As a business or organization with a social media presence, creating consistent content is a must.
But text alone won’t grab the attention of your audience, especially given the visual nature of many social networks.
From Instagram to Pinterest and SnapChat, compelling visual content, whether it’s graphics, videos or gifs, help consumers better connect and understand your business.
They can also be a key differentiator as you look to stand out among the competition.
However, finding time to dive in to many of today’s top visual networks isn’t a luxury many can afford.
Fortunately, there are many ways to get active without giving up too much of your time. Because as we all know, time is money.
Below is a guide to conquering today’s top visual marketing social networks, including Instagram, Pinterest, Vine and SnapChat.
Visual Marketing Strategies
Instagram is an online sharing app that lets users capture images, add a frame and filter, or upload a video and share across various social media networks.
A social powerhouse in and of itself, Instagram is far more than its reputation for selfies, memes and snaps from your last meal.
To create an online presence on Instagram as a business you need to:
- Ensure that your profile is complete and includes all company details along with an updated profile photo or company logo. And don’t forget to add a link to your website, blog or landing page.
- Learn how to connect with your audience on Instagram. Hashtags are a great way to connect with potential clients or peers. But knowing which hashtags to use can be tricky. Use an app like Tagboard to search top trending hashtags and identify which ones are right for your business.
- Design graphics that are appealing to your target audience. Not sure what they’re looking for? Dan Zarrella offers insight through a recent study.
Dan found that images with these characteristics performed best:
- More Tags + More Likes and Comments
- No filter is the Best Filter
- Don’t Forget to Add a Call-to-Action – they really do work!
- Desaturated Photos Get More Likes
- Photos with Faces Get More Likes
Pinterest is a photo-sharing app that enables users to create theme-based photo galleries or content buckets, as I like to call them. Followers can then go through your boards, interacting through likes, comments, and shares – known as repinning on Pinterest.
But don’t be swayed by what you think you know about Pinterest. The social network is not only for the craft and cooking lovers, but rather any business that can benefit from additional exposure and traffic.
How to get the most out of Pinterest as a business:
- Create a business account that will give you access to detailed analytics and other important features meant for business accounts. It’s free to migrate your account if you already have a personal profile.
- Ensure that your followers can locate your content by optimizing your account and pins. Use keywords in your bio and create boards that clearly define what content you’re sharing. You want to make it easy for Pinterest’s Guided Search to connect people with your products or service.
- Design high-impact visuals specifically for your Pinterest audience. A Pinterest image that generates significant shares is captivating, straightforward, and high-value. The graphic below, “How to Create a Winning Social Media Strategy,” is one that I designed over a year ago, but still remains at the top of Pinterest’s search for the term “social media.”
Vine, like Instagram, is a mobile application that allows users to share short videos.
Since its launch in January 2013, Vine has attracted over 40 million users who watch over 100 million videos each month.
To increase share and engagements on Vine, you need to do the following:
- As your video lasts for only six seconds, you must make every second count. Instead of viewing the six seconds as a limitation, view it as a chance to create meaningful and relevant messages to reach your fans.
- Be like Toyota – both entertaining and educational.
- Understand your target market and the value of using video to capture their attention. Then be prepared to feed the Vine machine. Just like any social network, staying consistent on vine is key to your success.
Snapchat is a mobile application enabling users to post images and short videos with a limited lifespan. Since its launch in 2011, Snapchat has amassed 100 million active users who share a staggering 40 million snaps per day.
While many businesses have been slow to adopt this visual network into their overall marketing plan, those that have are reaping the rewards.
So, how does it work and how can you use Snapchat to market your business?
- Create content that is Snappable, and immediately resonates with your followers. Look at brands like Mcdonalds and their effective use of Snapchat for inspiration. Not only do they know where their market is hanging out, but they know how to cross-promote that content on Twitter for a winning combination
- Integrate a sneak peek or behind-the-scenes look into your snaps or experiment with limited and special offers.
- Try out segmentation: For every chat, you can select a number of recipients, which is an ideal feature for business owners looking to connect with a specific audience.
Creating captivating visual content is a great way to reach your audience. It increases brand awareness, drives engagement and introduce your company to a whole new audience. But don’t forget that not every social network is the right one for you.
Identify where your audience is spending their time and then commit to an integrated marketing strategy that will allow you to maximize the shelf life of your social media content.
What can you do to better position your business through visual marketing?