Visual branding has become the holy grail of marketing. Inbound marketers are adding relevant images to the website. Outbound marketers are selecting email templates carefully to impress recipients.
Social media is a buzzword for visual content promotion. Studies show that colored visuals increase one’s willingness to read lengthy pieces of content by 80%. That’s not all. Seasoned marketers consider visual assets as key to communicating. Social media is where the bulk of this communication takes place.
Social media is not simply a platform for visual communication. Here are some of the ways it facilitates visual content promotion:
Reuse the same content
Yes, content is the king. But not everyone is allowed to enter into the kingdom. Rhetorics aside, steady content production is often difficult for small and mid-size companies. The reasons being:
- They have to find professional writers who charge $50-$100 to create a favorable narrative for the brand.
- Creating unique content is hard.
- Branded content is in the process of being replaced by UGC because people trust neutral sources.
Marketers often resort to content curation, which lacks originality. Repurposing old content is a much better alternative as it carries a brand’s signature. A blog post can be summarized and an infographic can be created based on the summary. The information in the blog would be retained, only the presentation would be more engaging.
Social media is the best place to share reused content in a visual format.
Even though infographics are 30 times more likely to be viewed than text-based content, some people lack the patience to go through these formats. For such people, pinnable short graphics can be used to highlight small data sets, which they are obviously not going to notice in a 1000+ word long text content.
How-Tos and DIY
Customers don’t just want to buy, they want to form a relationship with brands. Again, not just any relationship but an interactive relationship.
To form and nurture such a relationship, brands need to constantly update and inform customers about latest industry trends and data. How-Tos and DIY handbooks serve this purpose. For How-To lessons, visuals can be highly useful. Visuals are equally useful for DIY. Alongside graphics, videos and podcasts can be used for laying out DIY and How-To guidelines.
Companies use YouTube to upload their instruction manuals. A 3-minute long video can convey the message that a 2000+ words long content often fail to deliver, largely because people don’t read the content in its entirety.
The chart below shows how much time readers might take to complete reading a lengthy piece of content:
The human attention span is shrinking, and hardly any reader is generous enough to donate 5 minutes of his time to brands. But when it comes to YouTube Videos or a podcast he can listen to on the go, he has all the time in the world.
Hence, How-To guidebooks should best be shared in terms of audio-visual content. Why share them on social media?
Because that can heighten the engagement quotient.
Last but not the least, the power of customer testimonials is immense. Testimonials without visual components lack authenticity and credibility. But when video testimonials can reinforce trust and credibility.
It makes more sense to share those testimonials on social than featuring them on the website. When shared on social media, customer testimonials can go viral, fetching publicity for the brand. Additionally, they can offset negative publicity.
This particular aspect of visual content social media combo, along with its benefits, are very easy to comprehend.
Earning more CTA clicks
It’s tough getting people to click on CTA buttons. Visual content can make this task easy, but not unless social media is added into the mix.
Content with relevant visuals get over 90% more views than content without relevant visuals. While that sounds encouraging, less than 30% marketers have the plan and apparatus to organize their visual assets.
Social media allows them to harness the power of visual content. A whopping 37% increase in engagement is likely when Facebook posts are accompanied by images. Graphic and audio-visual content can drive more CTA clicks than mundane, non-visual content. Brands can spice up their call-to-action pitches with visuals on social media, share those visuals on social media and get large chunks of traffic to their landing pages.
Experts believe when prospects are at the end of the funnel i.e. on the landing page, they feel a subconscious impetus to click on CTA elements. At this juncture, brands can push them a little bit. At this juncture, they have the liberty to be promotional.
Instead of the boring “Click Here” or “Download” or “Purchase Now,” brands should add self-promoting punchlines along with cover photos and other graphic components.
Social media is where they can announce it to customers and non-customers alike.
Is timing really crucial?
Social media is the powerhouse for big data. Analysis of user behavior is the underlying cause behind pattern detection. Among many discoveries such analysis has led to in the past, one is how the timing of branded posts impacts engagement.
What’s really interesting is the “most opportune time” theory doesn’t apply to visual content. It applies only to non-visual content. Videos are seen by people on Facebook and YouTube 24/7, provided the thumbnail image and the caption are super exciting.
Not just videos, GIFs and cinemagraphs can also trigger engagement and there’s no recommended time to share them with fans on social. First, employees access social media from office. Second, almost everyone these days use Smart devices. So they can enjoy visual content anytime. Even on their commute to work or when make time when they are busy.
The timing bottleneck ceases to be a bottleneck for brands when they share visual content on social media. Another proof that social media aids visual content promotion.
Social media is the lifeline of visual content promotion. Instagram and Pinterest are dedicated networks for visual content. It’s not that brands don’t know that. It’s that when it comes to framing best strategies, brands fail to excel. Hopefully, the points discussed here in this article will help them in that pursuit.