Why (and how) visual branding should be an imperative part of your social media strategy

There’s no denying that social media has reimagined the way businesses connect with their customers. Dynamic, engaging and highly personalised, social media empowers brands with the scope to not only speak, but live and breathe the language of their target demographics. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter fronted the insurgency and now, there’s a new breed of social media strategy taking over the web – visual content.

 

The shift to image centric social media has gained fierce momentum over the past few years, with users indulging an innate human attraction to visuals. The movement towards content that’s short, sweet and ultra-digestible also caters to the fast-paced lifestyles and notoriously short attention spans of modern consumers.

 

For brands, the shift has opened up a host of lucrative opportunities to seduce and convert. Here’s some stats that not even the severest of sceptics could ignore:

  • Research from printing giant Xerox found that coloured visuals increase people's willingness to read a piece of content by 80%.(1)
  •  Kissmetrics recently revealed that content with relevant images scores 94% more views than their text based counterparts.(2)
  • Visual content receives 40x more shares than non-visual content.(3)

 

So what does this mean for your brand?

Basically, you need to go visual, or go home. How? Read on as we reveal six simple strategies for leveraging the power of visual marketing, and arming your platforms with greater reach, engagement and conversion rates.

 

Use infographics

When it comes to retaining information, the human brain can be frustratingly inept. When a person hears information they’ll generally be able to recall just 10% of the content three days later. Yet when paired with a relevant image, the retainment percentages jump to 65%.(4). This means that by supporting textual content with infographics, you’ll be making your brand message a whole lot more memorable.

 

Create original content

Social media is all about sharing, with the latest Pinterest traffic charts (5) confirming that around 80% of content is reposted, while just 20% is original. This means that there’s heavy demand for organic content. By merging the power of imagery with unique shareable content, you’ll drastically increase your chances at going viral.

 

Show, THEN tell

The human eye is intrinsically drawn to images, which means capturing the attention of browsers is much easier when you have imagery onside. Wherever possible, use visuals as a hook, then back them up with written content or links.

 

Tell a story

Today, a huge 65% of senior marketing executives (6) cite visual assets like photos, video, illustrations and infographics as a keynote tactic for communicating their brand story. Remember, images don’t necessarily have to showcase your product or service, but should serve as a way of reinforcing the culture, message and value behind your brand.

 

Blend images and words

Images are an incredibly powerful way of conveying messages, yet without context they can be a little ambiguous. Give your visuals purpose by embedding captions, quotes, calls to actions and other text based content that guides the consumer experience.

 

More than being confined to traditional marketing mediums, such as an advertisement or a website, visual branding should be a keynote part of any brand’s social media strategy. The power of images is profound, and there’s no rebuffing that whatever your niche market, a little eye candy always goes a long way.

 

Sascha Moore

 

References:

  1. http://www.office.xerox.com/latest/COLFS-02UA.PDF
  2. https://blog.kissmetrics.com/visual-content-you-need-to-use-in-your-marketing-campaign/
  3. https://blog.bufferapp.com/infographics-visual-content-marketing
  4. http://www.brainrules.net/vision
  5. https://blog.rjmetrics.com/2012/02/15/pinterest-data-analysis-an-inside-look/
  6. http://www.cmocouncil.org/images/uploads/297.pdf

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