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Where Businesses Go to Grow

How to Leverage Visual Content in Your Marketing Strategy

It's no secret that visual marketing is the future of brand promotion.  Everywhere you turn, businesses are using images, video and infographics to get their messages across.  The percentage of visual content on websites and social media is increasing day by day, and even search engines are starting to give preference to content that is more than just blocks of text.  This is all well and good if you have beautiful or interesting products you can photograph, but what do you do if your business is less visually-oriented? Here are some ideas that can help you out.
 
Show people what they wouldn't normally see.  Everyone loves a behind-the-scenes look, so if your product or service doesn't lend itself well to photos or video, you can always bring people in for a sneak peek at your office culture.  Telling your company story by letting your team show who they are and what they are about is a great way to let your customers feel like they're part of the journey.  You can show how orders are assembled, who is taking customer service calls, or even share videos from the latest office party.  Hootsuite (a distinctly non-visual brand) has mastered this technique on their Instagram account, even using the hashtag #hootsuitelife to help boost posts about what it's like to work there.
 
Think beyond the literal.  Let's say, for example, that your business publishes a magazine.  Aside from linking to stories that are in the magazine and an occasional shot of what the monthly cover looks like, what other content could you post on social media?  After all, your product is just pages with words, but if you think a bit outside the box, words also have a graphic design element.  Take the Instagram account of <a href="https://www.instagram.com/foundr/">Foundr Magazine</a>, for example - interspersed among shots of the magazine itself are inspirational quotes with interesting graphic design, creating a beautiful and compelling visual element where they might have otherwise struggled to find one.
 
Get your customers to do some of the work for you.  Xero is a company that sells accounting software.  This may seem like a dead-end in terms of visual promotion, but they've worked around it by creating social media accounts full of photos submitted by their customers.  Because most businesses use accounting applications of some kind, Xero is able to showcase the wide range of companies that benefit from their software, thus giving those brands a promotional boost while promoting their own product, as well.  It's a win-win situation for everyone involved.
 
If you have a non-visual brand, sit down with your team and brainstorm some ways in which you could use visual elements to connect with your customers in a unique way.  You might be surprised at what you come up with and how well it works!
 
Cogo Interactive is an award-winning digital marketing agency specializing in online marketing strategy, web design, SEO and social media marketing. We work with clients in Virginia, Maryland, Washington, DC and nationally.
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