Human beings are visual creatures. MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences found that half the human brain is directly or indirectly dedicated to understanding the vision process that helps in brain operations. They have the ability to identify or remember an image within seconds and this explains why visuals are important in marketing as it leaves a stronger impression on the audience.
What is Visual Marketing?
Visual marketing is the art of telling one’s story online and offline by curating photos, video, and other multimedia materials. In the industry, leading marketers establish visual impact around their products and services online to attract audiences and make them stay longer on the site. Some examples of visual content includes stock photography and user-generated content.
Why does it matter?
In a world filled with content that looks almost exactly identical, visual marketing is becoming more important as a differentiator for businesses. Unique visuals make one’s content unforgettable, engaging and easier to remember. Those with high level online presence and engagements usually include high-quality graphics, content as these kinds of contents receive more shares and tags.
Think about it: Sam wants to buy a car. He browses a website without any visual contents (image, video, infographics). Do you think he will spend more time on the website, or just quit without hesitation?
The answer is obvious because no one would be interested in a site full of text.
Based on some research statistics, visual marketing can be very powerful:
- People retain 65% of a message even after three days when it is paired with a suitable image;
- Coloured visuals increase people’s willingness to read a content by 80%;
- Content with relevant visuals gets 94% more viewership than those without visuals.
So, how can businesses use visuals to improve their marketing strategies?
How to create and utilize visual marketing content?
For a business, visuals are essential because they represent a company’s image as well. The choice of visuals is important as it makes up a visual branding based on the images, colour and even fonts associated with the business.
There are mainly four types of visual content that business can consider in their next marketing campaign:
Images are the basics. They can be a simple and powerful tool for marketers to use on all channels. Images and graphics are also a perfect way to break down written material such as blog posts or social media posts to capture the audience's eye scrolling through a certain site.
Most importantly, select images that fit your company’s industry, style and value. Try your best to be as consistent as possible to shape your brand identity and strengthen your brand image in the audience's eyes. If you don’t believe, try publishing posts with images and see if they get more views.
It is expected that 82% of all internet users will be contributing to the global internet video traffic. This is why many businesses have started to produce short videos to engage with the audience, from simple introductory videos to how-to videos. Other than pre-recorded videos, live video streaming is also a popular trend now.
3. Infographics & Data Visualization
The greatest advantage of creating infographics is the ability to compile a lot of data into an easy-to-understand visual. By converting a big chunk of text into a one-page infographic, it helps to simplify a message and attract the viewer's attention. Data visualization is also a similar concept. Numbers are converted into tables and charts to simplify and provide a clearer picture of the entire data structure. The key to both types of information visualization is to use high contrast colours, clear font type and suitable font size.
4. User-Generated Content (UGC)
Unlike the contents mentioned above, UGC is slightly different as it is considered as “earned media” where users or customers share reviews and photos regarding a product or service online. In this case, UGC helps to increase brand trust and brand loyalty because other users get to see real-life visual contents such as product photos and unboxing videos.
To receive positive UGC, it is important to build a good relationship with customers and offer high-quality products or services. For example, you can create customized hashtags and encourage users to include them when posting online.
Now, it’s time to take visual marketing seriously as it makes your brand more attractive and identifiable. Not only can you reach new audiences with it, but you will also engage current audiences and create a stronger tie between your business and your customers. After all, it’s important to know your goals, set the right targets and track them. Then you will be able to see what strategies work for you to make the most of visual marketing.