How Visuals are the Future of Social Media Marketing & our top Social Platforms!
Social Media Marketing is and will always be about captivating people as quickly as possible and this is far easier said than done in such a competitive, dynamic field. It is imperative that marketers keep up with current trends and at present, users are progressively leaning more and more to visual learning.
Images and graphics are far easier to instantly seize user’s attention than textual content, which is not to say that the written word is goes underappreciated in social media marketing, rather people enjoy the convenience and speed entailed in processing a vibrant, snappy yet informative graphic.
Fredrick R. Barnard wrote in 1921 that ‘a picture paints a thousand words’ and that message still rings true throughout social media marketing campaigns across the web.
Taking your Written Content to the next level
As previously stated, text-based content will always be valuable as instructive communication of any kind is self-evidently useful to anyone seeking information. However, there so many how to guides, so many ‘top tips’, so many general pieces of written content and so little time for readers. Images provide people seeking insights into a particular field with an instant idea of the overarching theme of an article, and can be the deciding factor as to whether a visitor will linger on a page to read the written content that accompany the images.
Moreover, spacing out meaningful bursts of text-based content with images allows visitors to pause momentarily and digest what they have just read, thus acting as a natural page break whilst at the same time encapsulating what is being written about in an engaging graphic.
Longer forms of written content aside, from a retail perspective, an image of the product being sold will obviously prove far more eye-catching and conversion-inducing than just a few lines describing the product.
What Social Media Platforms to use?
Facebook and Twitter are quite rightly regarded as the social media giants of today, with over a billion and 270 million users respectively; however there are several other burgeoning, more image-centric social media platforms which could prove fruitful for your social media campaigns.
Let’s take a look:
Instagram has been growing at a rate of knots in recent years, and now boasts over 200 million active users. With over 20 billion photos shared via its service already, the scope for product marketing on this platform is irrefutably vast. As such, brands ought to start their Instagram promotional venture as soon as possible to get ahead of their competitors.
Providing a great way of reaching the grass roots of a brand’s customer base, images of products can be ‘hashtagged’ with keywords and sent out to the world to see. Instagram essentially offers a blank canvas on which you can paint your brand in the style you so desire. For example, you could take in-house photos which reflect a hard-working, yet affable working environment, getting the point across that your team are intent on connecting with their customer base and not just desperate for consumer’s to hand over their cash.
After establishing the initial relationship with their ‘followers’, a brand can offer incentives to users who tag themselves in pictures using the brand in question’s products. Showing everyday folk who appear willing to use their products enables brands to generate high levels of trust in their product and these images could go viral sparking massive returns from a cost-free investment. There is even an app – InstaOrders – which enable consumers to purchase products directly off Instagram!
It’s vine-inspired ’15 second video’ provide brands with a unique opportunity to condense a powerful message into a short space of time, hashtag it with appropriate keywords and share it across their Instagram following. This can provide new products with instant exposure and if used cleverly, consumers won’t be able to shake the catchy message contained within the clip.
Available on smart technology, both android and iPhone, and desktops/laptops, Instagram is a must for any budding brand.
Pinterest is a marketing goldmine. Period. With a spiralling user base standing at a shade over 70 million at present, Pinterest has established itself as the next big thing in social media marketing. It has barely any focus on text, instead relying on the transmission of brainwaves and new-fangled products via imagery.
Pinterest offers a plethora of tools which seamlessly guide marketers towards revenue through their user-friendliness and potential for viral coverage.
A brand can create different group boards, titling them in accordance with the various selection of products ‘pinned’ on each one. Forming B2B relationships is easy – just pin another company’s product on one of your boards and share the love.
The more followers a brand has, the more likelihood it has of its images being ‘re-pinned’. Rich Pins – denoting product pricing and stock remainder – Guided Search and internal sharing buttons all aid consumers in their speedy search of products.
Like Instagram, short videos can be posted on group boards enabling brands to reach their audiences interactively as well as through imagery.
With the majority of its users belonging to the fairer sex, and with respect the push for gender equality, there is a greater market for female-orientated pursuits such as home décor, women’s fashion and jewellery – especially the latter, given its capacity for breath-taking visuals.
If you have a moment, read Jeff Bercovici’s ringing endorsement of the future Pinterest could be in store here.
Instagram and Pinterest are two phenomenal platforms from which to garner increased brand exposure, but there are plenty more with Tumblr, Vine and even Snapchat fantastic mediums through which to leverage visual content.
Factoring in the ever-improving camera technology in Smartphones, sellers can garner exposure through a quick snap taken wherever they are in the world. For example, a photo taken at the top of a mountain can be shared within an hour, concentrating viewer’s attention on any product the photographer chooses to include in the photo.
The best thing about social media is that there are no negative connotations attached to these channels, in the same way there are with more archaic forms such as newspaper advertising with certain newspapers viewed negatively due to their political inclinations.
Rather, these platforms are completely consumer/business-orientated focussed on overseeing and enabling transactions to go down smoothly. They aid in the identification of key target audiences, act as a perfect medium through which to receive feedback and are also very fun & satisfying to use! Brands will be itching to tap into them during 2015 and as they develop, so ought every social media marketing campaign from here to Timbuktu!