidence? Look no further than Pinterest, the online photo-sharing site that has become one of the fastest-growing social networks. Meanwhile, Tumblr also saw rapid growth in 2012, according to comScore, which has dubbed this phenomenon “the rise of the visual web.”
So, why has visual marketing become so popular? There’s a fairly simple explanation: images draw people in and let them understand and engage with your brand’s identity in an instant. Humans, by nature, are visual creatures and the brain can process images significantly faster than it can process text.
Although it doesn’t take 20/20 vision to see the potential benefits of visual content, there are a handful of tips that marketers should consider in making images part of their social media strategy.
Photos Plus Text
Adding text to images can help get a brand message across even faster. There are many photo editor software programs – paid and free – that allow users to enhance, crop, resize and add text to photos. For smartphone users, there are numerous image editing apps available, with more arriving on the market every day.
Infographics are hot right now and for good reason: they can easily and creatively convey information for a variety of markets and industry niches. What makes a strong infographic? It must provide valuable data that is properly organized and offers a clear visual narrative. Before creating an infographic, the designer should be absolutely sure of the intended message. The infographic must also be engaging enough that audiences want to share it.
Make Images Pinable
Pinterest has changed the marketing game. Today, a consumer’s decision to click through to a company’s website may be based solely on the appeal of a particular image. So, images must be bold and captivating while also encapsulating a brand message. A single picture can tell an entire emotional story. In choosing images, think of single, powerful words that can convey the desired message, such as delicious, thrilling, lucky and hilarious. And think of images that Pinterest owners would be happy to “pin” to their virtual pinboard.
Marketers can’t ignore the technical aspect of image usage. If used incorrectly, images – like any other content – can negatively impact a website’s performance. For example, images may have a slow load time, which can prompt visitors to click off to another site, particularly if they’re using mobile devices. Consideration must also be given to optimizing image filenames, tags and titles so they can be read easily by search engine robots.
Try Different Options
There are myriad types of visual content that can be included in blogs and websites to enhance user experience. Videos are an excellent way to tell brand stories and engage audiences. Memes can go viral by invoking pop culture references to start people talking and sharing. Whether it’s a photo of an angry cat or an amazing catch in a football game, iconic or hilarious moments can grab instant attention. Or try visual note-taking, in which simple text is mixed with stylized doodles to produce graphic representations that are reminiscent of a high school student’s notebook.
In the coming years, visual content promises to become an ever-larger factor in building and spreading a brand’s image, and online marketers must ensure that they’re not left in the dark.
About the Author
This guest post was provided by Tyana Daley. Tyana is a writer for Bisk Education. She works with the online marketing degrees and social media training