That’s why it’s better to show something rather than to tell something in the process of teaching or learning, and it’s much easier to persuade someone to do or buy something (actually, 43 percent easier) if visual tools are used during a presentation. This fact is becoming even more obvious in the era of smartphones, with the average user’s attention simply crumbling when faced with a block of text with no images inserted.
If you’re building a brand, having visuals as a part of your social media marketing strategy is a must. First of all, a neat and consistent design tells people something about your approach – it shows you have an eye for detail and that you’re devoted to what you do. This way, you’re creating a sense of trust in your online community and with a really unique and recognizable design, you can improve your visibility on social networks significantly. There are several kinds of visual material that you can use to catch the eye of your audience, and we’ll take a quick peek at each one of them.
The world of digital marketing is very well acquainted with the fact that not breaking blocks of text with images is a great way to make people leave your website in a matter of seconds. No matter how important and well-written, the text simply won’t get enough attention and engagement without an image attached to it. Actually, adding an image to a Facebook post increases engagement 2.3 times on average, and this can make all the difference.
It will take additional effort, though, for either you or your community managers, to find an appropriate photo every time to accompany your text. Superimposing short texts over the image is also something that brands commonly do on social media, thus conveying the information and catching the eye of the audience at the same time. However, this doesn’t have to take too much of your time, since you can always batch-produce a pile of images of this sort using software like Canva and then schedule them in advance. Just find a few patterns that work for your audience and use them over and over – it’s a simple trick that can easily make you more visible and recognizable.
When it comes to the costs, this approach is not necessarily expensive. Surely, getting a professional photographer, cutting-edge gear and a top-class designer is not cheap at all. But it’s not the only way to go. For instance, if you’re running a food business, you can easily find free food stock images and an inexpensive software with the most basic editing tools, and this might be just enough.
A big advantage of infographics is that you can tell people about serious stuff in a way that’s not boring or tiresome to them. A well-designed infographic can convey any message in a straightforward, simple and appealing manner. This way, some data, statistics or insights that you use in the infographic may reach people who would otherwise never put in any effort to read about the topic were it presented in the form of plain text. And they could actually find it interesting. Of course, it’s crucial that the data you use is double-checked and your design flawless, or otherwise the infographics won’t do the job.
With memes, you should be careful. On the one hand, they’re very easy to make and if you have a marketing team with a really fresh sense of humor, employing the memes in the right way can attract a lot of attention. On the other hand, you have to think twice about who your audience is, since memes usually do the trick only for the younger population, teenagers and students.
Therefore, if sharing memes absolutely doesn’t fit your general style and voice and if your target audience doesn’t start their day by scrolling through funny images on 9gag, don’t do it. If your tone and content tend to be rather serious, then uploading memes could cause a few raised eyebrows and unfollows among your followers. However, if you’re actually addressing the youth and your product or service is aimed at them, there’s another danger – you and your team might be, simply speaking, too old for that. If your sense of humor remained in the 80s or 90s, the kids will recognize that and the memes will have a counter-effect – you’ll just look like a bunch of miserable middle-aged outsiders desperately trying to fit in and look cool. You have to avoid that.
Over the course of the last couple of years, videos have been reigning the world of social media. The power of videos has been really understood just recently and community managers still haven’t started using it to the full extent. Different social networks have been recently playing with their algorithms in a way that gave huge boosts to video content. According to a study, 80 percent of users would rather watch a video made by a brand than read a blog post. Still, as of 2017, only 15 percent of marketers actually used videos in campaigns they executed. This means that video is a tool that’s not just powerful, but also still far from being overused and thus can make a real difference between you and your competition.
Sharing videos on social networks can also be a great way to attract people to your website or get them to subscribe to your email list. You just have to offer them interesting video content on social media and let them know they can get more of the same on your website or through email. Making videos might seem expensive, but in this day and age, you can make quality video clips with virtually no expenses – a phone with a decent camera and a simple editing program might actually be all you need.
In any event, the importance of visuals in your digital marketing efforts is huge and being stingy when it comes to this is not the best idea. Paying for a photo, a designer or an editor will definitely be money well spent. In the years to come, people’s attention span won’t be getting any longer, they won’t start choosing 4000-word blog posts over 4-minute videos and the need for visual content will certainly grow. And like it or not, you’ll have to adapt to this.
**About the Author: Emma Miller is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in marketing, startups and latest business trends.