It’s easy to understand how important visual marketing has become in recent years. Just look at what is published on any social media platform: brand feeds and profiles are increasingly filled with images, photography, and videos. Text often functions only as a brief introduction to the advertised product or service, with graphics taking center stage in contemporary marketing strategies.
Images have the power to attract and retain your audience. They provoke an emotional response and convey a message immediately. YouTube has become the second-largest search engine in the world and mobile video consumption has increased 17 times since 2012, according to research conducted by Cisco. It doesn’t stop here: Cisco predicts that video consumption will make up 82% of all consumer internet traffic by 2022. Videos are what people look for when seeking a solution to their problem, while images and graphic design have become crucial elements to convey a brand’s values.
Despite the popularity of visual content, designing effective images, filming compelling videos, and aligning graphic elements with a company’s character is the biggest challenge for nearly a quarter of marketers. In this article, we will guide you through the most important aspects of a visual marketing campaign, looking into how to implement a strategy that will catch your audience’s attention through eye-pleasing, informative, branded content.
Why is visual marketing so effective?
Before we begin, it’s essential to understand that not all images or videos are equally valuable when it comes to marketing. Visuals should be more than just attractive. Here are three elements you should keep in mind when crafting a visual marketing strategy.
It communicates a message immediately
Images are processed by the human brain much faster than text. Visual content can help you make your communication strategy more direct and attract people who are not keen on reading long textual explanations. While blogging still plays a central role in digital marketing strategies, it’s important to complement your articles with images that give further insight into the topic. For example, one way to send clear and immediate messages is to use infographics that, through their graphics, can simplify complicated concepts and make data more memorable for readers. An eye-catching infographic, which takes into account corporate colors, fonts and the brand’s visual identity, is great for the immediate delivery of your message but also to reinforce your brand’s identity.
We live in an age of information overload, and visual content is an effective way to communicate simultaneously with different audiences. While text requires time and is usually created for people looking for information on a specific topic at one particular point in time, visual marketing can reach groups that vary in language, age, and interests. Of course, visual content needs interpretation, and each group’s cultural background can open for different meanings. But on a general level, graphics, videos, and photography have the potential to cross cultural boundaries much more effectively than text.
It travels faster
The fact that visual content is immediately understandable and speaks a universal language means that it is also more likely to be shared and discussed among people. Creating shareable content, perhaps by using humor or art to frame a brand’s message, translates into free advertising that spreads through word of mouth. While clickbait articles may impact a brand’s image negatively, a carefully crafted piece of visual content that is either funny, clever, informative, or elegant is likely to be appreciated by old and new audiences.
Visual communication in content strategy: how to improve the consumer response
Visual marketing is known to be more engaging than any other type of content. While 89% of marketers still rely on blog posts to rank higher on search engines, over 75% of them say that without visuals their content would be less likely to be read by users.
In 2017, Facebook’s algorithm began favoring videos, and since then, marketers have increasingly moved their attention toward moving images. The algorithms of social media platforms play a major role in establishing what works and what doesn’t in a marketing strategy. When traditional content published on pages started to be hidden to followers, video marketing flourished on social media. Together with the growth of Instagram, the use of GIFs in messaging apps, and later of TikTok, visual marketing became the primary method of communication among people.
Like all advertising strategies,visual marketing requires planning and preliminary analysis to function properly. All content must be linked by a common thread that contributes to solidifying the brand’s reputation, generating engagement, and strengthening awareness. It is important to set up marketing strategies that are instantly recognizable.
So, what type of visual content drives the most engagement? Not surprisingly, stock images are the least engaging type of visual content, while custom-made graphics are the most interesting for the average audience. It’s easy to understand why: stock photography often lacks a defined identity. It has been seen before and may not match the brand’s colors. According to Venngage, Meanwhile, 41.5% of marketers said that custom-made infographics and illustrations performed best within their strategy, followed by data visualizations, videos, and presentations. Only a small group of marketers employed GIFs and memes in their visual marketing strategy.
Visual content and brand recognition: how to increase awareness
Visual marketing isn’t only about driving engagement. Even when a piece of content doesn’t lead to a call to action, it can function as a way to affirm your brand expertise and raise awareness toward your values. Visual content designed for brand recognition has to follow a series of simple rules in order to be effective.
Expecting a piece of content to go viral is not a good marketing plan. The most important element of a strategy is consistency – meaning that you will have to use a defined set of colors, a specific composition, a tone of voice that represents your company, and also that you will publish consistantly to build a strong presence online. This can be difficult: nearly 40% of marketers struggle to produce visual content regularly and nearly 30% find it difficult to maintain graphic guidelines.
An editorial calendar can be of great help. Whether you plan to show data visualizations on your website or create the perfect Instagram grid, it’s essential to plan in advance, and perhaps rely on an expert to take care of details. After you have defined your company’s brand guidelines – specifying when, where, and how to use your logo, the color palette you want to be associated with, and the emotions you want to convey, you can begin creating content in bulk before starting to publish. This is how you make sure your voice is heard.
Visual marketing doesn’t have to be a challenge!
Creating a visual marketing strategy with photos, graphics, and videos means strengthening your communication and brand image, making it more effective, incisive, and captivating. For most marketers and businesses, however, adapting to the fast-changing digital environment can be difficult. Social media platforms seem to multiply, and trends are hard to keep up with. But Mowgli is here to help – get in touch today to find out how to boost your marketing strategy!