Why Visual Content Is Rocking The Social Media World

Social Content Has Gone Visual

The snowball of visual content marketing started with Pinterest – that little, phenomenal, photo-sharing social network, whose recent rise to fame was deemed to be one of the fastest ever in Internet history (a growth rate of 85% percent was reported in the period of January to February 2012 alone). From its humble beginnings in 2010, and with an initial user base of only 5,000 users, it has grown to be one of the largest and most active social networks on the Internet, competing almost on the same level as social networking giants Facebook and Twitter. It now has over 12 million active users.

Clearly, Pinterest’s image-focused site format (also known as “pinboards”- where users “pin” or display images, videos and other visual content) has done remarkable wonders for them. Other social networks are picking up on the trend and coming up with features that place visual content at the helm. Remember Facebook’s Timeline? And the oversized cover photo at the top? The implementation of the Timeline marked a shift from the plain, old, method of socializing to a more engaging and image-driven one.

Couple this with Facebook’s recent acquisition of the photo-sharing and editing app Instagram (which they bought for a whopping $1 billion), and the future of social media is distinctly clear.

Debut of Visual Content Marketing

Businesses and companies know that social media is a very important element in marketing campaigns. An online identity on social media sites can be a huge factor in attracting new consumers and keeping the old ones engaged and interested. Top brands have already successfully integrated visual content into their social media marketing campaigns. Just take a look at GE’s (General Electronics) and Starbucks’ cool Pinboards and Facebook pages. Meanwhile, companies like McDonald’s and Spotify have made their Twitter background images into expressive works of art.

Visual content marketing has recently become the focus of online marketers and businesses. They have learned that visual content is probably the best vehicle they can use to build social signals. Download our whitepaper on how to build Social Signals.

Why You Need To Involve in Visual Content Marketing

1. It turns the abstract concept of brand identity into something tangible.

Pictures let consumers see what your brand is all about. It’s not just about the products and services that a particular brand is associated with, but the overall philosophy and ideas that drive the brand forward. For example: companies usually feature behind-the-scenes pictures on their social networking pages. These images remind consumers about the brand’s values. The choice of image, colors and overall feel of their visual appearances also conveys message about the culture of the company.

2. It puts your message across. Fast.

“A picture paints a thousand words,” the old saying goes. And let’s be honest, most of the time, pictures always seem to grab our attention more than the text that accompanies them. It is for this reason that people find infographics so interesting. Using cool graphics, tables, and pictorial charts, an infographic is able to condense a huge amount of information into a single image. People can instantly gain knowledge just by skimming through a picture, instead of poring over long texts.

3. It steps up user engagement and involvement.

Everyone loves sharing pictures (just take a look at the hugely popular photo-sharing network, Instagram). Dunkin Donuts recently launched a campaign that encourages people to share whatever Dunkin products they are enjoying. These pictures are then featured prominently on Dunkin Donut’s social profile pages. Other companies have similar campaigns. Nikon, for instance, has a wide range of followers that are constantly uploading the photos they have taken with Nikon cameras on Nikon’s official Facebook page. Involvement campaigns like these show consumers that companies are prepared to listen, engage and communicate with them.

4. It drives sales.

Visual content like pictures, infographics and videos can also act as viable promotion devices for products. There are a lot of people that use social networking sites as online stores. And with the rise of visual content in social media, the online marketing process became even more engaging and fun. A study conducted by Shareaholic, a popular online marketing tool, has shown that Pinterest has driven more sales referrals than social network Google+ and video sharing website Youtube, combined. People are also more apt to purchase an item if they saw interesting pictures of it on social networks.

5. It promotes sharing on mobile devices.

Visitors that browse the Internet from mobile devices now form a huge chunk of the Internet’s overall traffic. More and more websites are being made that are optimized for the small screens of mobile browsers. Because of this, smartphones and tablets are excellent devices to display visual content such as images and videos. Online marketers could take advantage of this fact by creating interesting and creative visual content that will make mobile surfers happy to share their Internet finds with other people.

Because of people’s predisposition to visual stimuli, the use of visual content in social media marketing seems to be a very smart and financially rewarding move. It is a very effective medium for consumer engagement and brand identity development. It is also a perfect method to catch the attention of the Internet population’s short attention spans and keep them hungry for more.

About Daniel Tan

Daniel Tan: A veteran Internet Marketer. Founder of SomoThemes, Social Metrics Pro, SEOPressor and XTabApps. Daniel's focus is to simplify marketing with technology, to help marketers reach more people in an organized and effective way.

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