The challenge for marketers is to stand out from the pack by telling their stories in a compelling way. With many of the image-based tools now available online such as Pinterest and Instagram, it’s not only easy to tell your story visually, it’s also extremely easy for users to contribute their own images or to share your images and videos with their friends.
Visual storytelling is an effective way to cut through the clutter of information overload online. Here are some tips on how to effectively incorporate these visual elements into your next marketing campaign:
1. Tell Stories Through Infographics
An infographic is an effective way to communicate information in a memorable and easily shared format. As Social Media Chimps notes, “most people will decide to leave a website or continue exploring it in the first 2-4 seconds of seeing the page. With very little time to convince people to stick around, infographics and visualizations are a more effective way to literally catch peoples’ eye.”
Infographics jump off the page on Pinterest and Facebook, and they’re irresistible to share if the information is timely and easy to understand.
2. Share Story-Based Images on Your Facebook Timeline
Your company’s Facebook timeline is ideal for creating a visual-driven story about your brand or employees that users can easily scroll through. By focusing on telling stories through images or videos, you can create content that is both effective at sharing your message and easy for users to share on their own timelines.
Lauren Sorenson of the marketing firm HubSpot offers an example of how to effectively tell image-based stories on Facebook: “There are brands like Starbucks who aren’t just telling you what their employees are doing on a daily basis — they show what is going on behind the scenes with real employees and customers. This creates a human connection that helps translate the brand experience, and promote brand loyalty between companies and consumers that can’t be achieved through words alone.”
3. Encourage Mobile Engagement through Instagram
Customers and marketers don’t need to be in front of a computer in order to interact with your brand. By using Instagram, a photo sharing app for iPhones, you can either share your story visually on the fly or ask customers to upload their own images of your product in action. With 15 million users, Instagram is close to overtaking Foursquare, and their iPhone app is extremely popular. As John Jantsch advises in his blog post titled How to Use Instagram to Tell and Sell your Marketing Story, “Think about the artsy ways you could showcase your work, your staff or your customers with this tool.”
4. Reach Business Clients Through SlideShare
Every presentation is better if you include visual aids that help illustrate your points and make your message memorable. Some presenters may not want to spent quite so much time on their presentations since they may only be able to use them once, but with SlideShare it’s possible to turn your old slide shows into lead generation tools.
Magdalena Georgieva of HubSpot wrote at Problogger that “Slideshare is… a great tool for B2B companies, for which presentations have remained a powerful form of social media. In 2011, HubSpot’s presentations hosted on SlideShare accumulated more than three million views and thousands of downloads and social media shares.”
5. Design with Mobile Devices and Tablets in Mind
As website users access more content on mobile phones and tablets that have smaller screens, too much text can become a liability. The user experience is more visually based and must also provide various browsing experiences that adapt websites to each screen size.
In addition, websites can also incorporate more interactive elements that make it possible for each user to customize the viewing experience for each visitor. As Chuck Longanecker wrote at Mashable, “We’re seeing more interactive buttons, sliding and fading visual elements, parallax experiences on scrolling sites, and even elements of augmented reality.”
6. Use Pinterest to Drive Sales at Your Website
Pinterest isn’t just about sharing images with friends. Pinterest is a powerful referral and link-building tool that can drive a lot of traffic to your website. Marketing website This Moment notes, “Each ‘pin’ is actually a link to an external website. By pinning content that captures consumers’ attention, brands can drive traffic to their websites. Interested users simply have to click through to visit the brand’s website.”
Pinterest is especially suited for holding contests among users in order to generate more interest about your products. Pamela Vaughn of HubSpot suggests, “Hold a contest that asks users to create a pinboard on their own account to demonstrate what they love about your brand, products, or services… Ask them to send you a link to their pinboard so you can evaluate entrants, and the coolest board wins a prize! Even better — you can also re-pin the top boards to your own Pinterest page and ask followers to vote on the boards to select the winner.”
Tools such as Pinterest and Facebook make the visual elements of website design critical for brands that want to stand out and effectively tell their stories with customers. Solid design is essential for both communicating and receiving more shares on social media sites. With the growth of visual design in marketing, brands now have a wider selection of tools for available for quickly and effectively connecting with their customers.