Online Marketing

Fred Lebhart Posted by Fred Lebhart on July 29, 2016

All Words and No Play? Why Modern Brands Need Visuals

All Words and No Play? Why Modern Brands Need Visuals

Modern Brands have begun to rely heavily on visuals. But why?

Not everyone thinks visually—but if you’re trying to expand your reach, you probably should. Not convinced? Here are some numbers that may sway you:

Yes, while blogging has made words and ideas a pretty big deal online, new updates to Facebook and new platforms like Instagram, Vine, and Snapchat have ensured that the new generation of customers also wants videos and photos to engage with. In fact, one of the main ways that brands can net more Millennial users (even if that’s not their target demographic) is by focusing on visual elements. 

But what does that mean for you? It means you may need to think about who you work with—and what messages you’re trying to get across. 

Create campaigns with visuals in mind

Instead of reverse-engineering older campaigns, which may have focused more on verbal or written storytelling, smart brands are coming up with all-new ideas that focus on images and videos. 

The next time you’re in a brainstorming meeting, ask yourself (and your team) a few key questions:

  • How can we tell this with video? 
  • Are there compelling photos, GIFs, or other visual pop culture references we can be using?
  • How will this play on Twitter and Facebook? Are there different images we can use for those platforms?

You may be surprised to find that your entire creative process is slightly different when you’re really focusing on how to tell your story with pictures and words. 

Hire for success

There are lots of scary stories out there about the nefarious Millennial job-hopper, but the truth is, for your in-house hires, it’s a good idea to look for someone who’s actually in your target demographic and comes fully equipped with the instincts you need. Even if marketing, messaging, and communications will be only a small component of a new hire’s job, consider looking for someone with a background in images and/or video, and a person who lives and breathes Snapchat and Instagram every single day. 

Look to the Best

If you’re a little vexed by the newer image-based platforms (Snapchat can be pretty darn confusing), try finding examples of brands that are doing it really well. 

Read up on the various lists describing the users and accounts that are the best, most interesting, or even a little weird, and then follow a few brands who have really invested in the platform. Take notes about what they share, how they do it, how often they post, and what you like about it. Then, take your ideas to your team and try to find a good match for your own voice. Even if the platform isn’t a good fit, it can still be an instructional exercise just to see what’s out there. 

Even established, legacy brands are getting on the visual train—just look at the New York Times' use of quotations on Twitter—which means there are ways for any and all companies to incorporate more images and photos. 

And if you’re not quite sure how to go about it? Well, there are plenty of smart folks around (ahem) who can help. 

Still stuck on visuals? We can help!

efelle creative is a Seattle-based web marketing firm that specializes in website design and development, website content management, search engine optimization, and other online marketing services. Since 2005, efelle has worked with hundreds of businesses to help them with their web development needs. Call us at 206.384.4909 or fill out our online contact form to get in touch with a custom web design specialist.