Businesses are increasing their online visibility with the adoption of social networks. Digital marketing is changing the way brands are seen and want to be seen. Social networks based on pictures and videos are become increasingly important.
If we look at this infographic by Qmee of what happens online in 60 seconds, we can see that digital content is more visible than ever. There are many business benefits to using visual content in marketing, from recruitment to sales.
Brands become more humanized as visual content is more dynamic, entertaining, and has a higher share rate. Let’s look at the most popular image-based channels and how businesses can maximize them for brand storytelling.
The Big Four
- YouTube reaches 1 billion users every month, with 100 hours of video uploaded every minute.
- Pinterest now has 70 million users and the number of Tumblrs is reaching 111 million.
- With more than 130 million users, Instagram is also well used by individuals and celebs to share filtered images.
- People are now sharing images, videos and gifs faster than texts and links. This evolution towards visual content was evident in a study by M Booth last year, stating that videos were shared 12 times more than text updates on Facebook. This is a trend that is confirmed with the latest success of Vine, the mobile app created by Twitter to shoot and share only 6 seconds videos. It now counts 40 million users.
Ones to watch
Many mobile social networks have appeared in 2013. Here are three that I think might be the next big thing in visual storytelling:
- Snapchat, a mobile app where pictures can be sent and then automatically deleted
- Thumb enables picture-sharing with a community to ask for advice
- Hi lets you share images and stories using geolocalization
Be more visible by being visual
Before selecting the channel to use, you should think about the message you want to share and ask yourself the following key questions:
– Do you have the right resources? Sometimes it is okay to shoot an amateur video using a smartphone because it fits the purpose. However, most of the time you will need good video production and photo editing tools to brand your content.
– Does the content fit your brand? Once you publish an image or video it’s out there! The digital world is instant and the consequences of an ill-judged image can be disastrous. Always keep in mind that if you want to use visual content, it has to be fun and dynamic, relevant to your audience and appropriate for the channel whilst, importantly, fitting your brand.
Who is getting it right?
- Starbucks is followed by 1.5 million Instagram users simply publishing entertaining pictures of its products
- General Electric has a really entertaining Pinterest page with pictures of – as they say – “badass” machines. GE has also just launched a #6secondscience campaign on Vine to encourage people to submit videos
- Coca Cola created a Tumblr account advertising the concept of happiness
In summary, to successfully integrate visual content into your marketing strategy, what you share must be dynamic and useful – or funny. When you get it right, visual content can elevate and differentiate you from your competitors.