Marketers are always looking out for new and innovative ways to engage with customers. There are a plethora of options available for them to take wise marketing decisions.
This year more than ever, visual content is going main stream. Pinterest is using imagery as its main content, and within a few months hundreds of different websites have adopted a ‘Pinterest like’ design. Companies are switching to Tumblr instead of traditional blogs, with little text and lots of imagery. Facebook is making your profile more visual with the Timeline and the new image gallery, not to mention Instagram.
Visual and social web together have given contest marketing an all new definition. According to PR Daily News, Pinterest is now the third most-popular social network in the U.S., while photo-sharing platform Instagram recently surpassed 80 million users. Partly why companies are seeing such strong adoption to campaigns conducted through these social networks is because people are able to express themselves more freely and creatively through multiple types of visual media. The colour and presentation of visuals used on social media can act as an extension of your business's branding style.
The big plus point with visual marketing is the engagement it creates and customers feel a powerful connection to the companies and brands that have invited them to participate on a visual, creative level and then share their work.
The online arena is witnessing a shift to visual marketing. The shift is much to do about how consumers access the internet as increasingly people do so with smartphones and tablets.
Facebook’s early growth was much about the ability to share photos with friends and family and the rapidly rising popularity of Instagram and Pinterest only reinforces that we are drawn to images. The advertising industry has long understood the effectiveness of a relevant image to reinforce the desired message.
The numbers tell the story well. According to EyeforTravel’s recent consumer report, the most popular way to use social media in the US is to share travel photos and videos which they are doing via their mobile phones. In fact today most people in the US and UK have a smart phone, which is the device of choice for photography because of significant improvements in quality over the past few years.
Use images to help bring about emotional reactions to your brand stories. Well chosen images can make people feel something that puts them in the right mindset to react more strongly to the text of your stories, and be more inclined to share this information.
McDonald's, one of the leading sponsors of the London Olympics, used Instagram to communicate various messages throughout the games. The company used pictures to tell its stories in new ways and encouraged fans to do the same. The director of social media at McDonald's noted that brands are seeing increasing levels of engagement around pictures compared to text, supporting IFTF's findings.
Social media is supporting contest marketing fully and we see that people really enjoy competing and want their creativity to be appreciated. Consumers invest their time and effort and in turn the brand message is driven home giving marketers a bright opportunity to tap these consumers. Therefore, every new aspect of social media is helping marketers give their marketing and communications mix a boost.