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February 02, 2012

Importance of the 'visual' in online marketing

Visual distraction is what the internet specializes in, whether at work or writing a paper, one little click can pull you down the "just one more page and I'll get back to work" avenue. But, this same concept of visual distraction or even visual capture (because distraction is a rather negative term) when applied, can make your brand stand out from the crowd.

My last post covered the unexpected/lovable introduction of Pinterest into our social networks. Only a few weeks after I published the post, I'm noticing many people integrating their Pinterest feeds on Facebook and websites that are incorporating the Pin It buttons, with the aim to simplify the process of social share.

This time around, I've stumbled upon Conceptually this platform is designed to be quite similar to Pinterest, you can follow different categories according to your interests. The one cool feature about Mobli is that it supports sharing photos/videos in real time.

Growth in social platforms that are focusing on the visual only means one thing-- one can't deny the need to make your web presence appear aesthetic.

An image speaks louder than words there by ensuring your message has a better chance of lingering around in the viewer's mind. While focusing on content, many companies over look the 'image' aspect. Lets face facts, some brands aren't as glamorous as other brands but a DIY brand like HGTV on Pinterest is a great example of segmenting and diversifying your outreach using images that can be of interest to your audience.

Benefits of image incorporation within your web content

1. Improving social experience: Looking at some brands, I get a feeling that companies seem to forget that their web presence isn't just about providing their audience with the right content, it is also about providing an experience. Using images as part of your content is a smart way to practice experiential marketing in the virtual world.


2. Brand presentation: Images are the core of eloquent visual rhetorics. Harnessing on the power of images, you can build a desirable brand image.

Source: Moon Games by Laurent Laveder

3. Speak better than words: Brands can build stories that transcend the language barrier. Visuals speak for themselves and can help you send out subtle messages. At times visuals can be used to simplify a message that can appear complicated when explained with the use of text.


3. Search/Social media optimisation: Appropriate use of tags on images will ensure a rise in web traffic. Not all these people who land on your page will be interested in what you offer but there is always a good percentage of viewers who will click on the 'Website for this image' link to read more. In terms of social media optimisation, good descriptions below images can get the audience to click on your link,  presented with the image.

Things to consider when using visuals

1. Use high quality, beautiful images! Poor images will have an opposite effect on the audience and turn them away.

2. Make images clickable. Nothing is more annoying on the website than having an image that cannot be clicked.

3. Concentrate on tagging. It is important to have tags that are not misleading.

4. Credit image source.

5. Insert spaces when required. Quite often I've noticed web pages where images and textual content appears congested. Good designing practice requires empty space to be left between images and text.

6. Use creative inspiration from digital design websites like Beautiful Life.

Some of the world's most popular brands have attractive and pleasant visuals accompanying their content. Investing a bit more in acquiring high quality images from stock websites or hiring a professional photographer will always have a good return. Furthermore, you can use Pinterest, Flickr, Google+ and now Mobli to share your photos online!

Talking about visual experience, just yesterday I found this website for Sandvik (An Engineering Group). One might consider their brand to be uncool but the brilliant visual experience the site has to offer has something else to say! This is a great example of how you can take some of the most unglamorous brand related imagery over 125 years of manufacturing and produce something so engaging.

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