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Engagement is a key performance indicator in social media marketing. It reveals how well you are connecting with your audience and how familiar you are with your market's pain points. It also measures how much your company or brand is loved, respected and promoted.
We have mentioned time and again that the digital marketing world is dominated by visual content. If you are looking to connect with your audience at a deeper level, visual content is the best conversation starter.
Visual content has become the online world's leading form of communication. Reliance on visual media has increased due to the excessive competition to capture people's attention quickly and deliver a brand message effectively within a few seconds.
Technological advancement and the need to ingest as much information as quickly as possible has created the need to convey messages visually.
In some of our earlier posts, we went over a brief history of the evolution of visual media. It is a primordial mode for human interaction across time and beyond space. The earliest civilizations shared their way of life and struggles by drawing on walls and caves. The Egyptians used visuals to recount the history of their ancestors.
Research shows that visual content increases engagement and conversion levels. However, it’s not just all about incorporating visual content into your marketing projects. Certain methods must be applied, like learning how to choose the right image, which can be learned by anyone.
An image speaks volumes. However, it’s interesting to note that every picture has its own value. In marketing and advertising, effective visual content must be able to capture prospects' attention in a perceptive and evocative manner.
The image you use in your marketing and advertising campaigns, especially on social media platforms, should have a considerable influence on brand awareness and customer engagement.
Remember that your goal, for both B2B and B2C, is to establish a deeper connection with your prospects, and choosing the right image to convey your brand message and evoke prospect reaction can determine the success or failure of your marketing campaign.
Research confirms this. A digital marketing study concluded that image-based posts are shared more than text-based posts or ads. Another study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute also found that there are certain key elements that affect the performance of visual content on social media, which are covered below in more detail.
A product in action refers to a product used in its real environment, as opposed to a product in isolation or pictured alone. Your audience members are visual thinkers. Offer information and show the usefulness of a product by setting up an environment that shows how your product can be used in daily living.
Avoid adding images just for the sake of including visual content. Highlight the benefits and features of a particular product or service. Remember, this is still advertising and you have to present your product or brand in the best light to get the most attention.
Take a look at Go Pro's social media pages and YouTube account. You will find that they effectively show what their products can do in action. Most of the content shared on their platforms reveal the benefits of a highly versatile camera for thrill-seekers.
You are building the reputation of your brand, telling your story and humanizing your corporate entity. Just as your choice of words can change the power of your campaign, so can your images. Use images taken in real-life settings. Don't always rely on stock photos since they may not always be supportive of your brand narrative.
Stock photos were created to save non-designers the trouble of thinking about what image to use in each project. The sole use of stock images is no longer recommended for brands seeking recognition. Ill-chosen stock images can potentially ruin your campaign. A perfect example is the use of stock images with the same model by similar companies.
Notice how the successful manufacturing and design company TOMS Shoes shows its products in real-life circumstances.
Also, take note of how they have effectively marketed their product on their home page and how, as you move further down the homepage, they advance their cause.
They reveal not only the reality of developing countries suffering from water scarcity, but they also show how one purchase can make even the smallest difference in another person's life.
Another way to optimize your visual content is to create an image gallery that introduces prospects to various similar products. This way, you can highlight the differences of each offer and the characteristics that make a particular product stand out.
It is important to use relevant images that speak volumes about your company, product or brand; there’s no point in using images that do not send a specific and clear message. Again, visual media is a tool that, when used correctly, can increase brand recognition and prospect conversions.
Every social media platform has recommended dimensions for image posts. It varies depending on whether they are ordinary posts, link posts or ad posts.
In our article Size Guidelines to Creating Social Media Images, we provided recommended dimensions for individual posts.
A rule of thumb for social media marketers is to always have the right size for each platform in order to maintain image clarity and the proper proportions.
Having the right-size images on your posts will ensure better visibility across all platforms.
Besides the importance of choosing just the right image, your design should be consistent with your brand.
One of the best ways to maintain consistency in all visual content is to stick to templates. Create various templates for individual social media platforms, and ensure that they deliver your message effectively and that your brand is recognizable.
Stick to a design template and maintain a color palette.
If you are an amateur designer or a graphic artist commissioned to provide monthly visual content for budding startups or for specific companies, there are visual editing tools you can use to ensure that templates and color palettes are consistent with a product or brand.
Dependence on visual communication has increased greatly since 2013. Bloggers, marketers and even journalists are taking the time to prepare visual content to go along with their textual content. The process of visual content creation is now available to every person with access to technology.