Digital Marketing 11 min read
Written by Natalie Yelton
Content Writer @ Galactic Fed
Expert reviewed by Dallin Porter
Communications Manager @ Galactic Fed
Published 05 Jan 2022
Humans are visual creatures.
Numerous studies tell us this. 65% of us are “visual learners,“ which means it’s better to see information to process it, using graphs, charts, maps, diagrams, and other forms of visual stimulation to interpret information effectively.
The rise in visual marketing tactics makes perfect sense when we understand our collective leaning towards imagery to understand something better.
Here at Galactic Fed, we harness the power of visual marketing daily. We achieve this by deploying complementary tactics for our clients, including creative paid media ads, data-driven landing page design, and engaging social media content, to name a few. We’ve decided to share our top five tactics to deploy when it comes to delivering a successful visual marketing strategy. First things first, let’s define what visual marketing is and what benefits it provides to your company to engage new and repeat customers and grow your business online.
As the name suggests, visual marketing is the practice of using imagery, videos, graphics, illustrations, GIFs, and infographics, and more to engage and connect with your audience. If done well, visual marketing helps your customers picture your products or services more quickly while getting to know your brand and assisting them in making an informed purchase decision.
Today, nearly half of all digital marketer’s content contains visuals to promote and grow their online businesses:
Whether you’re a newly-founded eCommerce business or an established SaaS firm, incorporating visuals into your marketing strategy is vital in telling people what you do and how it can benefit them. Visual marketing achieves this by:
Whether it’s the multicolored mark of Slack or the easily identifiable green used by WhatsApp, visuals quickly form and communicate your brand identity online.
People remember only 20% of what they read, but 80% of what they see, so forgoing the wordy explanations can help when it comes to storytelling, from explaining why you do what you do and how your product or service provides real-life value.
Research shows that we humans pick up on an image faster than we do text-based content. This explains why the average customer finds it much easier to follow a buyer journey that includes imagery alongside the text, compared with text only.
You’ve most likely heard the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words, yes? When it comes to click-through rate (CTR,) a picture is worth a 42% increase.
Ensure all of those valuable images are backed up with effective SEO, so they are easily understood, read, and indexed by Google, too. Read our complete guide to video SEO to learn more.
Now that we’re clear on what precisely visual marketing is and the benefits of incorporating it, let’s move on to the top five tactics Galactic Fed recommends so that your firm can craft a visual marketing strategy that produces impressive results.
A paper recently published by Nature Communications suggests the length of our collective attention is growing shorter, and topics tend to become popular, dropping out of public view at a fast rate.
It’s essential to keep this in mind when developing your visual marketing strategy.
Breaking up your firm’s content into bite-sized pieces - referred to by some in the industry as micro-narratives - is a perfect way to capture that collective attention span. For example, your firm can get several high-quality micro-narratives out of a story that would typically produce only one full-length motion graphic or illustration.
Take Netflix’s Instagram, for example. They managed to promote a number of their popular shows available to stream online, across a handful of Instagram story posts using micro-narratives, with each one promoting two separate shows currently available for viewing:
Source: Netflix Instagram
Factoring in people’s growing interest in video, consider pulling together a short-form video series that promotes your product or service and the problems they solve for the customer. Videos under two minutes have a decent completion rate, at 70%. In addition, online audiences are drawn to short videos, particularly looping animations, like GIFs, they can access directly on their phone’s keyboard as quickly as emojis and photos:
Source: Galactic Fed GIPHY
Simply put, consumers want and expect their content to be personalized. A recent survey of over 1000 people found that 72% only engage with marketing messaging tailored to them, bypassing the rest that comes across as generic.
For your visual marketing to resonate, it needs to be crafted with a specific audience in mind.
How do you make your visual marketing personal?
Firstly, you need to have a firm grasp of your buyer personas. And empathy-driven content seems to be the untapped resource when it comes to B2B marketing.
Personalized stories that show rather than tell how you solve a problem your key audience faces can be extremely powerful, as displayed by HubSpot and their testimonial video by Harley Davidson:
Accessible visual marketing means designing content that’s usable by everyone. Here are a few accessibility guidelines to follow when developing visual content as part of your marketing strategy:
Make sure all of your videos have subtitles. This not only helps people with hearing impairments, but it’s also useful for people in crowded settings or who don’t want to put on headphones to watch your video in public.
Include a transcript that has the text version of any speech featured in your company’s videos. The gold standard is supplying a descriptive transcript, which includes a description of what’s happening in your firm’s video.
An audio description is a speech version of a descriptive transcript, and it makes it easier for blind people or people with visual impairments to access your content.
All images featured on your company’s website should include alt text, a short text that describes what’s going on in the image in a concise, neutral way. Screen readers pick up this text and read it to the site visitor as they come across an image, so long file numbers or unhelpful information can cause massive usability problems for visually impaired people.
Source: Girls Who Code
4% of the world’s population has some form of color blindness, which means that using only color to get across critical information can cause problems for some of your website visitors. Take advantage of patterns, fill, sizing, borders, icons, or whitespace, in addition to color.
When using color in your visual marketing, make sure that the contrast is sufficient enough that site visitors can read your text and see the difference in color. Not sure if the color contrast you’re currently using in your visuals is enough? Use the handy online color contrast checker to double-check your company’s color combinations.
Sans serif fonts are considered the gold standard because they are easiest to read and don’t include any small decorative markings. Try to limit the number of fonts your company uses to two and always use at least size 12 font, using bold for emphasis instead of italics.
Try to position yourself as your customers’ helpful friend throughout their buyer journey. When someone lands on your website, they may not know yet what they intend to buy. Guiding them through their shopping journey with the help of visuals can mean the difference between a happy customer completing a purchase and a confused visitor who exits your site.
A great starting point is placing relevant visuals of customer reviews and testimonials on your homepage to earn site visitors’ trust.
Later in the buyer journey, you can place high-quality visuals on key web pages that help describe your products and services, allowing your customers to visualize your products better, leading to informed decision-making and ultimately a purchase. Check out Galactic Fed’s definitive guide to content marketing and the marketing tunnel to gain a thorough understanding of the buyer journey and how to develop visual marketing assets that support it.
User-generated content, or UGC, remains one of the most powerful elements of any visual marketing strategy.
UGC, or as it’s also known as - earned media - can include social media posts, images, testimonials, comments, videos, blogs, and more.
The users themselves create this type of visual content. That’s why it’s considered one of the most trustworthy forms of brand marketing. If you’re entirely new to user-generated content, have a read of our beginner’s guide that will get you started today.
Whether you’re creating a demo film of your service offer or uploading a client’s testimonial video, keeping it concise and under two minutes long will ensure it’s viewed until the very end by the most amount of people.
Make it personal and explore the use of empathy-driven content to make your visual marketing assets shine. By following a handful of accessibility principles on the use of videos, images, color, and font, your company can be sure everyone can digest your messages with ease.
Think about the buyer journey and how different visual assets can support people at different stages. And finally, explore the use of user-generated content to supercharge your visual marketing strategy.
Beyond our top five tactics, Galactic Fed would love to help your company get the most out of its visual marketing. Reach out to us today if you’d like a helping hand.
Content Writer @ Galactic Fed