Visual marketing uses images, videos, and other visual content to promote a brand and its products and services. Why is visual marketing critical today, and why should it form a significant part of your overall marketing plan?
The answer to both questions lies in three simple facts. First, the average attention span of viewers is dwindling. Next, humans are visual creatures. Last but not least, images evoke stronger and longer-lasting emotions than written words.
How you use and implement the visual elements in your marketing plan is critical to its success.
6 Ways to Implement a Visual Marketing Plan
A visual marketing plan is a collection of marketing strategies that use visuals to create awareness, evoke emotions, and convert site visitors and casual browsers into customers. Visual branding is one of the most powerful tools you can use to establish a connection with your customers.
Let’s look at six high-impact ways of implementing your visual marketing plan in 2021.
1. Identify Your Goal
Build your visual campaign around a well-defined business goal. Goal-setting comes first because your goal will define the type of visual assets you need to create.
Let’s say you want to create a visual campaign for the launch of a new sports car. The goal here is to spread awareness and build anticipation. Your visual campaign would cut across multiple mediums and platforms. You might include:
- Social media images that highlight the car’s performance specifications
- A video tour of the car’s interior and exterior that highlights key features
- A landing page on your website dedicated to the new model
- Interactive tools that allow the user to experience the car digitally
- Television commercials
Keep in mind that from the perspective of an interested consumer, all these are interconnected. Each element should provide a consistent experience to drive them down the sales funnel towards a purchase.
2. Create Separate Strategies for Each Channel
A marketing channel is a platform you use to connect with your customers. Your website, social media platforms, your brick-and-mortar store, and your online store are all examples of marketing channels.
Your visual media strategy for each channel needs to align with how consumers use those channels. Videos work well on social media platforms like YouTube and Facebook. Users on these platforms like to consume both product-related videos and live feeds.
Your choice of visual elements depends on the channel you’re using and the overall marketing goal you are trying to achieve. Visual content and accompanying text also need to be aligned. This will help in creating and retaining brand awareness for the viewer.
Email is another popular marketing channel. Use product images and videos in emails to boost conversions. You’ll need to build a relevant audience for your marketing emails, which can take some time.
3. Be Mobile-Friendly and Focus on a Great User Experience
Optimizing your content for mobile browsing is the first step towards giving the viewer a good user experience. Over half of all internet traffic worldwide now comes from mobile devices.
Visual content works best when placed at the center of the screen with text above and below it. More than half of viewers focus on the top half of the screen. The top two-thirds account for 86%.
A couple of extra tips for maximum results: place the most important text just below the image, and compress large images for faster page loads.
4. Leverage User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is content created by consumers of a brand who are not directly affiliated with the brand. UGC is unbiased and created without an agenda. It helps in building brand credibility and acts as a referral network for non-users.
There are three categories of UGC: text, images, and videos. The type of UGC you include in your marketing strategy depends on your target audience and overall goals.
For instance, if your target audience is active on social media, you would use Facebook and Instagram posts to generate and share UGC. If the audience leans towards review websites, you would use brand reviews posted on websites like Yelp and Google My Business (which you can then turn into infographics or videos).
5. Tap into Social Media Platforms
Social media platforms can help you connect with your users and potential users.
Your visual marketing journey on social media platforms starts with branding your presence. Creating a compelling logo and cover page is a good starting point. Consistency of messaging across different platforms reinforces your brand image and credibility. Use relevant images to illustrate your points.
Create social media-specific videos, too. That means videos with a run time of fewer than 60 seconds. Here’s an interesting fact about Facebook videos: 85% of the videos are watched on mute. So is the messaging of your video impactful even without sound?
Consider doing live feeds on platforms like Facebook and Instagram Live. You can also visualize your data in the form of infographics, which are easy to digest.
6. Align Your Visual Content with Your Brand Identity
Ensure that all your content, including visuals, aligns with your brand’s promise to its customers. You can achieve this in several ways.
Ask your customers for feedback on the images and other visual media you use. You can also create style guidelines for your brand. These should specify your preferred font, layout, and color palette. The goal is to achieve a consistent user experience across platforms.
Pick eyecatching visual assets that make your content memorable.
Build a library of unique visual assets that you can use to create cohesive campaigns.
Visuals can help you build an emotional connection with your customers. A visual marketing plan is an integral part of your overall marketing strategy.
Build your visual marketing strategies around your business goals and customize them for each marketing channel. Make sure to align your strategies with your brand identity at every stage.
Optimize your visual media strategies for mobile viewing to raise consumers’ engagement levels. You can also leverage social media platforms.
Do all those things, and you’re sure to see great results. Good luck with implementing your visual marketing plan in 2021 and beyond!
About the author
David Campbell is a digital marketing specialist at Ramp Ventures. He helps manage the content marketing team at Voila Norbert. When he’s not working, he enjoys traveling and trying to learn Spanish.