Visual Content is the buzz-phrase driving social media marketing as the hunt to find new ways to engage with an audience continues to gain pace.
Words alone no longer cut it with the discerning modern consumer. They want to see how your products and services compare with your competitors, cast an eye over your team at work and view how your customers rate you.
Visual communication can build brand identity quickly because people process images up to 60,000 times faster than text and they retain more information visually than any other way.
A staggering 90% of information absorbed by our brains is visual, which provides a unique opportunity for all businesses to rapidly increase engagement with their customers.
In our media savvy world, most customers “case” a business before they’re ready to start a conversation. And the best way to begin the dialogue is through visually rich content.
Images – such as photos, short and long form video, Infographics, slideshows and presentations – are all now necessary components of every content kit bag – and the bar is being set ever higher.
Telling your story in a visually appealing way is an essential ingredient in today’s recipe for marketing success.
What the statistics tell us
A survey conducted by MDG Advertising (http://www.mdgadvertising.com/blog/its-all-about-the-images-infographic/) revealed a stunning trend in the potential impact of visual content as a marketing tool.
- 1. Engagement increased a whopping 65% within a month of the introduction of Facebook timelines for brands that added photos and videos to their posts.
- 2. Two out of every three customers agree that clear, detailed images carry more weight than product information and even customer ratings. They like to see and judge for themselves.
- 3. Content with compelling images attracts up to 94% more page views than content without images. Most people process images more quickly than words and the information stays with them for longer.
- 4. 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business whose images appear in local search results.
Visual feast: First impressions are a crucial factor in determining the appeal of a website.
What can good Visual Content do for your business?
1. Improve SEO rankings: Creating topical, relevant visual content increases the rankings of your website on search engines.
Images of your products, staff or premises, draw people in much better than blocks of text – and they add clarity to the story you have to tell by showing who you are and what you do.
TIP: Don’t make the images or videos too large because they will take too long to load. This can be frustrating and cause some people to click away and look for other options, particularly if they are shopping when they’re at work. Respect your customers. Their time is precious.
2. Boosts morale: Involving your staff or customers in your Facebook page, a how-to video or a multimedia testimonial is great for morale.
Celebrate your successes and learn from your mistakes. Nothing is more rewarding than reflecting on a job well done. Why not record the occasion for posterity with photographs or a video of the moment it all came together?
TIP: Creating the content is a great start. Sharing it with your customers and encouraging them to pass it on to their families, friends and work colleagues is when you really start to see results. Your success is also your customers’ success. Get them involved and you can be guaranteed they’ll be prepared to spruik your brand.
Stand Out: Communicating a clear visual message is vital to convert visitors to customers.
3. Gives your customers a voice: Encouraging customers to submit video reviews and images showing how they are using your products is a powerful icebreaker and a free kick for your brand. What better way is there to get to know your customers than to see and hear what they are saying about you, your products and services?
Inviting feedback on social media is a quick way to rapidly grow your brand’s reach because your customers love telling their family, friends, colleagues and acquaintances when they get a mention.
TIP: Word spreads fast on social media. If you’re not monitoring what is being said about your business, you are missing potential opportunities for sales.
And you will be unable to address disgruntled customers who have had a bad experience and express their dissatisfaction on social media. It’s widely accepted that problems like these become opportunities if handled well – and quickly.
If your business does not have at least a basic visual presence on popular social media channels such as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and increasingly LinkedIn and Twitter, this is likely to be costing you leads and sales.
Modern consumers routinely research their options before making purchasing decisions. They don’t just want to see what you’re selling, they expect feedback, comments and reviews from your customers. Photos and videos of your staff, services and products are a good way to show how you operate and to encourage engagement with customers.
In our next article, we’ll examine how Visual Content can be shared across a range of social media platforms to help grow your audience.