Visuals are the best way to grab your target audience by the brain.
A creative visual catches the eye and gets the visitor to your website to stay and explore. It can also buy you those few extra precious seconds on social media for a user to stop and actually read your content.
Visuals are the attention getter of strong content.
Visuals are such a powerful form of communication that they deserve their own strategy.
Is that over stating their importance? Not at all. Visuals are critical to your business standing out in all that online noise.
Visuals also keep your target audience engaged once they are part of your community.
Where to start?
How to Create Your Visual Marketing Strategy
The foundation of your visual marketing strategy is based on two key elements:
- The first element is your in-depth knowledge of your target audience. The ability to create visuals with impact is based on the insights you have into the emotions that underlie the relationship between you and your target audience. The more you know about your client persona the better you can fine tune the types of visuals you need to create. You want to become an inherent part of their community.
- The second element is your brand style guide. A brand style guide captures the visual elements (such as colour, font, images and filters) of your business personality. Documenting the visual and emotional elements of your brand allows you to strengthen and promote your brand consistently and effectively.
Once you have these two key elements, it is now time to start building your visual marketing strategy.
There are so many fun and creative ways to add visuals to your content. You are guaranteed to find something that best matches your target audience and your business personality.
You are not limited to traditional images either. Why not consider sprinkling in some cinemagraphs, videos, slideshares or infographics.
Explore what connects with your audience and feels like the right fit for you.
Create visuals to build brand authority
Make a strategic decision to brand some of your images with the subtle use of your colours and logo.
Not every image needs to receive this treatment since that can be easily overdone. Instead make a decision that any visual that you have created and that focuses on the core of your expertise should be branded.
This will help to build both your brand recognition and your brand authority. For example, we share marketing tips that are rooted in neuroscience.
We have created a unique branded template that allows us to share great tips and promote the connection between neuroscience knowledge and more effective marketing.
Use visuals for storytelling
Visuals are not just placeholders for breaking up your text wall. Use them to enhance the story you are sharing with your audience.
[Tweet “Use visuals to enhance your storytelling”]
Reach for emotional visuals that tell a story in a single image or sensory visuals that trigger your other senses. Every image you share is telling your audience something about you and your brand so select carefully.
Start to collect images that appeal to you and create an inspiration folder that you can divide up by emotion, sense, target audience, season or holiday.
You can structure it in a way that works best for your content calendar.
Make sure to devote some time to selecting quality images as part of your visual marketing strategy.
Add unique text to your visuals
Adding text to your visuals gives you the opportunity to offer a sneak peek at the subject matter of your post.
You can highlight some keywords, key phrases or capture the emotion behind the post. Don’t fall back on always adding the title to the image. Be creative and think of unique and innovative ways to capture the same essence as the headline without repeating it word for word. This will double your chances of attracting and retaining the attention of your target audience.
Stop reaching for the same ingredients
Other businesses will also be working to up their visual game. Now is the time to add new sources of content to your visual marketing strategy.
Creative visuals don’t need to be expensive or time consuming. Check out this post by Ann Smarty which lists many sites that offer free visuals and tips on how to customize them and make them all your own.
Create your visuals in batches
Part of being strategic is knowing what themes you want to work with.
Hopefully you’ve done your client persona homework already so you know what keywords, key phrases and emotions are going to resonate best with your target audience. Be sure to include repurposing within your visual marketing strategy.
Visuals can be edited, you can add new text, add calls to action and even bring them together into a video or slide presentation. Once you have a batch of visuals prepared your last step is to customize them to each social media platform.
Optimize your visuals to each social media platform
An essential part of a visual marketing strategy is making sure each of your visuals is optimized for sharing across all your social media platforms. Each platform has its own best practices for sharing images so get to know the specifics of the ones you rely on most for establishing your brand and growing your business.
Our next blog post on May 12 will walk you through the details of how to create a visual marketing strategy that takes into account the platform requirements of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Instagram and YouTube. We’ll also be adding in some tips on how to maximize your search engine optimization (SEO) from these optimized visuals.
If you have any favourite visual tips or tricks that you like to use, let us know and we’ll give you a shout out in our next post. We love to share!
Jennifer Arnold, Founder at InnovaMap, Ph.D. in Neuroscience
InnovaMap – we use the science of marketing to connect you with your target audience.
Contact us to learn more on how to start integrating techniques for engaging the brain into all your marketing strategies.