There were lots of studies and specialists out there who evangelized the power of visual marketing. Some of them are saying that inserting a visual in your tweet will increase your engagement, or if you have a featured image for your blog post will definitely raise more traffic.
Well my friend, as you know, I’m a big believer in the visual marketing strategy, but just inserting some images in your social media strategy or content marketing doesn’t mean that you will gain much success.
2015 was the year in which bloggers and publishers started using more infographics and slideshares than ever before, but what about 2016? What are we waiting for this year? Will visual be bigger or will it get hidden somewhere in the content marketing theory?
My guess is that visual marketing will have its place in the content marketing strategy and will start to look a little more different than it did in 2015.
In this blog post you can read my guesses on the trend that we’ll see in the visual marketing area.
1. Micro Visual Content
Time is running fast and we, as marketers, struggle a lot with this resource.
We don’t have enough time to create content. We don’t have enough time to analyze and measure our campaigns. We also don’t have enough time to educate ourselves. Our clients don’t have enough time to watch a long video or to look at a complicated picture.
So marketers will start creating content that every customer out there has time to consume. And it’s all about the visual micro content, as .Gifs and Emojis.
Today i’m looking at my newsfeed on Facebook and I see more .Gifs that ever. Sometimes there are days when I see more .Gis that statuses or pictures. People love .Gifs and they love to share it on their social media network. Also brands adopted this behaviour and they are creating .gifs for their fans with the purpose that their community will share it to their friends. Gifs are all over.
I look at my Twitter Feed and there they are too. I look at my Instagram and .Gifs are there too. On Instagram? Exactly. Why do you think Instagram launched the Boomerang app? So you can create faster and simpler Gifs for your account, right?
Talking to a friend, I was reminded that not everybody will use .Gifs and more of it, not everybody will understands the .Gifs. Why? Because you need to be or at least understand the pop culture. And guess who has majority in this culture? Exactly. The millennials.
And what is the primary language that a millennial will use? The emoji language.
Emojis are an international language that you can use with everybody.
Emojis are the language for your visual marketing.
But that doesn’t mean that you NEED to implement emojis in your content marketing strategy or Gif. Maybe your customers don’t get it, or maybe you are in an industry that didn’t embrace this trend. As a marketer, you need to understand and feel when it’s the right moment to use it.
2. Macro Visual Content
After micro content, there is an another type of visual content that is getting bigger and stronger. It’s the type of content that you need to invest more time into, more resources and even extra money.
This type of content is the Quality solution in the Quantity vs Quality question, and I talk about infographics and Slideshare Presentations.
And guess what, he’s right! I didn’t create lots of infographics, let’s say one per week, but when I posted one, I gained more social shares and mentions then I got for almost every blog post I put out there.
Why? Because people will always have time to look at GOOD QUALITY content. And a well designed infographic or slidesare presentation will always get some views.
So, my guess on the macro content is this one: Concentrate on quality, not on quantity.
Think about making the best content you can, not the largest one. When you want to design an infographic or slideshare presentation, I strongly recommend you to work with a designer. Invest money and have a proper strategy. You will definitely see the results.
3. Visual Content Curation
When Google+ relaunch and said that they want to invest more in communities and collections I saw just an idea over there: curating content. Now think about Pinterest, Slideshare, Youtube and Flipboard, you can curate content over there too. Here are some major players that players when we talk about curating content and every platform is betting on this.
Now, as a content creator, you don’t have to create every time content, you can also curate other people’s content on your network. Why?
But what is a media company and how to can be different in such a big world? Well…let me give you an example.
Let’s say that you are a Content Marketing Specialist and you want to educate your community on how to do their best in their work. So you have your blog but also you have your social networks and sometimes is harder to create content for every social network and share it over there than to create a well written blog post. But you can easily find great resources on platforms as Pinterest or Slideshare, so why not to curate them on your network and when you write a blog post about a topic, you can insert a link to that board or clipboard. Right? In this situation you give credit to other specialists in your area and you can work together. And let’s face it, you want you content on other platforms, right? Exactly.
Curating content is not about creating content or stealing from others, it’s about giving the professional community the right credit and when you give them credit, you will get it back, sooner or later.
4. Adaptive visual content
I saw the power of adaptive content in 2 major social media platforms: Slideshare and Snapchat.
When we designed the infographic with “The Anatomy of an Awesome Instagram Ad” and we publish it on our blog, we saw that people love it, but why not taking advantage on putting it out there on other platforms. So we share it on Pinterest in his vertical form and for Slideshare we re-designed it in a presentation form (by the way, presentation content on Slideshare gain much more views than infographic content) and publish it out there. In a few days we got featured on their homepage and we got thousand of views from there too.
But what about Snapchat?
Just go to Snapchat Discover and open a publisher’s content, let’s say, VICE or Mashable. Now look at their content. Where you can see this type of content on social media? You can see it on there website or other social media networks. No. This is only for the snapchat user. It’s an exclusive content for there.
Adaptive visual content for every platform will gain more traffic, views or share. Every platform got his audience and every audience got his own idea on consuming the right type of content on the platform.
5. Livestreaming video
And finally, we go into the video industry where we can see a lot of coming in the next year. From meerkat, to periscope and now we have Facebook live – we talk about live streaming video content. Influencers and brands are starting using more of this type of visual content and guess what, the community loves it.
My question is – Why didn’t Youtube think about this earlier?
Why didn’t they buy Meerkat or Periscope? Because both are in their industry and if Facebook started a battle against Youtube (with the video features), well they can have the advantage of a livestreaming app and get them before Facebook.
For now, Facebook is the one more powerful with the video content, and in 2016 they will fight will all their power to be the best in this industry and get ahead of Youtube.
2015 was the year in which Meerkat and Periscope got into the game of livestreaming and the social media community embraced this trend.
But let’s see how this will progress.
Now my friends, these are my 4 points of trend in visual marketing for 2016.
Let me know in comments what do you think about them and what trend will you embrace in your 2016 for your visual marketing strategy.