We’ve always been visual creatures and the move to visually based design and communication on web platforms is no surprise. Powerful cameras on smartphones and easy to use photo editing and design apps have made expressing ourselves visually a daily act.
It’s important for marketers to consider the visual aspect of their strategy. So often, the visual piece is an afterthought. Your team has spent time developing a blog post that positions your brand as a thought leader while supporting your SEO program, and what is the last step before hitting publish? Locate a generic stock photo that conveys success or data or [insert buzzword], and you’re off to the races, right?
Wrong. In the B2B space, our feeds are full of these generic representations. We all know the handshake means team work, the dashboard with charts and graphs means analytics, and the lightbulb means ideas and innovation. Like so many trends and changes, B2B typically lags behind B2C in adoption. It’s time for B2B to get visual, visual (sung to the tune of Olivia Newton-John’s 80’s classic “Physical.”)
Visual Content Marketing Stats
In case your personal experience online hasn’t already convinced you that the visual content game is where it’s at, Hubspot published a robust set of visual content marketing statistics and I selected a few compelling stats below:
- When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.
- 51% of B2B marketers prioritize creating visual assets as part of their content marketing strategy.
- Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images.
- Using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19% and clickthrough rates by 65%.
- 70% of YouTube viewers watch videos for “help with a problem” they’re having in their hobby, studies, or job.
Energizing Your Visual Content Marketing Strategy
Whether you need to breathe life into an existing visual strategy or you’re looking to start fresh, here are a few suggestions to help you chart a course. If you’re working in a B2B department like the ones I’ve been a part of, there’s no Hollywood budget waiting to support a new video series or a Vogue photo shoot. That’s ok. Use these low budget tactics to get the metrics you need to get more budget for visual content next year.
Reconsider your blog and social post imagery. Are they eye catching and do they convey meaning? Are they branded? I recommend a free app called Canva. I prefer the desktop version for working on graphics but for those of you who like to design on the fly, it’s just as robust as a phone app. What I like about this software is that it makes creating engaging visual content easy as it offers a multitude of free layouts and templates, and it also makes it easy to stay on brand. You can upload your own logos and photos, you can create your brand colors, and you can create images in batches that feature the same logos or design elements.
Incorporate more video. There are so many ways to start making video a real part of your visual marketing strategy. Why not ask a member of your team to live stream from a tradeshow or industry event? Give a visual tour of your booth or ask your booth staff to say a quick hello. All this is possible with a single smartphone. Too spontaneous for your brand? You can also shoot and edit professional looking videos with a smartphone and a video editing app or software. Have your in-house thought leaders sit down and answer some FAQs or demonstrate a product solution. Hubspot offers these tips for making a video with your iPhone and I use a software product by Techsmith (Camtasia) to edit interview footage.
Check the data and do your research. Use your social media and blog analytics to discover what has worked in the past? Did a blog post with the author’s photo do better than one with an illustration? Look to your history to find insights while also tracking the impact of your new strategy. You also have a great research group at your disposal – your coworkers. Put some of your graphics in the kitchen or by the printer and ask your coworkers to weigh in on what they mean and how the visuals make them feel. Have fun with it!
Visual Content Fun
While I do not promote myself as a graphic artist and I’m almost entirely self taught, it has always been important for me to feel self sufficient when it comes to the tools in my marketing tool belt. I’m a doodler and sketcher; I have no problem drawing something when words aren’t enough. Here are a few fun graphics projects I worked on for a friend who directs the drama program at the high school where he also teaches English.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Poster
Wizard of Oz Poster
Elf Jr. Poster