Visual content is one of the most effective ways to engage your audience. Users are far more likely to interact with something which grabs their attention, and in the scrolling world of online media, there is no better way to do that than with an image or video. On Twitter images and videos receive far more interaction than a plain tweet. Facebook even gives additional importance to visual content or as they have labelled it: ‘edge weight’, meaning that images and videos are more likely to be positioned higher in your newsfeed.
The popularity of this type of content has led to the development of a variety of social media platforms which are entirely designed around this concept. Here are three of the most used:
Pinterest is effectively a virtual pin board. The concept is that you create ‘boards’ on a thematic basis which you ‘pin’ relevant images to. Each user can make a variety of different boards based around their interests. Members can either follow individual boards, or opt to track everything that that a person chooses to pin. Dominated by females, this platform is the home of meaningful quotes, inspirational images, infographics and of course cute animal pictures. Images also can also act as link, so it is a fantastic way to drive traffic to your site.
Marketing techniques for Pinterest
As previously mentioned, Pinterest has a largely female user base which should be taken into consideration when utilising this site. Content which is emotionally weighted performs particularly well, so think about pictures which either pull on the heartstrings or make people laugh. Other types of material try include how to guides, for example a gym could create a 20 minute fitness plan. Keep branding simple but visible with your website or social media handles in the corner.
Pinterest also offer you the ability to nominate designated ‘pinners’. Trusted fans can be granted access to one of your boards which will increase the loyalty and engagement they have with your brand.
Instagram is probably the most well-known of these visual social networks. A simple but effective concept; users are able to upload images from their smart phone or PC to share within their community. In essence, it is a sort of visual Twitter and in turn uses similar processes to share content. Members are able to follow and be followed by other users, have a rolling newsfeed of the latest images and are also able to tag people using the ‘@’ sign and topics using the ‘#’. The draw of Instagram is also the ability to edit pictures and apply filters which enhance the appearance of the image. The filters give pictures an authentic, retro feel which appeals to many peoples penchant for nostalgia.
Marketing techniques for Instagram
Instagram users are already highly engaged and eager to think of new image ideas. Utilising this can get your client to market your product for you. For example, you can set up a competition which requires users to upload photos of them using your product in inventive ways. Ensure that you have clear branding on your promotional items and your brand will be displayed to the masses with little effort from your marketing team. Why not even offer the winners an item as a giveaway, ensuring that your business stays in their mind even longer? The beauty of Instagram is that you can track and measure user engagement with the simple, but eternally useful hashtag feature.
Keek is the newest member of the visual social networking community. Launched in 2011, it is already considerably popular with users. In August 2012 alone, it received 250 million page views; not bad for the baby of the family. Keek also lends itself to comparison Twitter offering users the ability to record visual ‘Tweets’, in effect a combination of this and YouTube. Members upload personal video clips, or ‘Keeks’ which must be no longer than 36 seconds long. They then share these with their followers. Users can track other ‘Keeks’ in their feed and also search topics using the increasingly popular hashtag resource.
Marketing techniques for Keek
Keek goes beyond a static image and requires you to think outside of the box. The amateur nature of ‘Keeks’ however means you do not need to employ expensive video production techniques to generate popularity. You can even get users to create videos for you, showing how they use your product or service. Short video clips have endless potential; why not encourage you employees to get involved with product placements and live demonstrations?
image credit: bryanmcdonald.com