Visual marketing. This is likely not a term you have seen or read anywhere else, but I am using it anyways (I am kind of badass like that). All of us business builders are talking about content marketing, email marketing, social media marketing, and more… and I really believe that visual marketing should be added to the list of strategies we are using.

Visual marketing is simply using images to communicate a message about your business.

The images can be still or moving, they can contain photographs or information, they can be based on products or services, they can be shared online or in person. and chances are that you are already using images in some way for your business.

Have you ever shared a fun image on your Facebook page? Have you added a photograph to a blog post? Have you used Instagram or Pinterest or Youtube for your business? Then you are using visuals for your business! You just maybe haven’t put it all together as a marketing strategy.

But you should.

We are visual creatures. We often remember images better than text and images often resonate in a way that text alone doesn’t. Images can add some variety to what you are already doing with your business. Plus, images are popular. Just think of the popularity of Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube… even the funny memes that fill your Facebook newsfeed!

Social media has gone visual. People are visual. Your marketing needs to be visual.

If you are using images in any way (from professional product photos to the random stuff you share on Facebook), you are sending a message about your business, about your brand, and about your products & services.

Wouldn’t it be good to be sure you are sending the right message? The one you want to send? And wouldn’t it be good to use images that will enhance brand recognition, build trust, create loyalty, and generate engagement?

One of the things I find from so many businesses is that they do a lot of sharing of other people’s images but they rarely share something original, something linked to their own brand. Just like with social media marketing or content marketing, you don’t want to share other people’s stuff 100% of the time. You need your own visual content for your business.

What kinds of images can you use?

It is important to think beyond product photos or logo banners. If all you ever shared were images of what you sell, that would start feeling pretty spam-ish (just as if every social media post you made said ‘buy this now!’). So the key is to think about what else you can ‘say’ with your images, and what would resonate with your fans.

perhaps you could include something…

  • inspirational (quotes or lyrics)
  • informative (infographics or instructions)
  • useful (printables or worksheets)
  • fun (humorous or entertaining)
  • that shows your product/service in a different way (before & after photos or the product/service in use).

If you are not sure what kind of image you can add to your marketing, try to start with what it is that you want to achieve (for example do you want to help people, demonstrate some expertise, start a conversation, make people feel like they are not alone) and then work backwards to think about how you can accomplish that using an image – think about what your people my see and think “yes,
yes! that is so perfect!”

And with so many tools available to you online, it is easier than ever to create your own images for your biz.

Here are a few to get you started…

  • picmonkey: great for making creative & fun “sharables” (those images that you can share online – on your Facebook page or in blog posts etc.)
  • pinstamatic: perfect for creating images that you can pin on Pinterest
  • someecards: you will have seen these all over Facebook and Pinterest, but you
    can actually make your own funny images, related to your brand or niche
  • wordle: makes it very easy to design an inspiring or interesting word cloud
  • animoto: easily create your own videos or slide shows
  • use this for creating your own infographics
  • this is a brand new one that allows you to build an online ‘mural’ and share content in new, interesting ways – I used it to turn a boring old ‘e-magazine’ into something much more engaging and inspiring.

2012 was the year that social media went visual. I am predicting that 2013 is the year that businesses will go visual…that we all will be using the term “visual marketing” and adding images as a strategic part of our marketing plans. They say an image is worth 1000 words. That is a pretty strong communication tool, isn’t it? What will you say with yours?