Did you know 93 percent of human communication isn’t verbal, according to psychology.
In fact, text is a man-made artifact. The more reliant you are on text, the greater the chances of readers misunderstanding your message.
Text can have different interpretations, but visuals are universal. The human mind also processes visuals quickly and retains messages within them for a long period.
Need to be convinced about why you should use visuals in marketing?
- Help you communicate in seconds what text would take minutes to communicate. That kind of speed in communication is an advantage of channels like social media.
- Help you express what you can’t with text (e.g., data, studies, emotions).
- Save you a lot of time. See something you want to share with fans? Take a screenshot, annotate it, and share. The alternative of this would be writing a post and losing points in the process.
The final point is a personal favorite of mine. I’m a blogger and so are (most of) my Twitter followers. Sometimes, I find excellent ideas from other bloggers that I want to share and discuss with my Twitter community. The quickest way to do this is by taking a screenshot, highlighting the areas I want people to focus on, and sharing it with short comments.
Visuals can help you express so much. There are multiple types of visual content and endless ways to apply them in your content marketing strategy.
Here are 10 awesome examples of visual content marketing to inspire your campaigns.
1. Out There Starts Here
Don’t sell a product. Sell an experience or a life-altering solution to a painful problem. Who better to look at for inspiration when following this marketing principle than a travel agent like Expedia?
Expedia is an aggregation service that sells travel tickets, accommodations, and holiday packages, and they need new ways to keep their customers engaged over time.
They found a way to continuously thrill customers through their visually stunning, travel experience blog called “Out There Starts Here.” The blog’s posts are focused on travel tips, ideas, and inspiration that their audience might need for their next trip, which they might be lured to book with Expedia.
2. Liking Isn’t Helping
A lot of content is being shared every day on social media – be it news, entertainment bits, or marketing propaganda. In this environment, the intent behind the post is often lost, along with the sensitivity and seriousness that it sometimes requires.
Crisis Relief Singapore launched a campaign to address this fact and called it “Liking Isn’t Helping.”
The campaign included a series of Photoshop treated shocking images meant to illustrate how social media actions and sharing doesn’t do much to contribute to the causes.
3. AirBnB map
The AirBnB map is like Google Maps with locators to represent the real-time occupancy of AirBnB homes. This visual brings otherwise boring information to life. The audiences are able to spot tourist areas and mellow, inactive destinations to kick-back and relax. It not only suggests to potential customers that AirBnB has massive reach, but makes them feel like they have access to it.
The map is also a great idea for link-bait content, likely to attract back-links from news and travel agencies who want to refer to it for information.
4. Domino’s Pizza Emoji
In the spirit of social media and it’s popularity, Domino’s launched a unique campaign to change the way people order pizzas.
To appeal to the large demographic of their Twitter audience, Domino’s made it possible to order pizzas via tweets, but they didn’t stop there. Interested parties simply needed to tweet the pizza emoji to get a delivery.
The campaign earned a lot of attention, proving to everyone that words aren’t always necessary for communication and visuals can be enough.
— Madalyn Sklar 🚀 (@MadalynSklar) August 15, 2017
Twitterati have welcomed the mobile video upload feature with open arms, using it for on-the-go communication, quick tutorials, random rants and more. Twitter expert and influencer Madalyn Sklar has taken it one step further with her #VideoReplyDay initiative.
The idea is to reply to every tweet with a video instead of using only text. If somebody mentions you, thank them with a video. If somebody asks you a question, answer it with a video. This not only makes the response more personal but tells the other person that you care enough to take that much trouble.
6. 12-Week Body Transformation
Michelle Bridges started this fitness program. She was popularized by her appearance on the Australian weight loss and fitness show, “The Biggest Loser.”
Although a great springboard, the well-known TV show didn’t help her get a “12-week body transformation” off the ground, and it took a lot of hard work in creating recipes, workout routines, and other content to get a decent-sized viewership.
The 12WBT blog has several powerful visuals, quotes, and posts inspiring people to reach their fitness goals.
7. Elf Yourself
This seasonal campaign is Office Depot’s way of wishing their customers for Christmas. People love when brands get personal, and what better way to do that than help people put faces of themselves, their friends and family into animated, dancing elves.
Are elves related to Office Depot in any way? No, but the campaign is fun, interactive, and loved by Office Depot customers.
8. How Do You Spell Donut
— Grammarly (@Grammarly) October 1, 2016
Everyone knows that Grammarly is a grammar correction tool, but few people are aware of their professional editing services. How can they market these services in an interesting way to their audience?
They use fun and thought-provoking posts with engaging visuals. They appeal to the audience in general and not only to professional editors.
Grammarly’s social media posts also have a relaxed and entertaining vibe and are shot and witty, rather than long and elaborate. “How Do You Spell Donuts – Donut or Doughnut” is an example of the fun posts they publish.
9. Quote Tweets & Punny Polls
People love talking about themselves, sharing pictures with friends and getting attention. Instead of interrupting this with product marketing, why not encourage them to do what they like?
User-generated content can by anything – a photograph, story, or even a random tweet. Here’s how Taco Bell marries wit to a fan’s imagination.
Here’s how Old Spice uses the poll option in Twitter to interact with fans.
10. Shelter Pet Project
Shelter Pet Project helps stray animals find homes. Their goal is getting people to fall in love with their animals, and they do this beautifully by turning their animals into relatable characters.
In powerful storytelling, they narrate to their audience what Hamilton the Pug has to say about his new owners, or what Maru the cat felt when she met her new man.
Shelter Pet Project also has a blog with heartwarming stories of successful adoptions. They also often use the adorable faces of the animals in their care in their communication.
Visual content marketing is an indispensable part of any content marketing strategy. It helps you add emotion, say more in less space and make your messages more powerful and memorable. Don’t limit yourself to the more common applications of visual content and try and find new ways and channels for them.
In-post Photos: Screenshots taken by Jessica Davis, August 2017
Subscribe to SEJ
Get our weekly newsletter from SEJ's Founder Loren Baker about the latest news in the industry!