Have you noticed a paradigm shift in the way online products and services are being marketed? Social Media has taken over the internet and changed the online landscape with visual content marketing. Users have become more visual, responding to pictures, images and graphics, and less patient with websites that have a bunch of long-winded lexis. These changes have altered how we literally view information and requires online marketers to modify the way they relate to their consumers and customers. Visitors spend less time on websites and are drawn more to video and graphics than to just words.
The Visual Content Marketing Evolution
It started slowly with Facebook (Timeline) and momentum was added with Twitter (Twitpic). Then Facebook purchased Instagram, (a tiny little company with a million dollar price tag.) Now, Pinterest, a visual social media platform and the third largest social media network in the U.S. is giving Facebook and Twitter a run for their money. In fact, as far as referral traffic, Pinterest already far outpaces the two giants.
Marketers use social media platforms to market their products and services, but they’ve changed the WAY they’re doing it by shifting to visual content marketing strategies. When used properly, using visual elements to sell products (and services) can be astonishingly successful. Instead of “a picture says a thousand words”, for visual content marketing, “a picture sells a thousand products.”
A critical element of successfully driving traffic to your website, increasing your page ranking (SEO) and creating an internet presence is content marketing. Often people just think of it as articles and blog posts. But you can also create visual content marketing. This can either be instead of, or in addition to written content. Adding a royalty free picture or custom graphic will draw attention to the subject and generate interest. People like being able to look at pictures, not just read endless words.
Why is Pinterest so popular? Because it allows people to “pin” images and videos, link back to their original source, and share their “board” with their followers. Pinterest not only has its own site, but it also “piggybacks” onto other sites by allowing users to share images through Facebook and Twitter.
An example of how to create and promote visual content marketing pieces is a simple five step process:
- Create your blog post or article.
- Add an interesting picture or graphic with a summary caption.
- Pin your image or video on Pinterest or post the image on Instagram using keywords, a link back to your website and/or hash tag.
- Post the the image on your Facebook fan page, Pinterest account, Twitter, Google+, blog, YouTube, etc.
- Repeat the process.
The Future of Visual Content Marketing
Visual content drives engagement. In fact, just one month after the introduction of Facebook timeline for brands, visual content — photos and videos — saw a 65% increase in engagement. (Source: Simply Measured)
46.1% of people say a website’s design is the number one criterion for discerning the credibility of the company. (Source: Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab)
Publishers who use infographics grow in traffic an average of 12% more than those who don’t. (Source: AnsonAlex)
Based on this data and others, I’m predicting a huge shift in social media.
So why not try Pinterest or Instagram to market your service or product? You’ll be surprised about how easy and powerful visual content marketing can be. If you’re not using it, your missing out on tremendous opportunity.
What types of visual content are you using in your marketing strategy?