A look into how digital content marketing is turning more visual and what that means for you.
We’ve all been expecting it, and now online content is trending more visual than ever. People are no longer just viewers in the digital world; they’ve become players in the game and want engagement. This is no surprise considering how image-based content receives engagement rates that are a whopping 600 times higher than text-based content.
While blogging and content marketing were the big trends in 2013, this year, we’re going visual. Look at the major social networks like Pinterest, Instagram, and even Snapchat, and the number of people signing up for these services, and you will see how evident the visual trend is. There is a plethora of distracting content online, and viewers are becoming behaviorally more receptive towards visual cues.
Let’s take a look at a few examples of visual content and what we can learn from them:
Facebook’s Video Ad Roll-Out
Last year 77% of international internet users watched some form of video online. It was only a matter of time until the beloved social media giant, Facebook, started taking advantage of videos. The company whose motto is “Move fast and break things” actually took several months of research to roll out its strategy for video advertising.
The formula consists of a 15 second video playing on your timeline without sound. If you want to watch the video, you can click for sound or continue scrolling past the video. This combination is a nice way of tying in the needs of users and advertisers alike since the videos aren’t too disruptive, but are different enough to catch viewers’ attention and increase engagement. Video popularity is rising as people slowly shift away from television to mobile, and video ads on Facebook can be a great tool for brands to maintain their video presence.
Pinterest’s Rising Power
Pinterest’s popularity as the image-driven platform is increasing. We know Pinterest as the online album where millions of users “pin” images and categorize them into groups ranging from fashion, food, travel, and DIY projects. But the social media platform has grown to be more than just a “Pinboard.” Having a Pinterest Business Account is a strategic move for many companies as it makes the brand more engaging and shareable. Pinterest’s usage model is based on finding interesting content and sharing it with other users, which is invaluable when it comes to link building and branding. Facebook is still the leading social media site driving traffic to retailers, but Pinterest is catching up fast. According to Adobe’s Social Intelligence Report, Pinterest referral visits increased by 89% last year, while Facebook’s dropped 15%, demonstrating the growth potential that Pinterest offers for brands.
Snapchat’s Sneak Peeks
The mass appeal of Snapchat is in the vanishing, in-the-moment content that gives users limited seconds to view an image or video. Brands like the Philadelphia Eagles have started thinking creatively with this new medium. The sports team started a Snapchat campaign that attracted over 7,000 fans in one week, and provided fans with everything from apparel promotions to behind-the-scene videos of the players singing “What Does the Fox Say?”
Other brands like the University of Oregon Athletics have also started taking advantage of this unique social networking opportunity. If utilized correctly, Snapchat can be an effective promotional tool to raise awareness for events, attract a fan base, and even give out coupons. The challenge is thinking creatively in order to give users what they want in just a few seconds, while creating a lasting impact for the brand’s reach.
What Will This Mean for You?
If you’re a visual person like me, 2014 has great trends in store for you. But even as consumers, we have to be smart about the advertising we are digesting. Quick videos and images (if done right) can be increasingly effective because they force brands to think outside the box in order to show off their products without spamming us with heavy texts and long persuasive messages. Check out Intel’s ad. Simple yet moving, right?
Now if you’re a business, this shift means you will have to start thinking visually in order to stay competitive and to build your brand voice online. We all know how important optimized and relevant content is for websites, social media, blogging, etc. Content will always be key. However, it’s time to expand our understanding of content marketing and tie in unique visual elements that will become essential to the success of your brand's digital strategy. Whether it’s Facebook advertising or a website redesign, be proactive and think outside the box for new ways to visually engage with your customers.
Sound complicated? At Adpearance, we have an eye for design. We keep aesthetic engagement in mind while creating effective content, campaigns, and websites. From social media marketing to AB testing, we can work with you to integrate visuals into your online presence and generate results. Reach out to the #Nerdherd to see how we can spice up your brand online.