Visual marketing involves developing a unique concept for your brand and showcasing that concept through images, illustrations, photography and video, along with other forms to rich media.
Some brands showcase product or service successfully through the use of video, whereas other brands will have more success using infographics or rich illustrations. Once you've determined the best medium in which to showcase your brand, it's time to look at ways to increase the impact of your visual media marketing so that it not only reaches your target audience but convinces others to take action.
Investing in visual media marketing is a significant part of any overall marketing campaign or marketing strategy for a business, regardless of their size.
1. Choosing the Right Platform
No matter how good your visual marketing is if it is it is unlikely to succeed. Determining the right platform should be grounded in who your target audiences are and where they are gathering on the web.
Some examples include :
You need to ask yourself, where is your target audience gathering on the internet and who is most likely to appreciate your visual media marketing.
2. Choosing the Right Visual Medium
Once you've worked out where your audience is gathering it's time to take a closer look at the kind of visual media being used on that platform.
Using Facebook as one example, what kind of visual media is getting the most shares among your competitors? Which kind of media gets the most likes?
Slide shows may work on sites like Slideshare, but will probably be less successful on Twitter. This does not mean that you would not utilise Twitter in order to share your visual media marketing.
It just means you will not build visual media for that particular platform or invest as heavily in that particular platform. Likewise, if your preferred medium is infographics, then you need to be familiar with the best places to showcase your graphics, as well as the best practices for infographics, their creation and distribution.
3. Observing Your Competitors
In developing a visual media marketing strategy, it's essential to do some research into your competitors. Some critical questions will include:
- The style of the most popular visual media
- Publishing frequency
- Tone, length and format
Your visual media marketing strategy should reflect your own brand. By observing the activity of your competitor, you will gain further insight into how best to deliver and publish your own branded content.
4. Consistency in Branding
Whether your strategy includes elements of surprise, risk or fantasy, or whether your strategy includes individual styles, fonts, colouring and cultural influences, the brand should represent and deliver a consistent visual message.
In other words, if you're seeking to present a specific cultural flavour in your brand by using dated or Sepia images, for example, then this branding should be present and consistent across all visual media marketing strategies.
If your brand adopts photography as the medium then it should generally avoid illustrations, diagrams and other forms of visual media in that genre and should stick to particular photographic styles.
5. Testing and Refining
What's you've chosen a visual media for your brand; it's time to begin testing and refining. If short animated GIFS are your strategy testing and refining may include such things as:
- Tone (humour, fear, joy, etc.)
testing the publication of your visual media strategy will consist of such things as; the number of shares or likes, the number of comments and feedback and the number of interactions people have with your media.
For many businesses, it will also include the number of conversions. That is, the number of people who viewed your content and acted on it in the way you had hoped for.
6. Developing a Portfolio of Visual Content
If you've been creating this form of marketing strategy over any period of time, you will have begun to create a portfolio of visual content that can be presented as a historical timeline and that will encourage employee engagement.
That timeline will demonstrate peaks and troughs. It will show you which pieces of content are becoming more successful and more fruitful over time.
This then becomes the foundation of future visual media marketing efforts. It's important to know which pieces worked and which pieces of visual content did not work.
Developing this portfolio is going to help your team, both new and old members, to evaluate your brands impact through visual marketing and enable them to critique visual media strategies moving forward.
7. Typical Visual Strategies that Work
Once a brand has begun to find its identity in the marketplace, you also begin to favour certain types of medium, tone and distribution over other forms.
Here are some key elements to boost the impact your brand can have:
- Pick an Emotion and Build on It
- Capture Attention with Elements of Suprise or Predictability
- Make it Personal - or Avoid Intimacy Altogether
- Make it Political - or Avoid Politics Altogether
- Provide an opportunity for user Interaction
Take the example of Redbull.
Emotionally they are looking to drive excitement and thrill. They catch viewer attention by using stunts and antics that have an unexpected, dangerous or unpredictable element to them.
They do not deal with personal issues or personalities. Instead, the focus is always on the event - not the individual.
They are a-political, and their chosen platform (Youtube) and medium (Video) enable quick responses, grounded in emotional reactions (as opposed to rational discussion).
Visual media marketing is an exciting aspect of marketing as well as an appealing element to the overall business activity. Finding your groove is part of the adventure and is what enables a business to boost the impact of their brand from top to bottom.