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The Rich Get Richer: The Rise of Visual Social & What It Means

Rich Media for PRHave you noticed that your time on social media involves more audio, video and images than it used to? If so, you’re not alone.

The preference for video, audio and images has forever changed social media and given rise to a more effective means of reaching target audiences.

Today’s social media marketing and PR strategies need to go beyond words. The most effective campaigns and tactics use audio and visual communications to attract audiences, influence behavior and effect business goals.

Our latest white paper “Engage and Influence Consumers on Visual Social Media Channels” explains social’s multimedia boom, how it benefits communicators, and strategies for using Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and SlideShare.

Here are some highlights from the white paper.

The rich get richer

While standard social networks like Facebook and Twitter populations have more or less plateaued, rich media networks like Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and SlideShare have seen significant growth.

Instagram’s user base grew from zero in October 2010 to 130 million by June 2013. Its popularity has only increased since then.

Rich media networks also help brands target specific niches. Pinterest, for example, has an audience that skews heavily female. SlideShare is popular among working professionals.

The old dog YouTube keeps pace with the relative social media pups, too. Digital video viewing increased from 13 minutes per day in 2012 to 27 minutes today.

What’s the use?

Yes, rich media networks are popular and target niches, but what does that mean for your brand? Check out these three ways rich media networks can benefit your communications:

1. Media relations support

Media Relations - Rich Media PR

Reporters use social media to find stories, and rich media networks have become just as important as mainstays Facebook and Twitter. For example, Instagram breaks news just like Twitter.

Content can also become the news like when a YouTube video goes viral. The more your community engages with content, the more valid it appears and the more likely a journalist is to turn it into a story. If rich media assets accompany your story, it makes your content even more appealing and newsworthy.

2. Influencer outreach

Influencer Outreach - Rich Media PR

It’s not just reporters who fall under the spell of a good visual. Influencers love them, too. After all, distributing compelling content is how many of them build their audiences.

If pursuing an influencer relationship, make sure to provide them with everything they need to talk about your brand. That includes articles, white papers, e-books, interviews, tickets and samples, says CBAC CEO Andrew Cravenho.

The more your content suits their needs, the more likely it is to be accepted and shared with their communities.

3. Target and engage audiences

Target Audiences - Rich Media for PR

Even though visual media is becoming more popular doesn’t mean it is one size fits all. It’s still important to build content for specific audiences.

Understanding the demographics of the platforms you use is extremely important. You also need to supply content for people in every stage of the customer journey.

“Creating effective and engaging visual content that is outside the box requires a deep understanding of your audience personas,” says Gregg Dinho, PR director at Roberts Communications, Inc. “This level of insight allows for more refined targeting and personalization.”

Providing tailored content to people who are different stages of engagement with your brand sets you up to meet your audience’s needs and drive business outcomes.

What should you do?

Want specifics for using Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube and SlideShare for PR? Get our free “Engage and Influence Consumers on Visual Social Media Channels” white paper now!

Tags : social media

About Brian Conlin

Brian Conlin is a content marketing manager for Cision. A former journalist, he enjoys researching and developing accessible content. When not writing, you will find him watching baseball and college basketball, sampling craft beer and enjoying Baltimore. Find him on Twitter @BrianConlin13.

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