The art of digital marking is unique. It’s making shifts for the development, real enhancement. From time to time, the creative marketers have been representing new methods to market. And that is what makes the marketers evergreen.
Today, we are still living with the oversight “textual marketing is the one and only successful marketing strategy”. But what if I say there is another secret arm that works better?
Yep, I’m exactly talking about “Visual Marketing”. I got my mind almost blown away right after applying it to my strategy. My marketing result had a sudden jump up than the average. So here I’m going to share what I did for this immediate improvement.
What is visual marketing?
Marketing is a strategy to incite consumers with the companies. Creating, communicating and delivering offerings are the inner concepts. Visual marketing is not an exception to it although there is a bit difference.
Visual marketing is a business term which manipulates promotional displays to engage customers and boost sales. The marketers use attractive visualizations to grab consumer’s attention so they might take a look around.
Why visual marketing is necessary?
Marketing prerequisite is innovation. We need innovative things to eat up the competition and rule over the industry. Most of the marketers use textual contents to promote products. Unfortunately, the consumers will be fed up seeing the same textual promotions all over.
Meanwhile, if we can entertain the customers with visualizations, the world of proclamation might get easier. The promotion will be no longer boring as they will feel comfortable to buy besides getting entertained.
Still can’t anticipate visual marketing’s importance? Unfortunately, you will right after hearing the following quotes:
- In brains, the visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than an ordinary text. (Source: Billion Dollar Graphics)
- 90% of the brain transmitted information are visual. (Source: Web Marketing Group)
- Content with attractive images gets 94% more views than those without. (Source: MDG Advertising)
- Photos on Facebook gets 53% more likes and 104% more comments than the average post. (Source: HubSpot)
- Tweet with images receives 150% more retweets and 89% more favorites on average. (Source: Buffer App)
- Videos attract 300% more traffic and nurture leads than usual. (Source: Marketing Sherpa)
- Buyers seem to be 85% more likely to buy a product right after seeing its video. (Source: Invodo)
Which are the major visual contents?
Visual materials are all those elements which are capable of entertaining people, capable of making eye-stops. There is a lot of methods to market visually. But these are the most important:
Shareable is a kind of images or photographs which comes with a purpose. Its primary intention is to serve what people want to see in an artistic way. It is the truth; an impressive shareable can get shared like crazy.
Shareable could be the following type of images:
- Generic Image
- Rare Photographs
- Data Visualization
What makes it unique?
A whole new method to communicate
Marketing is the consequence of perfect communication between the consumers and the marketers. You might generally use texts to perceive your consumers a topic or feature. But, unfortunately, that is the twentieth century’s formula that has been overused.
But shareable makes it a unique way to communicate. We don’t even need to use that text every time. Instead, we can continue to communicate using shareable. You can choose your preferred type of shareable and design it to come out with a moral to serve.
Power of lightning fast understanding
It happens in marketing; you need to taste your consumer a thing, but he gets different. How much well written it didn’t matter. Because all types of contents can not be expressed in texts.
In this case, shareable can do the trick. It helps you to make it easy to understand. Sometimes texts could be felt frustrating. But images are always the best choice to let them handle a topic however that’s a hard nut or not.
Speaks universal language
Images don’t need words. It is a “universal language” what works through emotion. The marketers do targeted promotions because it’ll be quite difficult to promote in all different languages.
Instead, if we use visual elements to show the facts, people of any place and any language can understand it easily. When it comes to emotions, you can’t accurately express in texts. But using images, you can exactly show it.
Why marketers need it in their arsenal?
Revolution in image curation
I think the year of 2015 will be the revolution of image marketing. In the last 12 months, 10% of the photos captured by human being have been uploaded to the web. In this upcoming year, it could be even doubled or tripled because of image-centric people’s attraction.
Honestly, 10% is not that little. Just check your smartphone how many photos you’ve taken and calculate 10% of it. You will be able to realize how many they could be. The marketing is getting pace with shareable. And that’s a strong reason to use it.
Dawn of the visual social media
There has been a massive shift to visual social media. The social networkers are more likely to view images. Now they all are image-centric. The brands are leveraging shareable to outrank his competitors on especially social media websites.
On a report by Pew Internet, they confirmed 47% of the adult internet users use to take images from the web and share them on their favorite image sharing websites. Can you really imagine, it’s almost half of the total internet users?
Delivers sharp impacts
Shareable is affecting contents in a noticeable value. Articles with images get 94% more page views. In fact, a simple photo in a press release can get 45% more views than an average one.
On the other side, images in social media can increase its likes, comments and shares up to 200%. The visuals are positively impacting all those textual contents and giving a boost up to the conversation rate. I feel, this is another significant reason to include it in our arsenal.
Three ways it can be used
1. Leverage offenders
Getting your business mentioned in other websites is great. It can help you in two different ways:
- Pass seo value
- Drive targeted traffic
The shareable can be used to get mentioned in other websites. The rule of web: while you use others contents, make sure to give proper credit. If your site contains lots of unique images and much popular in your niche, be sure many people have already used them on their websites. Those who know the rule will give you credit. But the truth is a lot of them wouldn’t.
It feels hard to see; someone is using your hard efforts without giving credits. But that feel can be leveraged. We can outreach them and let them know why they should place a credit back to the primary source. So I mainly follow these steps:
Step #1: Use Google to find reverse images
Simply go to https://images.google.com/ and click the search by image button (small camera icon). Now input your desired image URL and proceed. You will be able to see all pages that are currently using your image.
Step #2: Find which websites are using it without credit
When you do click the search button, all the pages will be listed containing your image. Check those URLs one by one and identify which ones are not giving proper credits.
Step #3: Outreach their webmasters
Now outreach the site’s webmasters and inform them about it. It is ideal to reach them via email or social media. I think, you shouldn’t make the outreach look like a warning. Instead, outreach being happy, thank him for using the image and then request him to give a credit.
Tips to influence this strategy:
- Make your business website rich with unique, valuable, high quality and eye-catching shareable. So others are bound to implement them on their websites.
2. Enhance email marketing
According to TheDMA, 66% of online consumers made a purchase as a result of the email marketing message. That makes me feel wow and motivates me to find more ways that boost email sales.
Shareable can be used to enhance email marketing that will leave a very positive impact on sales. The email marketing process is (1) making subscriber’s list and (2) delivering the promises. We can use shareable in both subscribing forms and email templates to improve the click-through.
How to use shareable in an opt-in form?
- Use amazing backgrounds to the form
- Use side image that pulls the visitors
- Use eye-catching image subscribe button
How to use shareable in an email template?
- Place your logo on the top of template
- Include thumbnails of the contents
- Make template more entertaining
Precautions! Make sure you are not doing these to get your emails to the spam folder:
- Braking max 40% vs. 60% image and text ratio.
- Using enormous full block image without enough text
- Using images that are heavy in size and weight
3. Show how your products live
The consumers want to see what is the product and how does it works. Only the textual marketing is not enough to sell products. In eCommerce sites, the quality of the product image is “very important” as being said by 67% of the consumers (source: Jeff Bullas). In fact, images have higher priority than product-specific description or reviews as Jeff also explained.
So don’t use images for just to have one. Instead, check Ben & Jerry’s Instagram, how they use shareable to market their products. While you create an image, make sure it has at least the following purposes:
- Shows the features
- Shows the real use
- Shows what is unique
Though infographics are kind of large images, the value of them is ever more significant. That’s why I’m going to describe it separately from shareable. Infographics has been used as the alternative of textual contents.
The infographics might contain different kinds of knowledge as the following:
- Actionable tips
- Piece of Suggestions
- Data visualizations
What makes it unique?
An enjoyable method to learn
Internet is the best teacher of all time. People use to read web sites and blogs to learn something new. But the truth is, they will get bored of reading texts for long. The knowledge will not last longer in the brain if we couldn’t learn with self-interests.
Infographics make it easy for them. If you could process a content into an infographic, the readers will get the same knowledge but being entertained, refreshed. It gets the readers out of the monotonous text-based contents.
Provides 100% solid value, no weeds
If you read a bunch of contents from the web, you will come to realize, some materials talk directly to the points. But some others embroil it with unnecessary texts and then come to the same points.
But in infographics, there is no weeds or unnecessary texts. Those are actually created with ample of data and tips that can be used right away. People always look for the solutions that can be made to use instantly. So infographics are going to work for them.
An artistic style of content
Everybody has their styles of writings. Someone loves to write shorts, someone longs. Someone likes to make his style, someone copies other’s style. But infographics are different from all of these writing styles.
Infographic writing is an artistic style of content writing. First of all it’s based on image; secondly, it leads the epic existence, and thirdly, it provides “ready to use” information without any unnecessary weeds.
Why marketers need it in their arsenal?
Aid textual content
A single content might not standout as it could be with an infographic. Content marketers are focused on writing materials that can get as many engagements as possible. But most of them won’t be thinking about infographics. Do they really know what an infographic can do?
High quality infographics are 30 times more likely to be read and it helps to grow 12% more traffic than an average, according to Anson Alex. So it really contributes to increase the readability and grow the traffic as fast as possible. You can anticipate how much value it can add to your content marketing.
Rise of infographics
Graphs.net has shared a few interesting facts about infographics. By their research, they have showed the search volumes for infographics have increased by a whopping 800% between 2010 and 2012. Infographic production is increasing every day by 1%. So in every 100 days, the number of infographics gets doubled.
Incredible branding opportunity
Infographics could be a brand’s secret weapon and a key power to success. It lures many branding opportunities. In fact, Infographics can help to get traction and links from all those complicated industries, for what we couldn’t even think about.
CopyBlogger’s “15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly” is the best example of it. They have so many infographics, but this one has mainly taken copyblogger to a whole new level. For this single infographic the brand has achieved:
- 1,580 links from 451 root domains
- 6.1K Twitter tweets
- 1.7k Google+ shares
- 50.6k Facebook shares
- 1.7k LinkedIn shares
- 178.4k Pinterest pins
- 332 post comments
Three ways it can be used
1. Don’t tell, show your story
So far as I know, we all use to tell stories. But telling doesn’t make that feeling as showing makes. While you have choices to show, why do you tell? I think there is no need of it, because an infographic story is:
- Attractive enough to make people read it
- Can express the same feeling in a realistic way
- Improves the story’s share and click-through rate
Wondering how an infographic story might look? The giant marketer “Neil Patel” has shared his infographic story on his about page. Here you can see how it is reflecting his real life:
So you might create your own infographic to show off your story rather than telling. I’ve mentioned tools to create infographics later on this post. If you think it’s difficult for you, I should suggest you to use designers. Are you wistful of the budget? Don’t worry; You can have one for as little as in Fiverr and as high as in ODesk, Freelancer, and Behance.
2. Make Infographic link bait
Link bait using infographic could be a real turnaround for your business. Link bait is among the most advanced link building methods. You can have an in-depth knowledge of it here.
But the method I’m going to describe here will be different from those. How? I’m going to show you how to convert opinions into infographics and how to use it as a link bait.
Group chats or opinions could be an excellent way to import fans and readers. In fact, a new business can grow faster by doing bunch of group chats, but in some major conditions. Persons you choose for opinion have to be the kings of the niche having as many fans and readers. And by presenting it with an infographic, you will hit two targets in one shot:
- Gets the power of infographic
- Gets the support of grouped people
Step #1: Find a trending topic
First of you, you need to find a trending topic where most of the people are struggling. You might create polls for your visitors to know which theme is putting them into trouble. The social media sites can be good enough to brainstorm your mind.
Step #2: Find experts in that topic
Now search on Google to find out the experts on that topic. You might use this type of queries “Lists of best [YourKeyword] sites” and look at them to see who the owners are. You can ask your site visitors as well to know from whom they want to hear.
Step #3: Outreach them for opinions
Now you should outreach them and request if they could help you by giving just 10 minutes to write an opinion piece. Let them understand how many people are struggling with that topic. If the topic is interesting, they will show interest in it. But it’s true, you will not get responses from many of them for time constraint.
Step #4: Convert opinions into infographic
Now design an interesting infographic and include those views followed by the expert’s names. Make it as delicate as possible for a successful link bait. After you publish it, don’t forget to notify those experts and request them to share it with their fans. And then wait to see the magic.
3. Let people “SNITCH”
Snitching or stealing is effective in the world of digital marketing. People love to snitch while leaving a credit back to the primary source. When it’s all about infographics, you will get couple boost ups if snitched:
- It will spread your business
- It will drive both seo and traffic value
But still, you need to obtain some strategies that will make it more efficient. The following method helps me to make snitching comfortable:
Step #1: Generate infographic embed code
Simply head to http://www.siegemedia.com/embed-code-generator and input your infographic URL, post URL, alternative texts, all the required info to generate the embed code.
Step #2: Show the embed box beside infographic
Now copy the code you generated in the previous step and place it beside your infographic. You should promote that page to your utmost so the people might get engaged and feel inspired to embed it on their websites.
Did someone snitch it without giving credit? Use reverse image search as I’ve already explained (under shareable) to find and outreach those websites.
Video is another successful marketing equipment that can be used to take a brand to a whole new level. There is a lot of brands who have already succeeded in their businesses just because of their video channels.
Videos are several types, the most important are:
- Generic video
- Whiteboard video
- Image video
What makes it unique?
The center of attraction
Everyone loves to see those things that are attractive. They want practical things that can add informational value, as well as entertaining value. But the truth is only text (even excellent) can’t serve that by standing alone.
Videos can be used to make people entertaining while delivering the central message. Humor aside the focus is what everyone expects to have. People would love to feel the attractive things and videos are the center of all those attractions.
Both aural and visual value
Though textual contents are best for seo, it has very few difficulties in business marketing. SEO is for search engines, but marketing is only for human beings. The consumers won’t be satisfied with what the search engines could be. Why? Search engines can identify visuals but can’t read it as human do.
On the other side, texts can only serve reading value. But there are tons of consumers who are so busy that they can’t even afford the time to read the full content.
Videos are effective in this case. It moralizes a content and serve it instantly by the dual power of aural and visual senses. While visitors see a video, two senses of their body start to response. That’s why videos work faster and better than regular texts in marketing.
Power of rich snippets
Google indexes videos and show thumbnails for them in search results. The best examples are YouTube, DailyMotion. Almost all of their videos show thumbnails. And that snippet can help you to:
- Increase click through rate for search results
- Give higher search priority and ranking
Google and Yahoo have separated sections for only video searching, where the videos with rich snippets rank better. Though Google has dumped the author snippet, top video sites (many websites have dropped video snippets too) are still able to show them.
Why marketers need it in their arsenal?
Surprising growth of viewers
The video lovers are increasing at a remarkable rate. There was a time when people barely saw videos. But now for being internet so affordable and the rise of smartphones, most of the people use to see videos.
On comScore latest report, they had come to announce, about 85.9% of U.S. internet audiences watches videos from online video directories. Isn’t it unbelievable? Almost 86 of per 100 internet users watch videos online.
Unbelievable Conversation Rate
Videos are playing a vital role in business marketing. It dramatically increases conversation rate for web pages. According to Marketing Sherpa, viewers spend 100% more time on pages containing video.
In fact, video in email marketing gives a jump-start for online business. Just mentioning the word “video” in the email subject can increase click-through by 7%-13% (source: Smart Insights).
Saves time and energy
According to Video Brewery, a minute of video worth 1.8 million words! Can you believe it? It’s coordinated to 3,600 web pages which will take at least 150 days to write if we take minimum 1 hour for each.
It is true, because if you want to cover a whole topic in texts, you have to write very long, even it could cross thousands of words depending upon the topic. But in videos, you can explain it quickly and more efficiently.
Three ways it can be used
1. Create unsubscribe video
Did you realize a lot of your email subscribers are unsubscribing? There must be something wrong, even it could be the result of your mistake. But everyone is eager to get them back on the track. So an apology could do the trick.
The idea of unsubscribe video is beyond words. I don’t know who the inventor is, but he truly deserve my salute. Through this method, you can grab unsubscriber’s attention and apologize for what went wrong. You can make him entertaining enough to forget the past and give you a second chance.
So create an unsubscribe video that:
- Surprises him to rejoin the email list
- Does an apology for what went wrong
- Offers something exclusive for him
For an example, here is the unsubscribe video of HubSpot. I liked the style they used to get them back on their list:
2. Give product’s intro
Product intro is the very first thing the consumers will look. Because they want to see quickly what the product will serve and how it works. Buyers seem to be more likely to buy a product after seeing its video. It’s true, what an intro video can serve would not be possible with texts.
So you should create an attractive video that makes consumers play it, look what is new in it and why they need it. It should be valuable enough to let consumers realize this is the best offer ever.
3. Leverage Twitter video reply
I think, this is the future of eCommerce business. A business outcome truly depends on how the company is interacting with the consumers and how practical solutions they are providing.
Brands are growing over Twitter, and this platform has been many businesses secret. So Twitter can be used as a social support system for companies. And it will be more interesting to provide video supports for them as many companies have already started.
I first saw it on Warby Parker’s Twitter, which is a big brand of eyeglasses. They use twitter video reply to support his buyers. And amazingly it has increased their sales and credibility. You might check one of their twitter video supports here: https://twitter.com/WarbyParker/status/540540998754271232
Wondering how you could upload videos on Twitter as there is no option? Yeah, it’s a thing to wonder because Twitter only supports images. But they allow third party videos to embed. Just copy your video URL (youtube, vimeo, dailymotion are most preferable) and paste it. It will show up the snippet.
Where to create visual contents?
Miranda Rensch has written a beautiful post on Moz.com about how to create visualizations. You can check it out here. Though here are my favorites:
- Adobe Photoshop: I think there is no better place to create various types of visuals. Photoshop is a premium software for Windows and Macintosh, which has been featured with so many tools to create personalized designs.
- Infogram: If you are interested to create infographics or data visualizations online, you can use this tool. To get all features, you might need to go pro.
- Corel Video Studio: This is my favorite video studio for desktop that I use to create personalized videos, promo videos and all video staffs. It could be useful for you too.
How visual content rocks over social media platforms?
I heard it before several times but didn’t care. But after testing it on some big brands, I came to realize it happens. Visuals can help to increase the user engagement especially in the social media platforms.
I have already given some proves earlier in this post. However, let me explain my story for CNET.
We already know, CNET is one of the top American media websites for publishing reviews, articles, news, blogs and so on related to technology. To study visual contents, I chose CNET’s Twitter account. All of their tweets get many retweets, favorites, and comments every day.
On 14th November, 2014, I checked hundreds of their tweets. The tweets including images got doubled and even tripled interactions than those without. And I found an excellent example to show you too.
It’s on 3:05 PM the same day, I saw four tweets where all of them posted 12 hours ago. One of them had an image but the rest three didn’t. I have captured the moment, and you can see what exactly happened.
The tweet with image got 56 retweets and 37 favorites where the others got 28 retweets 13 favorites, 20 retweet 12 favorites and even 11 retweets 3 favorites. So the result is in front of you. A visual content increased a tweet’s interaction by almost 200% than the average one without. You can check out the tweets by yourself @CNET.
Some important visual marketing tips
- Always try to combine texts and visuals in your marketing strategy. These two can go better with hand in hand.
- While marketing, if you have choices to show either texts or visuals, I would suggest you to go for visuals. Because, visual works better for digital marketing. But I should also state it; text with visuals is the best combination ever.
- Get your social profiles prepared with exact size cover and profile pictures. And try to make them as delicate as possible.
- While making visual contents, make sure to improve typography, alignment, and contrast. It’s always better to design using grids.
- If you want to use other’s visual staffs in your marketing, you should first grab the permission and make sure to give them proper credits.
- In case, if you can’t design your visualizations, you should hire a freelance graphic designer. Though it is expensive, it will be the best for business.
Now it’s your turn!
Here in this post, I tried to explain how visual marketing has been affecting content marketing and what we should be doing for better marketing results. I hope, many of you will find it useful. All the methods I discussed are tested by me and for all of them I got positive results.
But still I’m no one where you can trust from your heart. So it’s better for you to give it a try. After all, I’m damn sure you will be the great fan of visual marketing!
What do you say, isn’t visual marketing effective? We would be grateful for your responses!
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