Including visual content in your marketing campaign can provide tremendous benefits to both your inbound marketing and customer experience.
In part 1 of our series we examined the relationship between lead generation, content marketing, and how you can prime your leads to get them ready for your sales team. Today we’ll discuss how visual content can increase your audience and enhance the user experience.
Getting more eyes on your content is a necessary part of generating interest and building brand identity, but sometimes text resources just won’t cut it. The Internet has caused most of our attention spans to decrease to the point where we’ll glance at a page for less than a minute,according to Nielsen Norman, before giving up on it.
So how can we get our message across to our viewers before they call it quits?
The answer is simple: visual content.
The rise of visual content is understandable. The Internet has sped up the buying research process considerably, allowing consumers to make split second decisions about whether your content is worth their time. This is where visuals can really shine. We process visual content much faster than text — about 60,000 times faster, actually.
This means that the best way to share your message with your consumers is to provide images, video, or infographics that they can quickly take in and internalize. In fact, according to HubSpot, visual content is a critical component in all the top B2B marketing strategies.
But is simple content creation enough to provide the brand engagement and sales numbers that you’re working so hard for?
Personalizing Your Touch
Like any aspect of your content marketing initiative, your visual content needs to be focused on your customer and deliver something of value that they’ll be excited to share. Before you start creating though, you’ll need to know what type of content will speak to your demographic.
Does your audience like watching video? Or are they looking for statistic-laden infographics?
To sell to your audience, you first have to understand them well enough to know what they want. Consumers aren’t impressed with stock visuals that don’t provide value to their lives.
Examine your target market, what content they’re sharing, and what their buying preferences are to determine the best type of outreach. Will statistics and facts be enough to sway your consumers? Or will an appeal to emotion and the human touch resonate more? Combining the right type of initiative with effective content is the best way to ensure that your visuals get noticed.
Once you know what type of visuals will work best for your consumers, you can begin creating visual content. No matter what format you choose, your content should follow several general rules:
- Current — Content creation happens so fast these days that there’s little time to review the old before it’s pushed out by new material. Your content should be recent and provided on schedule to maintain consistency.
- Relevant — The content should fill a need that your market has and should be provided with appropriate context for the product.
- Sociability — Customers should be able to interact with your content by commenting, sharing, and discussing with others via social media. More sharing means more eyes on your images.
- Your business needs to support this by engaging in the dialogue and responding to posts to make connections with your customers.
- Create a social media presence for your brand to allow your customers to repost content and publicly align themselves with your brand. This creates a level of pre-approval for their friends and relatives that can do wonders for the authenticity of your content: Demand Gen Report’s 2014 Content Preferences Survey revealed that 97 percent of respondents gave more credence to content that was user-generated and had peer approval. Build on this by utilizing social media as much as possible to create raving fans that will publicly stand behind you.
- Reinforcing — Content should tell your brand story and reinforce your culture, informing your customers about your products and brand personality.
- Ongoing — Visuals should be integrated into your marketing campaign to create an ongoing marketing strategy that is consistent over time.
Effective visual content drives content marketing by providing value-driven content that is easy to process and share with others. Like the other aspects of your marketing pipeline, personalization is critical to this process. You need to identify what types of visuals your market wants to see and devise an ongoing strategy for delivering them. Once you’ve made a connection through your visuals, you’ll be one step closer to building better customer relationships and increasing the revenue that your content is bringing in.
How have you used visual content to engage your audience? Let us know in the comments!