Guest Blog: Can a strong visual strategy have a positive impact on a businesses' finances?

7th February 2017

CAN A STRONG VISUAL STRATEGY HAVE A POSITIVE IMPACT ON A BUSINESSES’ FINANCES?

Brighton Marina - Image: Liz Finlayson/Vervate

Image: Liz Finlayson/Vervate

74% of social media marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing, ahead of blogs (68%) and videos (60%). 

Maximizing return on investment is of course the fundamental aim of any marketing strategy.  A strong visual strategy – and one that is used! – will have a seriously positive effect on that return. 

How?  

Know your Visual Brand 

Most businesses will have a Brand Statement or Strategy through which they ensure that their whole team and all external service providers deliver to their specifications.  Many of these Statements include areas such as logo usage, design templates, colour set, fonts, etc – but many omit the visuals.  Your photography and video needs should be absolutely in line with your branding.  What kind of messages do you want to put over? Remember to incorporate the story of your company too – who do you want to work with and what do they like to be part of?  

If you don’t have a Brand Statement or need to incorporate a visual section, think about putting one together.  Canva have a handy blog on this and here are some examples: 

Ensure it is a key part of your Marketing Strategy, not an after-thought.

Visuals are often left to the last minute.  I am constantly amazed at how much company’s spend on a PR event and forget to book a photographer, or think they can do without one.  PR is about getting your message out, getting people to see your company - who you are and what makes you tick.  Spending hundreds of pounds (minimum!) on an event and not valuing the images is a shame!!

i360 Networking Event Barclays: Image by Liz Finlayon/Vervate

 Image by: Liz Finlayon/Vervate

Multi-Purpose

The fact that you can multi-purpose so much content marketing means that the cost to produce it can be kept to a minimum.  Visual content is one of the easiest forms of content marketing with a huge amount of potential to use over and over again.  

For example, images of staff can be used on each social media platform, be attached to media releases, go on your website, be used on Pitches or Delegate Lists…  

Visuals are also the most highly shared of content: 

Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images.

Be Organised

If you have remembered to ensure visuals are key in your marketing strategy, then you are a long way towards this.  I also suggest organizing your actual visuals so that you can find them easily, record where you have used them, and multi-purpose them.  A private Flickr account can be handy for this as images can be tagged for ease of search. You can also add comments to an image that says where you have used it.  

Don’t Under Invest in it

There’s no need.  Just because your Partner’s daughter has a DSLR and wants to be a photographer, doesn’t mean that them taking your key website images is a good time investment.  Of course, if said Partner insists, then you have no choice, but it rarely works out well.   

Get professionals in – people that know how to interpret what you need and give the content to you ready to use, get new clients and go forth to increase your SEO.

Brighton Togs / Vervate

 Image by: Skye Brackpool/Vervate

Get your staff trained up on it.  They should know things like:

  • what your company brand is
  • how to source free visuals legally and easily
  • how to source the right kind of paid visuals easily
  • how to ensure that there are enough visuals streaming onto all of your social media streams
  • how to take great images on their mobiles – ie at trade shows for Twitter  

Measure and adapt

Interestingly enough, many businesses are not measuring the impact of their marketing despite an increasing realization that content marketing deserves a strong budget.  For example, 63% of businesses have a budget dedicated to content marketing – only 31% said content marketing was essential, according to data from Smartinsights-Hubspot Content Marketing.  

This slideshow is a great read if you are one of those businesses.[1]   

To discuss your own approach to using visuals in marketing, I am happy to share my thoughts over a coffee.  Just ask.  If you buy me a pint I’ll probably tell you more.

Susi Doherty / Vervate 

Susi Doherty Creative Director, Vervate

office@vervate.com

01273 275162

07973 677 017 

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