4 types of visual engagement to enhance visual marketing campaigns
Almost every marketer is doing visual marketing, although some of them might not realize it. To focus on visual marketing is just to recognize the importance of visual media and to actively develop and optimize effective visual assets. This article will explain the fundamentals of good visual marketing and share four visual engagement tools you can use to increase the ROI of your campaigns.
What is visual marketing?
Visual marketing is a marketing approach that increases engagement through multimedia assets like videos and images. You deliver visual marketing content through the same channels you use for your current campaigns (e.g., your blog, social media, and digital advertising), but visual marketing puts more focus on the impact delivered by the visual elements of each campaign.
For example, instead of using a random stock photo for a Facebook Ad, you would carefully consider the message you’re trying to convey and test multiple images to see which performs best.
Why is visual marketing important?
Marketers are educators. They teach people about problems, their consequences, and possible solutions. If a marketer does their job right, the people who are the best fit for their offering will learn that it is the best solution to the problem they need to solve.
So having a basic understanding of how people learn is helpful when developing a marketing program.
Based on the latest research, people don’t learn better when you match their so-called learning style. Instead, learning happens through the use of all the senses—sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell—to assimilate information.
But that makes visual marketing even more important.
It means that visual marketing isn’t vital because it’s the best way to reach a certain percentage of the population. It’s critical because it’s an essential component of the best way to reach the entire population.
And, if you include visual elements in any of your marketing campaigns, you’re already engaged in visual marketing. That’s why it’s imperative to be intentional about the multimedia assets you include, monitor their performance, and optimize your campaigns’ visual components.
Ignoring the visual components of your marketing efforts is as bad for performance as neglecting the textual elements.
So you should actively look for ways to develop new multimedia assets to engage as many of your audience members’ senses as possible. That’s the only way to get the most out of every marketing campaign.
Types of visual content
There are many types of multimedia content at your disposal and, as technology advances, more options become available. Here are a few of the visual marketing tools out there and how you can add them to your toolbox:
Infographics are one of the most popular forms of visual marketing content. Sixty-one percent of marketers said they used original research to create infographics. But creating effective infographics is challenging.
While tools like Canva and Piktochart make it easier to create visually appealing infographics, aesthetics aren’t the most critical component of the format. The essential factors that determine the value of an infographic are the information it conveys and you organize it.
GIFs are a fun way to add entertainment value to your content, but they also allow you to share more substantive information.
For example, if you’re marketing a software product, you could use a tool like Ezgif to share an animated look into your platform. That way, people can get a firsthand look at how it works without watching a video.
Tools like Canva, Loom, and mmhmm each offer simple tools for creating videos. You can use these videos to increase social media engagement by producing informative content for your target audience. You can also use them to demonstrate your product and share testimonials.
If you don’t have the time or resources necessary to develop a high-quality infographic, there are other options. For example, you can use a tool like Canva to create simple graphs. This will make the information in your marketing content easier to digest.
Explaining the benefits of your product or service is helpful. Including actual results is even better, but the best way to drive home the value you provide is through a visual representation.
Taking screenshots of customer feedback with a tool like Snagit gives the testimonial added credibility. If you’re selling software, you can also use screenshots to give people a better idea of how it works.
Images are the most straightforward visual marketing content format. You can use Canva to create professional-looking graphics that are consistent with your brand.
Presentations are an excellent tool for delivering sales content, but you can also use them for inbound marketing campaigns. You can create presentations that address customer pain points at each stage of the Buyer’s Journey to build your brand credibility and generate leads.
Google Slides, Canva, and Prezi are all easy-to-use options. Canva and Prezi have the added benefit of making it easy to turn your presentation into an animated video. Whichever tool you use, you can add the final document to mmhmm and create a video that includes someone on your team presenting along with the presentation.
What is visual engagement?
Visual engagement is the process of actively engaging with members of your audience through a visual medium. It takes visual marketing a step further by making it interactive. This interactivity makes it more effective.
Why is visual engagement important?
No matter what a person may believe about their learning style, we all learn from our experiences. Every sensory perception that makes up an experience contributes to our ability to process information. This experiential exploration develops neural networks that allow us to better store and recall information.
That means that the more experiences you create for your customers and the more senses you engage in the process, the more memorable your brand will be in their mind.
Visual engagement enhances visual marketing because it works to transition your audience from passive recipients of information into active participants in a conversation.
Visual engagement tools
We’ll cover the four primary visual engagement tools that exist today and how you can utilize them to enhance your visual marketing efforts.
Video conferencing or video chat is familiar to everyone—probably too familiar thanks to the pandemic. Still, it has its uses.
By using a tool like Surfly, marketers can enable visitors to their marketing content to start a video chat with a sales rep with the click of a button. This offers a more personalized experience than live chat, and gives customers the satisfaction of knowing they’re not engaging with a bot.
Video conferencing can also be used for webinars, giving customers an opportunity to ask questions and see software in action.
Screen sharing has been another mainstay of the pandemic. In a visual marketing context, it’s useful for sharing multimedia content as part of a presentation or for walking through a product demo.
Unfortunately, the resulting image is usually low quality due to technological limitations. It also has the disadvantage of requiring customers to download software before they can participate.
Co-browsing is a faster and safer web-based alternative to screen sharing. Unlike screen sharing tools like Zoom, Surfly’s Co-browsing allows you to control what you share with people as it only operates on a single browser tab. From this tab, you can securely surf the entire web together and collaborate in real-time. There is also a considerable difference in speed and image quality when you use co-browsing over screen sharing. This is because with co-browsing you share your browser’s code, while with screen sharing you share pixels- multiple screenshots of your screen are taken and transmitted every second. Since code always travels faster than pixels, with co-browsing you have incredibly detailed image quality. A 4K video would appear as 4K while you’re co-browsing.
Co-browsing also allows the host to transfer control to one of the participants. That means the host has many options to get participants engaged. For example, at a web-based software company, the host might use Surfly to invite a participant to navigate the app while they walk them through a product demonstration.
Unlike screen sharing, co-browsing doesn’t require the host or the participant to download anything, so it’s easy to start a co-browsing session with anyone.
Website annotation allows marketers to add annotations to any site on the web. For example, you could share a third-party website with relevant statistics and add annotations to explain how different data points relate to your product or service.
Or you could share a news article that was written about your company and annotate the text with relevant marketing copy.
At Surfly, we have incorporated collaborative document annotation into our co-browsing solution. You can browse documents together and annotate them for a more visual and interactive experience. You can also use our drawing tool to guide people on a web page or a document.
Visual engagement is the next level of visual marketing
Visual marketing is an essential element of a comprehensive marketing strategy, but it’s only the beginning. The next step is to implement visual engagement tools to turn passive visitors into active participants in a conversation with your brand.