Images have never mattered more to marketers, brands, social media managers, and customers alike.
Facebook now owns photo sharing app Instagram. Twitter has beefed up its own photo sharing features. Sites like Buzzfeed that collect images from around the Web are surging in popularity. Pinterest, the network devoted entirely to sharing images, is the new social media darling that also drives sales with users buying the products they pin.
Visual online marketing is here to stay and it has big implications for your business. Here are three steps to implementing a solid visual marketing strategy.
1) Turn your website into a lookbook.
When designing your website to showcase your products or services online, use hi-res images and think about what you want customers to feel as they browse.
How can you use images to create an emotional connection? One strategy is to give context to your images. Show people using or display your product in its natural habitat – a home, café, at the office – as opposed to cold, static product shots. This helps people envision themselves using your product and may inspire them to make a purchase.
If your business offers a service, you can still incorporate images into your web design. Own a spa? Try using a rotating backdrop of serene, peaceful places intermixed with high-quality images of your space. Scale back on the text and let images do the talking for you.
2) Incorporate social for sharing.
Another benefit of using context-rich, hi-res images is that these are the visuals most shared on Pinterest. Pinterest users collect images that speak to the greater theme of the board they’re creating. This means that visually pleasing images within a context are easier to incorporate and more likely to get re-pinned.
Instagram is a social network where users share their own photographs. Twitter also has photo-sharing capabilities. Think about creating promotional campaigns that encourage customers to post to Instagram or tweet photos of themselves using your product or service, at your location, or enjoying the service you provide. Capitalize on the popularity of these apps to drive sales and reach new customers!
3) Remember the big picture.
As with all marketing strategies, keep in mind your long-term, big-picture goals. Using images and visual social media strategies should be just one part of a comprehensive, integrated marketing strategy. The key to marketing success on social channels and beyond is all about producing engaging content—and your visual strategy should be no different.
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