As online consumers we have evolved into social and visual beings. We prefer images over plain old text, and we tend to purchase things that are recommended to us by people we know, like, and trust within our social community.
That’s why the use of visual content in social media to motivate potential buyers is growing in importance. Surprisingly, many businesses still don’t realize this.
If you are running a business but have held off on improving your social media marketing efforts with visual content, there are very good reasons you should go ahead.
To see is to be motivated
We tend to believe, get motivated by, and move into action based on things we see. Nothing evokes our feelings and compels us to act more than a striking visual image. If you accompany your marketing messages with an appropriate graphic, that will make them more powerful and compelling.
Images are highly shareable
People are much more inclined to share what they like, and images — no matter what quality, as long as they contain enough human interest — are shared more than any other form of content.
As you probably have noticed, the traffic on Facebook and other social networking sites has included millions of photos shared and re-shared, over and over again.
When you circulate information about your brand, products, or services, make a point of including photos whenever you can. This allows consumers to get a good idea of what you are selling. When you include an image, potential customers feel more compelled to re-share your products.
Visual content is more engaging
Visual content is much more compelling and interesting. It’s a natural attention magnet.
However, you shouldn’t just rely on photos for visuals. Explore other types of visual content to accompany your marketing messages — such as memes, videos, cartoon drawings, and infographics.
And don’t just promote your own visuals. Share other people’s visual content as well, if it inspires or entertains you. Your audience will love you for sharing stuff other than your own.
Images help facilitate the building of relationships
Images are powerful. Images can evoke feelings. When used properly with your brand, images can connect people’s subconscious with your brand, making them more emotionally attached to it.
If your brand is all about power, include images that evoke the feeling of being powerful. If joy is the more characteristic emotion, include images that inspire a feeling of bliss.
When choosing an image for your brand, be sure to choose wisely and stay away from anything that could offend people. Remember, the purpose of incorporating an image into your marketing message is to motivate people and create relationships with them, not turn them away.
Now that you know how powerful images can help you engage your customers, it’s time to talk about which ones to choose for your social media marketing messages.
Below are four ways to help you determine the type of visual content you should choose for your social media strategy.
1. Investigate the types of images that work best with your audience
Images can be associated with virtually every type of business. You just have to determine which is right for you and your target audience.
But don’t rush it. Just because you run a pet store, that doesn’t mean you have to post random images of dogs, cats, rabbits, and fish on your social media pages.
Be creative. Brainstorm with people within your business. Think about how to convey your activities with appropriate images.
When trying to come up with images, be sure that each one furnishes value. If you decide to produce videos for your marketing message, think about a suitable how-to video. If you are to going to use photos, don’t select them at random.
Try to choose photos that incorporate a subtle message, or humor, that makes them more engaging.
2. Create a collection of images for your business
If you already have an array of choices on hand, this makes it easier to decide on a suitable image for your future social media marketing campaigns.
There are two ways to amass a collection of images: one is to hire a photographer, the other is to buy stock photos.
Hiring a photographer to capture photos of every aspect of your business will give you a tremendous amount of control over the message you project about your operation. But it can be expensive and time-consuming.
Buying stock photos would be much more affordable for most businesses. However, it can be a challenge to find enough images that relate closely to your business. Millions of stock images are available on the Internet, however. You just need to search long enough to find the ones that properly depict your business.
3. Use images consistently on your social media channels
Photos, memes, videos, and infographics naturally attract people’s attention. That means less effort on your part when you need to draw potential customers to look at your content on social media.
At first it can be daunting to try to incorporate the right type of visual content for your message. After doing it for a while, however, and with an appropriate collection of images you’ve already chosen for your business, presenting suitable images should become a breeze.
Whenever possible, include images on all your social media channels to capture as much attention as possible for your message.
4. Allow your followers to share their own images
With the explosion of social media, it has become much easier these days for people to share stuff they find interesting or that matters to them.
That’s why it’s a great idea to encourage your social media followers to share photos or videos that show them using your brand, or any other image that relates to your business.
Since traffic on and from Pinterest has recently exploded, be sure to include a Pinterest share button on your blog posts to encourage people to pin your photos or videos and share them with their network.
When coordinated together properly, social media and images will help you dominate your market. By taking advantage of graphics and videos, you will engage your audience more and have an even greater opportunity to build strong relationships with them.
How well are you taking advantage of images on your social media pages? Let us know your thoughts and post links to examples you think are great in the comments section below.