Today’s visual social platforms are more popular than ever. Pinterest and Instagram flood the Internet with images, which are twice as likely to be shared as text. YouTube, Vimeo and countless video syndication sites are major hubs of activity -- it’s estimated that 29 percent of all time spent on the Internet is watching videos.
Whether you’ve got products to show the world or you’re working on finding a visual approach to telling your business’ story, here are five tips to help you get started.
1. Utilize existing visuals. Many businesses think visual marketing requires creating entirely new visual content. Visual media can be a helpful format to explore new ideas, but don’t overlook ways to use your existing visuals. Your company may already have digital assets such as photographs, short videos, infographics and presentations that can be easily adapted for social networking.
Create a full inventory of what you have to work with, and then map that content to your visual campaign goals. You’ll then be able to identify gaps and opportunities for future content creation.
2. Repurpose existing content into visual formats. Another approach is to look at opportunities to use existing content in other formats as the basis for visual-content development. Good sources may include everything from presentations to original data.
These materials can be used as the basis of a narrated explainer video, the research behind an infographic or paired with powerful images to create memes for Pinterest and other image sites. Your previous written work is a great place to start with your visuals in mind. An added benefit of including images within your text-based content is driving traffic with Google Images.
3. Give visual storytelling a try. It’s hard to engage audiences long term with static photos of products. Many creative campaigns work to tell the story behind a company or product through a visual format. For example, if your company has a mascot that happens to be an adorable puppy, fans on different social networks would be eager to follow his adventures.
Another approach could be a series of pictures that show different ways your product is used by clients organized along themed lines. Short interview videos with customers, executives and others could also be woven into an engaging narrative.
4. Dip a toe in the visual pool with memes. If you’ve spent significant time on Facebook or Pinterest, you’ve noticed a constant influx of quotes, images paired with startling facts and beautiful images tagged with brand names. These memes are easy to create with sites such as Canva.com or by hiring a freelance designer.
It’s also easy to find royalty-free images that you can use in your content. It’s easy to build a high-volume campaign and to experiment with different content approaches to see what resonates with your audience.
5. Understand the dynamics of the community. Each visual community has its own implicit and explicit rules. For example, if you’re trying to gain traction with Instagram, it’s helpful to understand what kinds of images perform well there. Typically, images are visually striking and make creative use of filters to add an artistic flare.
The more your images and videos fit the culture of a specific site, the more they’ll catch on with audiences.
Many entrepreneurs and businesses are unsure of where to start with telling their brand’s visual stories. The keys are to think beyond static images, experiment with different modes of storytelling and remember that your research, thought leadership and client work can all serve as the basis for successful visual campaigns.