In today’s economy, businesses are more keen than ever to harness the power of the visual image to portray their brand, enhance their online presence, and to attract new customers. If we look back twenty years, we would see a very different landscape. Social media was in its infancy, there was no opportunity to utilize Instagram as a tool for promotion. There was a greater reliance on TV, radio jingles, and print media. The visual revolution had not yet begun.
Fast forward a couple of decades and the visual bombardment of images that we see every day has exploded at a rapid pace. Social media is now the go to method of communication for millennials. The phone used to be primary way to talk to friends. Nowadays they will start up their smartphone with a fingerprint and head onto Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. We no longer even have to use our voices to talk to one another, predictive text does it for us!
When it comes to the visual media of the twenty first century, it is important that businesses use it responsibly. All too often we hear of Twitter becoming a hostile online environment. As this hostility grows, the social media companies ability to police it weakens. As a business, you need to ensure that your use of visual media isn’t used negatively.
The power of the image has never been stronger than it is today. Here is how you can use visual media to enhance your business.
The number one tool for harnessing images to increase your visibility online is Instagram. This Facebook owned social media company relies on the need for people to uploading images every day for likes and comments. Everyone has that friend who posts every meal they eat. Even a side salad can look gourmet using an Amaro filter. Properly done, the images a business uploads can convince potential customers
into using your services or buying your product.
Stick with a theme for your filtering. If you sell custom made t-shirts for toddlers, you probably won’t want to use the harsh light of the Lo-Fi or Xpro filters. However, Rise or Gingham filters could give you the softness and gentle feel that attracts the right customer. You could opt for filterless images but in today’s competitive market, you want to get every edge you can.
Instagram is a fantastic tool for displaying your products or services and also communicating with your clientele. If you post a picture of a brand new item from your latest product, this is a perfect opportunity to engage with your customer’s comments.
Utilize appropriate hashtags to help spread your message to people that may not follow you, but are interested in a particular topic. Don’t use too many or that may dilute your message. Be concise and crisp in your message.
Twitter and Facebook also are tools to reach your target clients. Another effective method is using video. You could create a Youtube account and show off your brand. If you’ve been to a trade show and you have pitched your idea to a crowd with an excellent presentation, upload the video for it. Get people watching it, sharing it, and directing traffic to your website that you can then convert into sales.
Photography For Your Website
Try to use your own images rather than stock photography. Your potential customers want to see you in action, not some generic stock photos. Take pictures of your team, whether they are headshots, or photos of them in action working at their desks. Accompany each image with a short bio or some fun facts and perk up your company profile a little with some kooky prose.
The website you create needs to epitomize your brand. When considering your logo, opt for something simple. Overly complex designs can be difficult and expensive to reproduce on flyers, business cards and other merchandise. Select a color scheme that doesn’t use every color of the rainbow. There needs to be a consistency within your branding through the logo, the font choice and the color scheme that you select to ensure that your company is instantly recognizable.
Using the best images and having a clear message and ethos means that you won’t become lost in a sea of competitors. If you are opening a tattoo studio, you probably won’t want to emulate the baby pinks and blues of a company selling toys for toddlers. You’ll want something edgier, monochrome and achingly cool.
Consider employing an outsourced team to hone your branding if you need to. It is the first portrayal of your business that any customer sees so it’s crucial that you get it right.
Out of these 12 Areas Of Improvement For Employees their ability to learn new skills is vital. This enables you to keep your staff upskilled and being able to apply a relevant skill set to your company and the industry. But it’s up to you as an employer to facilitate this. If you want to train up some staff members to become more adept at visual marketing, taking some promo shots of items, or becoming more technically proficient with Adobe Illustrator, you need to empower them to undertake courses or training.
Look out for local events and courses that you could release some of your staff to during the working day. Alternatively, seek out the services of a consultant who is an expert with Adobe applications to come and train up your staff. Focused training means that you can have a team of individuals who can look after the website, take control of your social media management and utilize their technical skills to create new logos, leaflets, advertising materials, and merchandise. If you don’t have to outsource, you can keep your corporate strategy for online marketing in house.
Don’t Forget The Old Methods
While print media tends to focus on words and prose, billboards and TV adverts are still highly visual. With a newfound slant on satirical images, you can show off your company while displaying the negative aspects of another in a very subtle way. Nowadays we see adverts on the TV for grocery shopping, where a supermarket will be very blunt in stating how much money you could save buying the same basket of goods in their stores rather than heading to a specifically named competitor. This is bold. But with the visuals to accompany the claims, the message becomes all the more powerful.
Billboards may no longer be the pieces of large paper that used to get wallpapered up to a mammoth board. In the twenty first century they are electronic, can cater for the moving image, and are more capable of getting your advertising message across. Consider what your advertising or promotional goals are, and decide whether billboards and TV advertisements are a route you wish to explore.
The dawn of visual media as being the number one way to communicate with your customers and advertise your startup shows no sign of abating. If anything, Instagram is becoming more popular than ever, as so far it is the one platform that hasn’t been touched by the trolling and hostility of Twitter and Facebook. Most of the visual promotion that you seek will be a tool to drive people to your main sales point – your website. It is then down to your strategy to convert these visits into sales and profit. Without decent branding, photography and a logo, your online presence will be severely diminished.
Businesses can harness the power of Instagram for free as there are no sign up costs. It’s a fantastic tool to get you a following, and coupled with a visually inspiring website that you can direct traffic to, you could have the ideal visual environment for your startup.