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You know your stuff. You’re well versed in visual advertising techniques and know that even though we may not necessarily process images 60,000 times faster than text, you need a strong visual content strategy.
But how do you transform the ability to create great images into financial success for your company or your clients? It takes more than great designer skills.
Creating a successful visual marketing campaign requires understanding the business you promote, setting clear goals and having realistic expectations.
The most important thing that you need to understand before you can lead a visual marketing campaign is this: you are not a blogger.
That hurt, didn’t it? This is probably the biggest mistake anyone who tries to start a content marketing campaign and fails will make. Whether you’re using visuals, video or text as your content, you’re not a blogger. You’re a marketer.
The end goal of a blogger is sharing their experiences and insights and building up a fanbase. The end goal of a marketer is bringing in a profit. While many of the marketing techniques you will be using are the same, your goals couldn’t be more different.
When people mix up the two, they start investing thousands of dollars into content, get a lot of followers and engagement, but little to no sales. You won’t hear about these cases in articles about how to get your visual content strategy right, but there are so many of them.
Take a look at this piece of content by an Ohio manufacturer.
While it’s an interesting read, the company was thinking like a blogger and not like a marketer when they created this.
The result? Zero comments, zero reposts, two backlinks. A total failure. No wonder the blog died in mid-2019.
Instead, incorporating beautiful visuals into your blog can be a great way to engage your audience and think like a marketer instead.
Take a look at Visme’s main blog page to see how visual the content is. Pretty much any blog post you click to is also filled with visuals.
If you don’t want your company’s content marketing to stagnate, learn about crafting a visual content strategy.
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Now that you know what you’re doing, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to do that. Start with making your goals super clear.
The main problem with content marketing campaigns is having unrealistic expectations. A visual content marketing campaign can do several things for your business.
It can increase traffic to your website, grow the number of subscribers on your social media page, reinforce branding and promote brand recognition in certain audiences.
However, content can’t fix a broken sales funnel. If you execute the campaign really well, you will get more leads just because your traffic goes up.
So set your goals knowing that visual content marketing covers the upper stages of the sales funnel, make provisions for how you’re going to handle clients down the funnel, and go to the next step.
The audience is everything, no matter what kind of business you have. Whether you do dropshipping or run a SaaS company, you need to understand your audience to make a single sale.
Having a strong understanding of your audience is necessary for visual content marketing as well. You need to know what problems your main groups of customers solve with your products and what values they have.
The most common ways to do that research are to study Google Analytics, Facebook Analytics, and go through users’ social media profiles.
Also, you can use a VPN suitable for torrenting to browse the web or social media from your audience’s locations and conduct personal interviews with people who have already made a purchase from you.
Since we’re delving into visual content, you may also want to inspect what kind of media does your audience. Do they enjoy memes, pages that post interesting facts about the world, long reads, or something else?
Whatever it is, you need to pinpoint the common interests to spearhead your content marketing campaign.
Each brand has a unique identity. Pandora bracelets are premium, customizable, and elegant. People buy them to feel fancy and look upper class. This is reflected in their visual marketing, such as the example below:
On the other hand, 4Ocean bracelets are eco-friendly, simple, and practical. People buy them to help the environment and look a bit DIY.
Take a look at their Instagram feed below. Do you see how their brand values are reflected in their visuals?
The brand defines the message these companies show in their visual marketing, and they couldn’t be more different.
Take your audience’s interests into consideration and craft a message that will be in line with your brand’s and audience’s values.
The last step of creating a strategy is picking the platforms for the content. Here are the most popular options:
A quick point about the last one in case you’re confused. Social media is sure a primary target for visual content marketing, but it’s not the only one. You can actually do image SEO and see great results in traffic.
Create an image that will be at the top of Google Images search, and it will get you thousands of backlinks.
That said, here’s how you choose a social media platform to serve as a basis for your content marketing campaign.
The main factor is the platform’s demographics. According to Sprout Social research, Instagram is best for reaching out to audiences under 35, Snapchat is great for even younger audiences. Pinterest’s demographic is very narrow, it’s mostly women under 40.
While Facebook is used by all age brackets, you would need to stick to video content to be successful.
Keep in mind, though, that meme pages on Facebook are also quite popular. But memes would not be your best bet when creating content for YouTube or TikTok. Those platforms only work for video content.
Age-wise, TikTok’s user base is much younger, with people from 13 to 24 years of age being the bulk of the audience.
Once you define your goals, create a clear brand message and choose the platform, it’s time for specifics. Here are a few content types you can create to get your message across.
Do you still think product photos are those boring pics shot on the seamless background that go to the website’s e-shop? They’re not. In fact, you can shoot pretty much any product in a way that attracts attention and likes.
For instance, this is a product photo.
Adidas both makes a great piece of content that will get shared and sends a positive message to the running community.
Here’s how a jewelry retailer is using their products to craft amazing visual content.
If your audience likes the product, you don’t even need to put a model into the photo to make it interesting to your subscribers.
In the age of advertisement, people are looking for authenticity. Your product photos may be more professional, but 85% of consumers say UGC is more influential.
While your UGC may not be as neat as this photo a user shot for GoPro, it will show you care about customers and that people actually like your products.
What if your business doesn’t have a physical product? One way you could go about creating content for your marketing campaign is lifestyle photos.
The important thing here is to hijack the tactics Instagram bloggers use. Shoot a nice picture to draw attention, but add a short blog post about your business to it.
Another thing you could do if you don’t have a physical product is to create branded illustrations for your posts. Create a style your designer can recreate for scheduled posts and special occasions, and you won’t run out of content ever again.
Here’s a pro tip, create a company mascot to make your company seem more personal in the advertisement. Take a look at Visme's brand mascot video below to get an idea of what we mean.
Do you think memes aren’t a good visual marketing tool? Well, you might want to think again. Tons of brand accounts use memes in their visual marketing strategy, like Chipotle’s post below.
Your brand can easily leverage memes too. Here’s how one entrepreneur handles using memes for exposure. This post gathered twice the regular amount of likes on his page.
According to ClearVoice’s analysis of over 600,000 posts, infographics remain the most effective type of content. If you don’t include humor or being close to customers into your branding and want to come off professional instead, infographics are a great choice.
You can both create long infographics to build links and small ones to post on social media.
According to Animoto, 4 times as many customers would rather watch a video than read a text, especially if the video is under 60 seconds.
While creating great videos is a topic in and of its own, there’s one important thing you should remember. Video marketing is not just a YouTube thing. You can incorporate it into your Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok marketing campaign.
Create Instagram stories of people using your products to combine video with product photos or shoot popular funny videos for TikTok to combine it with memes.
Here’s a sad truth about content marketing. No matter how great your content is, just making it and leaving it out there for people to discover on their own leads nowhere. But there’s a positive side.
Give it a little initial push, and your content will start getting you subscribers on its own.
Start with paid advertising. It will take up a lot of your budget at first, but it’s a great tool. You can set up a campaign on Facebook or Instagram to reach your audience, narrowing the reach down to people who follow specific pages and live in specific communities.
Then, partner up with influencers. Start by getting some micro-influencers on board. These people with 5-10k subscriptions won’t charge you much but still will help your content get around.
The last and most important step is to incentivize sharing and creating UGC. Consider running giveaways that grant a chance to win something big if you make a repost, or discounts to people who post pictures with your products.
Save this article to use as a reference for when you get down to create a strategy. When you are ready, make up a strategy that suits your brand, create infographics and other visual content, and promote it to get traffic and exposure.
Make sure your business has a good conversion rate and is ready to handle clients well. After all, you’ll become somewhat of a public figure after a good visual content marketing campaign.
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