We’re part of a world that’s constantly devouring content. We have the Internet, email and social networks literally at our fingertips almost every minute of every day. With so much information to digest, there’s something to be said for simplifying communication. Messages that are delivered clearly will stand out amidst today’s deluge of status updates, text messages, email chains and alerts.
2013 predictions from B2B marketing experts pointed to this shift. As managing editor of SocialMediaB2B.com Jeffrey L. Cohen wrote, “Marketing communication is no longer just about great writing. Look for fewer words from top B2B marketers and eye-catching visuals that promote compelling offers." Rich imagery, quite simply, is a critical part of storytelling.
Consider this: Forrester Research shows 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and the brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. A picture is worth more than a thousand words, especially in one marketing channel on the rise: social media.
Social media usage statistics and behavioral trends point to the rapidly growing popularity of visual content. Findings from an ROI Research study conducted last year, for example, show that of those surveyed, 44% are likely to engage with pictures posted by brands — more so than status updates.
In response to this kind of data, Facebook redesigned its News Feed to incorporate larger images, a brilliant decision considering the fact that users upload 300 million images to the site every day. Plus, Facebook owns Instagram where an additional 40 million images are uploaded daily. Social Media Today reports that on Facebook, photos get seven times more likes and ten times more shares than links. LinkedIn has also responded to this shift in user behavior by recently launching its Visually Enhanced Profiles allowing users to visually showcase their professional stories.
B2B organizations have the opportunity to make lasting impressions and drive prospect and customer engagement by embracing visual content in their social media marketing strategies. The possible applications of visual storytelling within social media are numerous when a company leverages its existing imagery and takes advantage of the droves of industry-relevant content available online. For example, a company can provide behind-the-scenes glimpses into its culture on Instagram, create an infographic about the pain points its product or service solves and share it on Facebook, repurpose sales presentations on SlideShare or curate industry-relevant resources on Pinterest. Sometimes, all a business needs to do is ask users to submit their own visual content, sparing the company the time and expense of creating it while still engaging the audience.
Visual content, including photos, video, infographics, memes, comics and visual note-taking, increases brand awareness while educating and selling. For B2B organizations to remain relevant to their audiences, incorporating visual content into social media marketing strategies is moving from recommended to critical.
Need more information? Alli Sands, Storyteller 90octane 518 17th Street, Suite 1400 Denver, CO 80202 720-904-8169 Fax: 303.295.1577 firstname.lastname@example.org
ALLI SANDS a storyteller with 90octane since January 2013. She has been professionally managing online content and social media for more than four years. She first realized the power of social media in college when she started using Myspace to promote her Examiner.com articles. Since then, Sands has familiarized herself with a variety of social media channels along with the tools and strategies needed for social media campaign success.
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