Anyone conducting any kind of marketing work understands that it can be a little tricky. It’s not just the problem of getting customers to buy into your brand and develop new ways of keeping them interested in what you are doing – it is also the daunting levels of competition that businesses face.
Futhermore,you might be surprised to learn that 50% of all of the new information that we learn has been forgotten within just one hour. Fast forward to a week, and an incredible 90% of what we learned has been lost. This is just one of the additional challenges marketers face and attempt to overcome.
Yes, the truth is that if you are going to make an impact with your marketing materials, you are going to need to stand out from the crowd. There are many ways to do this – innovative thinking, witty writing, tapping into customers needs – but perhaps nothing can have the same impact as great visual marketing.
The power of visual marketing
When we talk about visual marketing, we are referring to marketing work that calls on the importance of the visual. This might mean anything from video content, the images on your website, or other visual tools. And while we might be used to thinking about the text on the website as the most important content, visual marketing has become a major factor in recent years.
Interestingly, when visuals are used it has shown to improve learning by up to 400%. This shows that when you can attach images and other visuals to pieces of information, they become more memorable and easy to retain. In marketing, this is crucial, as you want the viewer to remember as much of what you are talking about as possible.
Yes, it is clear to see that visuals can have a really vital impact on marketing. Your customers retain information about your marketing work better when visuals are used. So there is no excuse not to make them an important part of your campaign. But what are the specific ways that visual marketing can be used?
- Innovative web design
You only get one chance to make a great first impression, and you have to remember that this is true of your website as well. When a customer visits your website for the first time, you are presenting them with an idea of what your business is like. This means that if it looks old, stale and tired, customers will apply those feelings to your business. Alternatively, when it looks slick and original, customers take notice.
Of course, it is important for websites to be functional and intelligent, and over the years there have been many challenges with sites putting too much emphasis on appearance, but then not working as effectively as you would like. Today, the best websites combine a sensible structure underneath with dynamic visuals.
- Quality photography
Too many businesses opt for photography that simply isn’t up to the standard that you need. You might think that it is fine simply to use stock images, but stock images stand out, especially as they are all taken on different cameras and create a patchwork approach to the visuals on your website.
Generally, the next attempt at photography is carried out by the marketing team using the camera on their phones. While this might seem the obvious move when everyone has a high definition camera in their pocket – smartphone cameras don’t actually offer the kind of quality needed for great web photography.
The ability to use lens filters, for example, on a professional grade camera can dramatically alter the quality of the image and turn it into something that is striking and has a lot more power in terms of visual marketing.
“An infographic uses graphic design, data visualisation, and short text to get a message across. And it’s all the rage right now,” explains Milena Alexova, writing for Xara “Everyone is creating infographics nowadays. But not everyone is creating effective infographics. There’s an art to creating infographics that go viral.”
Indeed, perhaps more than any other kind of visual content, infographics need a lot of other hard work in marketing to get them seen. However, once they have been able to be effective, they can actually generate a huge amount of incoming traffic and publicity for a business.
- Video content
Video content is increasingly becoming by far the most viewed content on the internet and recent studies such as this one, conducted by Wyzowl, only confirm this further. The trend also strongly indicates that video will certainly not become any less important in the coming years. However, as we have talked about with photography, the quality produced is of paramount importance.
Investing in video content might seem expensive, especially when marketing can have so many expenses, but video content can be used across multiple channels including social, media and your own website.
How to make the best use of visual marketing
Creating stunning visual marketing content is a part of the challenge, but you also need to understand how to deploy it most effectively. Understanding how to make the best use of your visual materials is key to getting the most out of them.
- Encourage sharing – visual content is most effective when it is promoted not by the company that created it, but by others. Adding social sharing buttons to all of your visual content can make it convenient for users to promote it with a single mouse click.
- Focus on branding – you should ensure that all of your visual marketing materials are created with one eye on branding. Visual marketing is most effective when you have a visual style that is instantly recognisble.
- Work across platforms – you should showcase your work across a range of platforms. Images might be great for the website, but they are also powerful on social media, in email campaigns and more.