Guest Post by Ronita Mohan
Human connection has become the cornerstone of the best marketing strategies of today. Gone are the days when customers were faceless names in a database—businesses now want to connect with their audience on a personal level. And we have found that visual marketing is helping us do that.
What is Visual Marketing?
Visual marketing is an off-shoot of content marketing that focuses on the use of images, graphics, illustrations, and videos. These visuals were initially used to accompany written content, but have now branched off to become their very own niche in digital marketing.
Visual marketing has been gaining prominence over the past few years. We learned that 69% of marketers now believe that visuals are essential to their marketing strategies, according to these content marketing statistics we at Venngage put together. It is no surprise that organizations are now investing more in creating quality visuals for their content.
Why Do We Need to Connect with Customers?
Optimizing the customer lifecycle—that is, how customers interact with our products, websites, or services—has become extremely important for businesses. If we know what customers are looking for, when they’re looking for it, and where, we can make the process of buying a product or service easier for them. This will significantly increase the chances that these customers will make a purchase.
Once that first purchase has been made, we then need to work on attracting them back to us. Repeat customers not only guarantee steady revenue but the chances of them spreading the word about our company increases.
This is why we need to work on making connections between our brand and customers. If they know that we are working with them, and for them, our customers will want to keep coming back to us, instead of going to a competitor.
So, how can we use visual marketing to connect with customers? There are a few methods we can adopt that will change our company’s relationship with consumers.
Keep Customers Informed at All Times
Let’s put ourselves in our customers’ shoes—what is the one thing they would absolutely hate? Having to hunt for information. People simply do not have time now to scour through websites and long-form content to glean the information that is relevant to them. They need the information to be immediately attainable.
To ensure that our customers can receive information easily and quickly, we need to make that information as accessible and easy to absorb as possible.
Within the realm of visual marketing, infographics have become one of the most popular methods of sharing information. Infographics combine text, visuals, and data in a compact and shareable visual, which is why it has become such a convenient tool to share information.
We can use infographics to convert existing information—from podcasts, blog posts, videos, and surveys—into more attractive and easily digestible material. This graphic allows us to reach customers who may not have read, heard, or seen the original content so that they can stay informed.
Creating an infographic from scratch isn’t something most marketers are equipped to do, even if they have access to graphic designers. However, online tools allow even non-designers to create quality visuals using infographic templates.
These templates are attractive and customizable. Once you have your information prepared, it is simply a matter of adding your text, choosing the icons or images that speak to your topic, and changing the colors to suit your brand. The infographic is then good to go.
Build Trust Using Social Media
Almost everyone is on social media, particularly the customers we are trying to reach. Social media is a great tool for communication, and we all know this. Even though recent scandals with Facebook and Twitter have shaken users’ trust in the platforms, they are still online. However, the way customers interact with these channels now has changed.
In the current climate, for businesses to connect with customers on social media, we need to use the channels as more than just an avenue for gaining sales. We need to use them to create conversations, tell stories, and make our customers feel like they’re part of a brand family.
While we can still post the occasional content promoting our product or service, for the most part, we should be sharing informative pieces. Sharing news from the industry, alongside appropriate visuals like an attractive stock image or custom illustration, places businesses in a leadership position. This will positively impact the business-customer relationship in the long run.
GIFs and memes are also a fun way to communicate with customers. These are great visuals to show off our more humorous side and can act as great conversation starters.
Consistency across social media channels also helps to build consumer trust. There are a number of social media tools that make it easier to post across multiple channels as well as to engage with customers in real-time. Utilizing these tools will make the process of building trust much easier.
Visually Appealing Newsletters
Most businesses give visitors the option to sign up for company newsletters. With 22.4% of freelancers saying email marketing strategies win them more clients than a number of other methods, emails are clearly a great way to connect with customers on a regular basis.
However, sending out standardized emails is no longer the best option—instead, personalization has become a key component of email marketing. We need to optimize the email subject line and remember to include a salutation with the customer’s name. This will attract the reader’s attention better than a standard ‘hello’.
We those in place, we can look at using newsletters to share a variety of information—new products or services, the latest blogs, relevant company, and industry news, as well as the company’s latest infographic.
But making the newsletter text-heavy is unlikely to get the audience’s attention—we need to be visually-forward with our newsletter. Break up the text with images, even if it’s just stock images. Include an attractive header image, embed videos, attractive call-to-action buttons, as well as data visualization.
All these elements will make the newsletter more attractive for our customers and will make them want to connect with the brand more than a dull, text-filled newsletter.
Use Videos as an Interactive Tool
With internet users being bombarded with so much information at all times, we need to rise above the noise by adopting different techniques. The marketing video has become an excellent way to connect with customers.
We can use videos to showcase company culture, product reviews, show our services in action, and even host Q&As. We can invite customers to share their views and testimonials on video, which will not only give them a chance to directly interact with our brand but will also entice other customers to trust in us. People like seeing other people, so visually appealing newsletters are a great option for businesses to explore.
Tell Stories Using Case Studies
There is one thing people on the internet absolutely love—stories. The power of stories has been leveraged across content and visual marketing to great effect. And one of the best ways to tell a story is through case studies.
A case study is a retelling of true events regarding our company. What better way to connect with our customers than through these real-life stories?
However, through case studies are great ways to tell the story of a brand or an event, they need to be visually appealing to attract an audience. Instead of simply writing about the facts and figures of the case, spend time working on the case study design using template tools or by utilizing the help of a designer.
A beautiful case study will not only share our story more effectively but will help us establish a long-term relationship with our customers.
Connecting with customers has become the key to building brands. Using visual marketing tips to create strong storytelling devices like infographics, social media posts, newsletters, videos, and case studies will help us build strong connections with customers. These connections will translate into repeat customers and will help spread the word about our business.
Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at Venngage, the online infographic and design platform. Ronita is interested in a variety of topics related to digital marketing, visual content, and online engagement, which she enjoys researching and writing about. Connect with Venngage on Twitter: @Venngage