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The 2017 Visual Content Marketing Trends

Visual Marketing
Visual Marketing

What I saw lately that happens in the digital marketing and social media world made me think about what will be the trends in visual marketing in 2017.

Last year I made a Slideshare presentation where I shared my thoughts about what will be big in 2016 in terms of visual marketing. Some of them confirmed to be true and some of them were just ignored. But this year I saw a big change in the visual marketing strategy and I believe that a revolution will start here.

Ok, maybe it won’t be so big, but before we choose what will be in 2017, let me tell you what I’m thinking about.

At the beginning or 2016 everybody talked about Snapchat. How big will be Snapchat and how much revenue can you get if you will use it daily. More than that, Gary Vaynerchuk was a real evangelist for this network and he tried to embark every brand, influencers and media companies into it. Then Facebook Instagram made their position about Snapchat and showed to the world that they are still the biggest mobile platform when we talk about community, visual and also advertising. So, Instagram launched Instagram Stories.

Funny fact is that their new feature is branded as Snapchat features and act like them. But the UI and UX is much better on Instagram than on Snapchat. Ok, maybe this is a subjective opinion, but the thing is that I saw something over there:)

But let’s get back to the topic and look at the trend that will dominate (in my opinion) the visual marketing is staying in 3 simple terms:

  • Real
  • Clean
  • Constant

1. Instant and Real Video Content

This is why people are so crazy about Snapchat and Instagram. Because it is a simple visual content that you can see on your mobile (in Instagram case – on desktop too) that doesn’t have to be perfect, but it has to be real and instant.

People want to see real scenario about a fact or about a situation. They want transparency.

Did you think about the idea why the live shows were so popular? Because people thought it was real and transparent. Because it wasn’t just another movie series.

And now, with Facebook Live, everyone can broadcast a part of their lives. Even consumers can create real time shows (micro influencers?) on how they are hiking a mountain, playing a basketball game or going to a concert. Instant and Real.

Also, I noticed on my mobile that Facebook changed the “Update Status” with a “Live Video” section. What does that mean? That they push me to create real time videos from my life to my followers and friends.

I don’t want to praise the “Live Videos” content for 2017, but as I’m writing this article now, there is a rumour that Instagram will launch a live video feature – Go Insta.

Almost every successful marketing book spoke about the importance of being transparent with the customers, almost every social media specialist had something to say about why is it good to be transparent as a brand.

Well my friends, here is the moment!

This is why I believe that in 2017 the best kind of visual content will be an instant one and a transparent one.

2. Clean Web Pages

The other thing that I saw in 2016 when we talk about visual marketing and blogging is that many companies redesign their blog page. They redesigned in a much simple and more focused on content way and what is in the blog post.

I wrote in March on why more blogs are quitting the right or left sidebars. Since then, even Blog Tyrant made a change on his blog.

Because the internet is a crowded space, I believe that content creators (even bloggers) should focus more on the content and less on the promotion/ selling strategy.

If people are coming to your blog because they like your style or they found interesting information, there is a moment when your relationship with them started.

So build a trustworthy relationship based on the value of the content, not on the value of advertising.

Here are a few blogs where you can inspire from if you want to redesign your website:

As you can see, they invest more in content and less in another promotional and disruptive elements. For example HelpScout Blog, they are creating great articles about customer service but they also use wonderful illustration about the topic they talk about.

 

When you click on a random article you will see a clean blog post, with no sidebars, just a grey float social media share button and a Disqus section where you can comment.

The Call-To-Action is somewhere at the bottom, together with the bio about the writer and recommendations of other popular and related articles.

So yes, if you want to make a more present experience between your readers and your blog, you should focus more on the content in the blog and let other spaces breathe.

Give space for your content!

3. Web Projects

I personally found the power of user experience more this year in a few projects I was involved in. For example, when we redesigned Bannersnack we had tons of question about UX. So we started talking with our customer and find out their real needs.

Gery, our Lead UX designer wrote a compelling article on the process of redesigning Bannersnack and what he learned from that experience too.

But I see that in 2017 UX web projects will take a big leap in visual marketing too. Why? Because today isn’t anymore about creating great visuals, it’s about connecting data and information, putting it together on a platform for a great experience.

Rand Fishkin said in one of his Whiteboard Friday said that one of the criteria on having a 10x content is to have a great UI + UX on every device.

Just look at what this Digital Design Agency created for the 2016 American Election. Something interesting that many online publishers took and promoted on their own web page.

And this is both a great brand awareness and also good content marketing campaign for Four32C.

Another great example came from rferl.org that created this landing page to commemorate the 60 years after uprising in Budapest.

So they took old photos from that moment and combined them with the new ones, so the user can simply swipe left and right on the image to see the difference from then and now.

Celebrating an important moment with a web project can be a great visual content strategy to gain not only web traffic but also to get recognized in your industry.

4. Constant Video Content

I hear a lot that video content is on the rise, and as I already told you, I saw a specific trend in 2017 about the instant and real content I also believe that video will be on a rise in a new model – constant video content.

And it doesn’t matter that they are video documentaries like CMI has done with their content marketing history or it doesn’t matter that you are a vlogger who is posting daily videos like Casey Neistat or weekly videos like White Board Friday are doing.

The important factor here is to

Be constant in what are you doing and create video for your audience.

For example, let’s look at what the YouTube video series called The Bible Project is doing. They are creating constant videos on YouTube with sketch from different part of the Bible and also a great storyline.

In fact, they are creating video series of different topics such as Biblical themes, Torah series, Read Scripture with Old Testament and New Testament. At this moment, they have more than 172k subscribers on their YouTube channel and the audience can support them with a monthly or yearly donation.

So when brands are creating their next video content strategy they should think on how to create useful content but also to be constant in what they are doing.

Because it doesn’t matter that you, as a brand, have a viral video or a spike in your subscribers/ followers if you can’t hold this trend.

Tomorrow it’s another day and another content will be viral.

Conclusion

These are my personal presumptions about what can be a trend in 2017. I’m not saying that you need to embark in every one of these trends and start practicing them. No.

Just look at your business, brand and see which one of these can give you more exposure and more brand awareness.

It doesn’t matter what the trends are saying, it matters which one can give a benefit to your brand.

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Robert Katai

Content Marketing Strategist

"Content isn’t king. Usefulness is. Robert does this in the online marketing and social media space with ease."

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