You may have heard the cliché term; humans are visual creatures. Well, here are some interesting statistics to support that fact. A typical human being will process an image 60,000 times faster than text. You get up to 80% retention levels if you use the right visuals. Three days later, the same individual will have a recall rate of 65%. Astute marketers understand the importance of integrating visuals in their strategies.
Visual marketing takes advantage of different elements. Such include Infographics, photos, videos, and branded images.
Our article will provide a guide to visual marketing in 2021.
Understanding the Role of Visual Marketing
If you run an e-commerce platform, you understand the importance of Visual marketing. You have invested in tons of images and videos to sell your products. Chances of conversions are higher if your audiences engage with the content. Since they cannot touch the products, you must convince them to use the right images and videos.
Augmented and virtual reality will further enhance the experience. The same applies to even those who operate brick-and-mortar stores. You will notice attractive branding as a way to entice customers to shop. So what are the best strategies to apply in 2021?
1. Start With Proper Market Research
Market research allows you to understand the audiences and markets better. Incorporating a SWOT analysis will help identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Ask the right questions around the use of visuals to pass key messaging.
Have a benchmark against which to measure whatever areas you need to address. Ask yourself some of the following questions:
- Did it work in the past when you used visual marketing?
- If not, what could have been the reason for the failure?
- What steps can you take to incorporate the use of visuals in your digital marketing strategy?
- Go in-depth, what kind of visuals appeal to your target audiences?
- What are the competitors doing?
Getting data on the market is critical. You will find it less challenging to come up with a visual marketing strategy.
2. Capitalize On Visual Search
Talk to any SEO expert, and they will tell you that the landscape is always changing. Visual search is replacing keyword search amongst online visitors. You no longer need to use specific keywords to get product or brand information.
Take a picture, upload it on the search engine, and you will get the information you need. 2021 must be a year when marketers realize the importance of video and images in any SEO campaign. Some of the basic processes include:
- Image descriptions containing alt text
- Dedicated image sitemaps
- Image file names containing SEO keywords
- Investing in high-quality videos and images
3. Bring Your Photos to Life with Motion
Audiences have a lot of content to interact with online. Less than 10% of businesses do not have a social media presence. Online users are also generating their content. Every single second, someone is uploading or sharing images and videos. You can imagine the amount of competition you will face.
The bad news is the attention span of human beings is very low. We are talking about less than 8 seconds to capture and keep their attention. Quite honestly, even that 8 seconds is an ambitious projection. For mobile users, you have less than 3 seconds.
So what must you do to grab and keep your audience’s attention? How do you convince them that your content is worth their valuable seconds? It is an uphill task that requires a lot of creativity.
Forget about still pictures and bring your photos to life with motion. A moving background, for example, is likely to capture more attention than a still picture. 3D animation, overlays, and background changes are some techniques you can use.
Allowing audiences to interact with images will also increase engagement. Applying the technique with Infographics allows for better consumption of material. The audiences get to determine the pace at which they receive the information. It is all about creating an immersive experience while passing your messaging.
4. The Use of Ephemeral Content
We do not see 2021 letting go of the use of ephemeral content. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat already use it. Marketers need to understand the importance of limiting content availability in engaging interest.
Sharing interesting photos or images for only 24 hours can drive up interest. Companies targeting Gen Z will especially benefit from this trend. The marketing team must maintain consistency. It is easy to lose the interest of the audiences if they do not.
Ephemeral content is a fantastic way to run campaigns. You want to create that sense of urgency so that the audiences snap up whatever you have on offer.
5. User-Generated Content in Visual Marketing
One of the companies that have utilized user-generated content (UGC) well is Coca-Cola. You are probably aware of their Share a Coke campaign. The trend entails inviting customers to share videos, images, text, or audio. Then, you get permission to post it online or use it in your advertising collateral.
It is by no means a new trend, but we forecast that it will not end anytime soon. 2021 will be a good time for businesses to take advantage of all it has to offer. The trick is to get audiences to take part in your campaigns. You get their recommendation on your brand or product without parting with any money.
UGC is a very powerful marketing tool while very cost-effective. Here are some statistics that should convince you of its efficacy.
- You get up to four times higher click-through rates
- It brings in up to 28% higher engagement if you compare it to any other post
- You can achieve up to a 20% return rate and a 90% increase in the time visitors spend on your website
- Up to 48% of customers will depend on UGC for new product discoveries
Inviting UGC from your customers or audiences gives your company a human face. It also makes customers feel like they are part of something great. You can also get valuable insights, depending on the kind of information they share with you.
Visual marketing in 2021 can help a company position itself well in a competitive arena. Marketers must be creative in their thinking. The content they generate should help drive engagement. The use of animation, UGC, and visual search are some of the techniques to use this year.
About the author
Dan has hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007. He has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.