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Shannen LaurMarch 7, 20173 min read

3 Ways to Incorporate Visuals into Your 2017 Marketing Strategy

Visual_Marketing_Trends.pngWe’re in the thick of a new year, and like many professionals, marketers are searching for the next top trends to drive results in 2017. 

This and every year, we search for ways to break through the clutter to ensure our content reaches the right audience at the right time. But with the number of bloggers projected to hit more than 31 million by 2020 in the U.S., it’s our duty to seek out and test the hottest trends to make our content stand apart from the rest. 

According to a 2016 study by Content Marketing Institute, B2C marketers ranked the following as top content priorities:

  • 73% indicate that they want to create more engaging content.
  • 55% want to create more visual content.
  • 44% say that better repurposing content is a must.

Luckily, there’s a surefire strategy that satisfies the needs listed above: visual content marketing. Let’s face the facts that our audience craves visuals: The brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text, and we read only 28% of written content. 

Are you still contemplating how you’ll incorporate visual content marketing into your 2017 strategy? Check out the list below for three ways to rely on visuals this year to drive results.

1. Turn dense content into visual stories.

Our customers and prospects are consuming a crazy amount of content every minute of the day. And that means dense written content may not cut it if you want to see assets like blogs, ebooks, or reports truly drive traffic and convert leads.

Marketers have an endless amount of avenues to distribute content in more visual ways. For example, content can be repurposed into:

  • Infographics: Guide your readers through stats and numbers.
  • Social media: Create content visuals for Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, or turn to image-heavy networks like Instagram or Tumblr.
  • Presentations: Repurpose content into a presentation format to upload to SlideShare or embed in a blog post.

Also, don’t stress if you’re not a designer. Many free tools like CanvaVenngage or Pablo make it easy to create quick visuals or edit images.

2. Ask your audience for user-generated imagery.

The majority of us are visual learners, and we may need a graphic representation of a product or service to truly understand the value. What better way to show prospects the way your product or service is used than by asking your loyal customer base?

You’ve probably heard of this phenomenon as user-generated content, or the idea of asking users to submit content for further use. Plus, 92% of consumers trust peer recommendations over standard brand content. 

Besides the fact that these images will add a personal touch to your content, user-generated content also boasts these benefits

  • Improves SEO.
  • Provides social proof.
  • Helps build brand trust.
  • Leverages customer relationships to build loyalty. 

Take it from Starbucks, who received more than 4,000 entries for a user-generated image campaign over a three-week span.

3. Continue on the video trend. 

When you think of visual content, you may be imagining static images, CTAs or infographics. But, what about kicking it up a notch with video? 

In the past couple years, we’ve seen video marketing make just about every trend roundup list. The benefits of video marketing are clear: 90% of consumers say that videos help them in the purchasing decision. Furthermore, 36% of online consumers indicate they trust video ads.

Video is highly shareable and can be used on the following:

  • Social media like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
  • Website pages to show product demos, highlight testimonials, answer commonly asked questions and more.
  • Offline, such as in your office lobby or at a trade show booth.
  • On USB ports as a digital leave-behind.
  • Landing pages to further explain the offer or provide social proof 

This year, make visual content a priority to drive results, increase conversion rates and most importantly, give your customers and prospects what they want to see.

What other ways have you incorporated visuals into your marketing strategy? Comment below to share your ideas.

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Photo credit: Pixabay, CC0 Public Domain 


Shannen Laur

Shannen Laur is Ready North's director of growth and services. She joined the agency in December 2014 with a background in corporate communications and marketing. Shannen is a 2014 graduate of Kent State University’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication.