How to get Visual to Boost Your Brand and Sales

Everywhere you look you see visual marketing — pictures, photos, graphics and/or videos. What are today’s visual marketing trends, platforms and tools?

First, this infographic should convince you that you need to include visuals in your marketing strategy. Below the graphic, are specific content strategies that you can implement right away…

If you want your marketing messages to stand out — get visual.

Let’s breakdown your Visual Marketing Options:

get permission before taking a customer's photo or video

Video Marketing

For video marketing to be effective, you should be creating at least 2 videos a month. That takes some planning. And I bet you’re thinking it’s going to be expensive. Sure if you have the budget, investing in professionally created videos to put on your website is recommended for branding. Still, with today’s smartphones and tablets, you can easily record videos on your own. It’s OK that they look casual and impromptu. The important thing is that you get your marketing message across and have a clear call-to-action (CTA) at the end so the viewer will do what you want them to do.

Here are some of your Video Marketing:

  • Native Video: This is when you prerecord a video and upload it directly into Facebook, LinkedIn, or IGTV — Instagram’s video app. Prior to this, you just shared a link to the video from YouTube or Vimeo, but the networks give more visibility to native video. On LinkedIn, you can even start recording directly from the mobile app. Facebook now has “Watch” for users to watch videos. On both Facebook and LinkedIn you can upload videos to your individual profile as well as your business page.
  • Live Broadcasting: Facebook Live, YouTube Live, Instagram Live and Twitter’s Periscope allow you to broadcast yourself from a mobile device or a laptop as long as you have a good, strong wifi or cell signal. As of now, LinkedIn is still working on the live feature, but you’ll need a third party broadcasting service which is an extra cost. On Twitter, live feeds get top visibility. If you have several devices like a laptop, smartphone and a tablet, you can broadcast simultaneously onto more than one network. Do this for a while to see where you get the most response. This also takes some work, so it helps to have another person with you. After you’re done broadcasting on Facebook, YouTube and Periscope, you can save the videos and share them to your followers, even embed them on your website as a blog post.
  • Stories: These are short slideshows or videos on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. Basically, you’re telling a visual story of your product or business.
  • Presentations with voice-over: This may be the simplest way for most people — especially B2B businesses — to produce videos. Write up your script in the presentation presenter notes and rehearse it before recording.

Here are some Video Marketing tips:

YouTube video mobile
  • Invest in a tripod with a clamp for your phone or tablet.
  • Plan what you’re going to say and do.
  • Use the free video editing software programs. If you’re on a Mac, you have iMovie, on a PC, you can download Movie Maker for free from Microsoft.
  • Good lighting is key to all videos. Don’t put the light behind you — you’ll look like a silhouette.
  • Make the first few seconds compelling enough so the target audience is enticed to watch the whole thing.
  • Always end with a clear CTA. Make is easy for people to do what you want them to do.
  • Think vertical.

Pictures and Graphics:

If you run an eCommerce, B2C business, pictures are key to selling your products — especially on Pinterest and Instagram. But what about B2B businesses like accountants and consultants who don’t really have visuals with a wow factor? That’s where infographics come in. Simply, they are graphics with information. It’s a way to take non-appealing data and make it visually appealing.

Tips for using Pictures and Graphics:

  • Make sure all pictures and graphics are of good quality.
  • Don’t make the text not too small.
  • Always brand them with your logo and website. If you’re not paying for advertising on Instagram, links don’t work in posts so it’s important to have your website on the graphic.
  • Put a Call-to-Action (CTA) on the graphic. Tell people what you want them to do.
  • Take colors into consideration. There is a psychology of color.
  • Use the free graphics tool, to create graphics.

Personalized Email Marketing with Videos:

Marketing Automation Workflow

Videos should be an integral part in your email marketing automation. One of the purposes of your website is to convert visitors into leads — people somewhat interested in what you have to offer — that’s called lead generation. Unless you cater to impulse buyers, more than likely, you’re not going to get a sale on the first visit. You need to capture that lead with an enticing CTA — give them something in return for them giving you their email address. Once you’ve got that email address, you can send them marketing emails to nurture that lead into a sale. The best way to do that is to ask one or two questions (no more than 3) on the landing page of the CTA offer that will segment your email list. That way, you can personalize subsequent emails with videos based on their responses.

If the message in the email is not relevant, you’ll lose the lead. They’ll unsubscribe in a click. It takes some planning, but once it’s setup, marketing automation works all by itself.

Personalized emails can also work well after a networking event or trade show.

User-Generated Content:

There’s no better customer testimonial than a picture or video of them wearing your clothing or using your product. That’s what’s called User-Generated Content (UCG). Since Facebook changed their algorithm to give more visibility to users’ posts, the best thing you can do to get your business noticed is to have a user upload a picture of them at your shop or restaurant, wearing your clothing or gear and tag your business on it. That’s where hashtags come in. Unfortunately, if they’re on a mobile device, you can’t tag a business on Facebook so it links to your page. You can, however, on Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Make sure you get permission!

You can do a contest with a hashtag. Tell customers to post themselves with your product, create a unique hashtag and spread the word. Make sure the rules of the contest are clear and you specify that any pictures entered, become your property and you have full license to use them in marketing.

If you have a brick-and-mortar store or restaurant, the best time to get them is when they’re there and are happy. Train your staff to offer to take a picture of their group in the restaurant or trying on a dress with their cell phone.

There’s really no reason why you shouldn’t incorporate visual marketing into your marketing strategy.

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How to get Visual to Boost Your Brand and Sales
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Giselle Aguiar

Giselle Aguiar is a social media, inbound and content marketing specialist and trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields.