Visual marketing is a topical subject in the world of Internet marketing.

Vision is the primary human sense that enables people to use pattern recognition to expand their knowledge, such as the ability to read words and to recognise the content of an image.

The human brain constantly seeks new forms of stimulation, and that is exactly what a visual marketing strategy sets out to achieve. This is by no means a new concept; for many years visual merchandising has been used in retail outlets to best display products and influence buying decisions.

Many internationally-known brands rely heavily on visual marketing to build a complete brand identity that is immediately recognisable and unmistakeable. Visual cues include logos, uniforms, vehicle livery and all forms of advertising, both real world and digital.

Focusing for a moment specifically on the digital side of things, the way that users surf the internet has changed subtly over the years. People have evolved from content readers to content browsers, meaning that this new breed of user is consciously seeking out visual content that represents exactly what he wants.

This trend has extended as far as users searching for specific logo descriptions in order to find a website, rather than searching a business type, description or location. Again, this underlines the importance of building up visual branding initially, with correct web page optimisation techniques being used to underpin them.

The most important step is to start by gaining public brand awareness so that your business is familiar to as many people as possible, and works towards making everything about it ‘corporate’ in nature.

If this is a relatively new concept for you, rather than trying to dream up an entirely new visual marketing creation, start simply by upgrading (and updating) an existing piece of content such as an evergreen blog post, e-book or slide show to include visual items and, of course, include your corporate branding.

The ultimate visual content is an infographic, which, when correctly created, has the ability to portray a vast amount of data in an easy to understand and pictorial way that could otherwise take literally pages of text to describe.

Luckily for today’s businesses, there are numerous ready-made visual tools at their disposal. As well as Facebook and YouTube, there are the sites such as Pinterest and Instagram, which are both extremely popular and provide a perfect medium to leverage this type of marketing.

One of the best things of all about visual content is that people love to share it when they have found it to be of interest to them. This can be quickly and easily achieved with so many social networking sites available, many of which are host to millions of users.

Businesses of every size and type can benefit from visual marketing, provided that this is carried out in a professional way and orchestrated to ensure that your products, business goals and even ethics are made clear in the mind of your target audience.

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About the author:

Alistair Harris is ClickThrough’s head of content. A double-award-winning senior journalist, Ali holds both the NCTJ and NCE qualifications and has more than ten years of experience in traditional press and PR. He has worked in digital marketing and SEO for the past three years and is passionate, enthusiastic and committed to quality.