From Words to Pictures: The Shift of Digital Marketing

Attention all digital marketers – customer behavior is experiencing a major change, and it’s going to affect how you engage with and grow your audience. Specifically, it involves a migration away from text towards a much more emotional medium – images. Turns out, between Facebook, Instagram, and Tumblr, consumers share 5,000 images every second of every single day.

Today, in order to be relevant and loved, your brand must think visuallyy and cross-channel. Marketing without words enables you to tap into the power of images – emotions. Images cause people to react, and those reactions can humanize your brand.

Smart brands are investing in capacity-building now. They’re learning to measure visual engagement, testing visual campaigns, creating visual content, and leveraging the content fans have created. These brands are generating awareness and revenue while it is still easy to stand out from the crowd. Apu Gupta, CEO and co-founder of Curalate, a marketing platform for the visual web, shared with Forbes interesting examples of how brands are using these new visual platforms include:

Collaborate with Fans–Visually
Auto brand Buick turned to Pinterest to source the interior and exterior design elements of their new 2013 Encore, asking nine leading design, food, and fashion bloggers to create thematic boards based on each individuals’ passions and lifestyle. Buick’s designers then took inspiration from these boards, which included summer-inspired photography, the chevron pattern, and recipes, to impact the vehicle color, texture and feel. In addition to generating 17 million unique visitors, followers, and users across their social properties, the campaign gave Buick the opportunity to engage with their community visually, generating strong emotional connections and provided the brand with insight on the lifestyle of its consumers.

Creative Optimization
In addition to social media, innovative brands are trying to repurpose images from Pinterest and Instagram for the purposes of the image in a display ad. Ben and Jerry’s asked fans to post photos of themselves enjoying ice cream on Instagram accompanied by the hashtag #captureeuphoria. Two-dozen of these fan photos were then selected for and used in print and outdoor advertisements.

Social Proof
Retailer Free People’s ecommerce site now enables and encourages consumers to upload photos of themselves wearing Free People clothing on specific product pages. The authenticity of seeing real people celebrating Free People’s products provides an endorsement for potential buyers to see.

So marketers, know your brand identity and your brand voice. Even if you don’t have your own content to share, act as a curator and share content that fits your brand’s personality. 
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Amanda Ciccatelli

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