When you wake up in the mornings, or desiring some time to relax, what is your go-to media? Do you spend a lot of time reading intensely, or are you more visually engaged? Do you read long articles, or are you flipping through pictures on your Instagram feed?
Lately I have come to find that in my down time I am drawn to whatever suits my mood, but most of all, I am drawn to the visually creative.
Today we have access to such a wide variety of visual platforms, magazines, and blogs at our fingertips, it is a constant competition for customer attention. There is an immense amount of digital content available to us on-the-go, and with no surprise, visual content is a growing trend amongst audiences.
With visual platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, there is so much more opportunity for us to share our story through pictures, not words. This allows you to shape your brand image in a much fuller, “colourful” way. Although well-researched, thorough articles are still amazing resources, it is clear from audience demand that what they truly want is for you to show, not tell.
1. Represent Your Brand Identity
Use images that truly represent and show off your brand without having to use too much marketing. The images should speak for themselves from a place of authenticity. A great example is GoPro who let’s their athletes show off their photos, along with other customers, to truly represent what their products are capable of achieving.
2. Share Your Milestones
Fans and customers love to share their personal experiences and can help your brand create an even more authentic and “real” character. By getting clients to share their milestones or even the ways in which your product or service has solved their problems, you can create a visual story to build up your brand reputation. A great example of this is Kayla Itsines who encourages her Bikini Body Guide Girls to share their transformations and inspire others to join the “movement”. This has allowed thousands of women from all across the globe to share there personal stories.
3. Be Visually Creative
With all the new visual platforms available, your brand needs to be really creative to stand out and establish authenticity. Visual creativity can elevate your brand above the rest, and brings about a new perspective for your audience. Warby Parker, an online eyewear provider, has taken such a unique approach with not only their company mission, but with their visual platforms as well. Although they sell eyewear, the visual representation they take is to present glasses in unique situations that you would never images them to be. This gives their followers a new perspective, which represents the unique approach of their business and overall brand.
4. Create Positive Action
Get your customers to take action and get involved. This is great for campaigns and new product launches. Crowd-sourcing your visual content places the focus on getting customers engaged and allows your brand to grow through customer experiences. A great example of this was the #WhiteCupContest created by Starbucks. The encouraged their customers to get creative by drawing on their drinks, using the white cup as a blank canvas. This inspires positive action between consumers to compete to have their unique design produced on a reusable mug.
5. Understand your Audience
Knowing your audience is key to any business, and especially a marketing and branding strategy. Understanding your customer is the best way to increase engagement and can lead to more sales. Christian Louboutin is a great example of this, as they know that their audience wants to be associated with high fashion, beauty, and a glamorous lifestyle. They only generate content that represents the quality and lifestyle that their customers aspire to. Images are visually appealing and fully represent the reputation of the brand.
6. Harness the Hashtag Power
Using hashtags on images allows your content to be discoverable. Correctly incorporating hashtags in your marketing strategy can get you noticed. Harnessing you hashtags can lead to more discoveries and more interaction. It is important to use hashtags that are relevant to your brand and industry. A great example of this is Forever21, who strategically uses hashtags during events and campaigns. They encourage customers to use hashtags themselves that are specific to your brand.
7. Share Your Behind the Scenes
Behind the scenes are a great way to get customers involved in your brand and engaged in the business process. Followers love to see what is going on inside the works of the company, and it creates a stronger customer relationship with your brand. Using visual platforms has allowed brands to really give customers a “glimpse” into the behind the scenes of the company. Ben & Jerry’s is one company that does a great job of this. They generate authentic visual content to engage their followers and show them the inner workings of the company. One of their most popular methods is to provide videos of company processes.
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As always, desire to inspire!
Featured Image: Shutterstock