“A picture is worth a thousand words” – we’ve all heard this saying countless times. According to research done by Visual Teaching Alliance, the brain processes visuals 60.000 times faster than any text, so we can definitely say humans are visual creatures. This is why visual marketing has become one of the most promising and powerful strategies over the last few years.
First time hearing about it? If so, no worries. In the following article, you will learn all about it. Here’s what we’ll cover:
What is visual marketing?
Explained in the simplest way possible:
Visual marketing is the usage of multimedia content to engage/interact with your audience.
Often, under the term multimedia, we are talking about using images, videos, infographics, GIFs, memes, animations, user-generated content, social proof videos, and other similar visual formats. We use them to convey a certain message, grab your viewer’s attention, engage or educate them, or simply raise brand awareness and ultimately – increase your sales.
If you are still having doubts about the importance of visual marketing, according to HubSpot’s State of Content Marketing, the amount of short-form videos watched has doubled to almost 19 hours per week per person since 2018. Even more stunningly, these videos have the highest engagement rates.
In this report, HubSpot also revealed that infographics are the single most effective marketing content type for 56% of marketers.
Types of visual content marketing
We’ve already mentioned some types of visual content marketing, but here’s a definite list of everything that’s under the “visual content marketing” umbrella:
- Pictures – original and stock images are the base of every visual content strategy. They can help you tell your story better and make your visual content more memorable.
- Videos – are one of the most used and most effective media in visual content marketing. They allow you to explain more complex ideas in a more appealing way for your users.
- Infographics – are a combination of graphics and information (they can be versatile: describing a how-to process, a list, a survey, etc.)
- Data-driven graphs – are much similar to infographics, but instead of a visual representation of information, they are a visual representation of data. These graphs are super practical when you want to grab your audience’s attention, plus they are a great shareable resource.
- GIFs – or animated/moving pictures are a great way to express feelings and emotions and have your audience relate to your visual content.
- User-generated content – presents videos and images created by your customers. They could also be created by influencers, as part of some contest/giveaway, or as part of a social media campaign. These videos and images are important because they are social proof that will help you gain your audience’s trust, influence their purchasing decision, and help you save some budget on content creation.
Benefits of promoting visual marketing on your website?
According to a study done by Microsoft, the human attention span is now down to eight seconds. However, what does this mean for your business?
It simply means if you don’t grab your audience’s attention in a “heartbeat,” chances are they’ll be gone in an instant, and of course, it’s where visual marketing comes in handy.
Visual marketing comes with a variety of benefits, such as:
- Being the most impactful form of content compared to text (the human brain takes 50 milliseconds to form its first impression, and with images/visual content – you could make it into a positive impression)
- Posts that include images produce 650% higher engagement
- Visual content will convey your brand message more nicely and help you raise brand awareness (make sure you have recognizable color schemes and consistent visual language across all channels)
- UGC Videos on websites increase the chances of that viewer purchasing a product by a stunning 85% (Source)
- Visual content is 40 times more likely to be shared
- 79% of people say user-generated content highly impacts their purchasing decisions
In short, visual content will help you stand out, tell your story more easily and effectively, and engage with your audience better.
Tools to create visual marketing materials
Before we suggest the top five visual marketing widgets, here are a few platforms to help you kick-start your visual marketing journey. With these tools’ help, you could create, edit, and publish versatile visuals and gently push people further down the sales funnel.
Here they are:
1. Venngage – Professional Infographic Maker
Out of all five widgets on this list, Venngage is the tool to help you create your infographics. Suitable for non-designers, you can create infographics in three simple steps once you sign up.
Using this tool to create your infographics will indirectly help you increase your sales. Thereafter, infographics are one of the most impactful visuals you can use in your visual marketing strategy.
Other than infographics, with Venngage you could also create timelines, reports, mind maps, diagrams, and presentations. Moreover, if you don’t know where to start, there’s even a template library with more than 7,500 templates. Suitable for individuals, professionals, and enterprises, you can sign up for free or choose one of their plans starting from $16 per month.
Here’s where you can read some reviews or check out official screenshots from the tool.
Chances are this is not the first time reading about Canva, so we don’t have to explain much about it.
Canva is one of the most popular visual marketing tools because of the free plan, easy-to-use interface, and the huge amount of templates for versatile uses such as videos, presentations, social media posts, posters, logos, flyers, infographics, and other formats too.
3. Adobe and Adobe Stock
Last on our list is the absolute pioneer and global leader in the industry – Adobe.
Adobe offers versatile solutions and tools that are super helpful for marketing teams, such as Photoshop for handling images, Acrobat for PDFs, Premiere Pro for video and film editing, Illustrator for illustrations, Adobe Stock, and Adobe Express helpful when in need of specific templates.
However, the downsides to Adobe tools are that they are super pricy compared to other widgets we’ve mentioned, plus they have a steep learning curve meaning it will take you months to learn them.
Other tools worth mentioning are Piktochart – for creating simple infographics, reports, and presentations; Lumen5 – for editing videos, Easel.ly – for creating some graphics, Pixlr – for online image manipulation, adding some filters, effects, and doodles so it’s more creative in a way; Infogr.am – for creating infographics, Bannersnack – for creating banner ads, and social media visuals, and Placeit – for creating some branded content.
5 Visual marking widgets for websites
Now that you’re aware of visual content’s importance, one question arises – “How to bring your social media content to your website?” – and the answer is widgets.
Website widgets are additional components (third-party applications) added to a website to make it more functional.
In marketing, widgets can be used to set up your e-mail sequences; add booking and calendar options to your website; help you with search and analytics; add social media buttons; incorporate customer services, and of course bring your social media content to your website.
Here are five of the best visual marketing widgets for your website:
1. EmbedFeed – Social Media Wall for Websites
EmbedFeed is a social media aggregator that will help you bring your social media feed and/or hashtag campaign to your website in seconds.
How to set up EmbedFeed? – the process is a simple 3-step one:
- Create an EmbedSocial Account
- Connect your social media accounts
- Customize and embed the social media widget to your website
Why use EmbedFeed? – the benefits of pulling the content from your favorite social media platforms and displaying it on your website are:
- save valuable resources such as time and money (that would be spent on content production);
- increase engagement across your social media platforms and increase followers and, therefore, potential customers
- build trust and stronger relationships with your potential customers
- provide social proof with user-generated content that will help you boost your conversions
- expand the reach of your new hashtag campaign (when adding it to your website)
- cross-sell by embedding a shoppable Instagram or TikTok Feed on your website (create an e-commerce experience on your website by adding images with products)
Even more, EmbedFeed is mobile-responsive, extremely versatile, and customizable. By versatile, we mean that if you don’t have an inspiration, you can browse through the templates library to get some, and by customizable we mean that it comes with a customizable CSS with which you can personalize the widget to fit your brand.
EmbedFeed is compatible with Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, and Twitter; and also works flawlessly with 99.9% of the web builders and ECommerce platforms such as Wix, WordPress, Shopify, etc.
Here’s where you can start your free 7-day trial.
2. Smash Balloon – Social Media Feeds Plugin for WordPress
Smash Balloon is a combination of a few plugins that will help you display your social media content in WordPress. They offer four plugins in total for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube that can be purchased individually or together in a bundle. Once you place proof from your social media platforms to your website, your visitors/readers will be pushed further down the funnel and it will be more likely they will purchase your service/product.
Although the plugins are packed with features, the downsides are it’s a WordPress-only widget, plus reviews are saying that after the installation it tends to slow down their website, it is expensive, and it takes some knowledge and coding skills to customize it exactly as you like it.
3. Yotpo – eCommerce Marketing Platform
Founded in 2011, Yotpo is not only a plug-in but a marketing platform with versatile solutions, including a widget that will help you enrich your shopper’s experience by showcasing your customer’s photos and videos (and there’s another solution for reviews on your website). Their solutions can be purchased individually, in a bundle, or you could request a demo and get a custom-made plan for your business.
The pros of Yotpo’s widgets are that they do have a constantly free version, and the basic paid version is affordable – starting from $9 per month. However, according to reviews, these options are quite limited in terms of features, customizations, and integrations; and some people even mention that the so-called early leader in the industry is now lacking some new features and that reported issues never got fixed or addressed.
4. Fomo – Social proof widget
Fomo is a widget that provides real-time data on the activities of the customers in a certain company/website. These activities usually are purchase, email subscription, visit of the website, and similar.
Showcasing that somebody purchased a pair of shoes you are browsing on a website or bookend a room on a hotel website recently, is powerful information that positively influences a prospective customer.
This actually means that the social proof widgets actually help potential buyers to make faster decisions when they visit a certain website. See the widget in the left-bottom corner below:
5. EmbedReviews – Reviews Management Platform
EmbedReviews is a complete reviews management software, which connects to your Google and Facebook accounts. It allows you to automatically generate, manage and display social media reviews on your website. You can use pre-made templates or customizable widgets.
With EmbedReviews, you can display star ratings in the Google search results on your website, boost your SEO and get a higher ranking.
5 visual content marketing strategy ideas to boost your sales
If you’re clueless about what to include in your visual marketing strategy, here are five interesting ideas as a place to start:
1. Engage your audience
The key to every marketing visual is to find a way to engage the audience. One of the great ways to do this is to ask a question.
This question needs to be memorable and evoke the emotions of your audience.
Here’s a simple example by Starbucks. They manage to connect with their audience and convey their message for the given period with a simple yet effective visual question:
2. Utilise video content
Video is the
future of visual marketing. Or is it?
We better say it is the present because you’re already late if you’re not utilizing this powerful visual.
According to research, Instagram Reels have much higher engagement rates when compared to Traditional Instagram Videos.
As an example, you can see this user-generated content – a reel posted by the Moleskine brand as a way to increase awareness and product promotion.
3. Don’t forget about quote-based visuals
Quote-based visuals are one of the most impactful visuals when it comes to creating a bond with your audience. Even more, people love sharing these visuals, and this equals higher engagement rates.
4. Include memes
Whenever you want to communicate with your audience in a fun and creative way, memes are the way to do it.
Make sure you choose a subject that’s relevant to your audience, a trending topic, and also something that your audience can relate to.
For example, we can take SEMRush’s presence on LinkedIn and the way they communicate with their target audience:
5. Make most of “disappearing content”
Disappearing content is content that vanishes after a certain time, in most cases, 24 hours, and such content are the Instagram stories, Facebook stories, and content on Snapchat.
Besides being a great way to interact with your audience, stories are also powerful because they add a layer of exclusivity. Make sure you use all sorts of filters and stickers in order to make the most of this visual.
For example, we can take influencer Pamela Rief, who uses Instagram Stories to promote her protein bar:
FAQ about visual marketing
As we already mentioned, humans are visual beings, and science proves this with the facts we’ve stated in the beginning. Even more, visuals can grab people’s attention and convey complex messages in a much more memorable yet simple way.
A good visual is one that is relevant to your brand and the message you want to convey with it. It’s easily understandable and visible to all your audience. Visuals should simplify and reinforce your message.
Creating a visual marketing strategy is composed of a few things such as:
– Set your goals (make sure they are SMART goals)
– Create strategies for each channel (social media marketing + website + e-mail marketing + any other channel that’s out of great importance for your business)
– Leverage user-generated content
– Choose the tools to help you with your visual marketing strategy
– Align your visual content with your brand
According to a study, 91% of people like visual over written content, and that pretty much sums up things if you’re having some doubts.
If you do not relate to this quote, simply think about the time you spent on social media platforms fueled by visual content, such as Instagram and TikTok, in comparison with social media based on text, such as Facebook.
These two points really put things into perspective about how genuinely important visual marketing is. Furthermore, UGC widgets, tools, and platforms are only here to help you along the way.
Is there any tool you’ve used that we haven’t written about? What’s your experience with it? Did it revolutionize your visual marketing efforts? We’d love to hear all about it!
See you in the comments, and cheers till next time!