Living in a Visual Age
We humans have been around for quite a while now; computers and the web not so much. Therefore we have to adjust our online presence to cater to our audiences and not the other way around. Research done by Skyword has shown that articles with images get 94% more views than those without, and according to PR Newswire, a press release including photographs or videos are liable to get 45% more viewership than those with just text. While the importance of visuals to motivate and engage in communication has been undisputable for the longest time, the rapidly digitalizing age has presented us with more reasons to create a distinct aesthetic and to use diverse forms of media to enhance a company’s virtual presence.
Given the state of unprecedented consumer freedom we are experiencing now, grabbing attention and creating impact is getting increasingly hard to achieve, let alone maintain. There’s no denying it, we live in a visual age – the fact that 10% of photos taken by humankind took place in the last 12 months and 2.5 billion mobile phones with cameras currently in use globally don’t lie. So how do you snare the gaze of the public? Take advantage of the obsession with a touch of creativity and avoid getting swallowed whole by the visual age.
Harness these current trends
The influx of virtual platforms that are image centric are a testament to this visually driven trend. Here are the 2 most popular examples of social media platforms that are built on the use of visuals-
Pinterest is essentially a virtual pin board that allows you to create and categorize your own boards. It is currently the 3rd most popular search engine. Given that, your Pinterest board can get noticed beyond your specified target audience! This is provided that they are maintained well (like using keyword-rich tags) and appropriately (by using well-sized images).
Pinterest can serve any purpose you like – a public platform to reach your audiences or as a form of internal platform where employees are able to motivate, engage and share with one another.
If the main purpose of your Pinterest is the former, you want the public to move from Pinterest to your website, so images have to be captivating. Keep the content original and unique. Bear this in mind to to motivate yourself – referrals from Pinterest are 10% more likely to spend on something than visitors from other social networks!
Instagram is a currently ad-free application for iPhones and smartphones running on the Android platform. It plays up the current obsession the public has with visuals and this application makes visuals even more aesthetically appealing.
Another platform where you can utilize as a billboard for your blog, Instagram allows users to edit, by means of adding “filters” to create effects, photographs taken on their smartphones. You are then able share the said pictures on the Instagram network and on other social media platforms like Facebook and Tumblr via means of plug-ins.
The most attractive pull factor of Instagram in the context of your business is that it can be linked with social media and mobile media – forming a potent combination of the three most hyped mediums of communication right now. It is a platform to generate buzz and offer transparency to audiences.
Visuals are your business
More than having effective visuals, it is just as important to note that the visuals should be of high quality and serve a purpose.
This is especially true if your company deals with e-commerce or has an online catalogue. Studies conducted by the National Retail Federation have shown that consumers place a lot of importance on the quality of a product image when it comes to selecting and purchasing a product – as many as 67% of those interviewed said that this aspect is the most important determining factor. This surpassed the 54% who preferred a detailed description or the 53% that would rather trust ratings or reviews – things traditionally deemed valuable when it comes to making a purchasing decision.
It is also important to have a user-friendly interface for all your online platforms. Navigating with ease provides boundless benefits including a higher degree of customer satisfaction which would, in turn, mean continued business and higher revenue.
In the midst of all this, keep yourself in check
It is easy to get distracted and be overwhelmed by the sheer variety and volume of media available at your disposal – so it is crucial to stay relevant and not go overboard. You want to make something attention worthy enough to entice your audience, not inundate them. Besides carefully selecting and curating the contents featured to be relevant, remember to present it in a way that is in sync with your company’s branding.
By Yasmin Md Basir, PR Associate @ Corporate Media Services