09.09.2021 12:30

Visual Marketing Is Not As Scary As You Think – 5 Ways to Master It

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With visual marketing, you only need one glimpse. That’s all it takes to make your message heard. Creativity can sculpt a picture in such a way, that any viewer can grasp its meaning in under a second. Luckily, marketers nowadays don’t need to be Modigliani to speak to audiences in pictures. They have technology to do that for them.

Visual Marketing Is Not As Scary As You Think - 5 Ways to Master ItHowever, it’s not artistic skills that hinder marketers from taking their brand under spotlights. It’s modern behavior consumers adopt in their content discovery. Always searching for the next piece to fit nicely in their lifestyle puzzles, their attention span has shrunk dramatically to 8.25 seconds. This is one field where goldfish outdo the human race with their 9-second ability to stay focused on a topic at a time.

Take social media for example. There is an entire feed that social media users can scroll down to. Since there’s no end to it, they can keep scrolling for hours on end.

The first few posts act as a quality benchmark for what’s to come. As the scrolling speed is getting higher and higher, the expectations are growing at the same pace. Eventually, only a truly spectacular post will arrest their scrolling (for a maximum of 8.25 seconds though).

Nonetheless, an outstanding grasp of visual marketing strategies will need under 6 seconds to pique the public’s interest. This is what we’ll discover today. We’ll uncover 5 failproof strategies to propel any visual marketing plan to an expert level and how you can make them happen.

Why You Shouldn’t Keep Holding on to Written Content Only

Why You Shouldn’t Keep Holding on to Written Content OnlyContent marketing serves a noble purpose: education. Storytellers have always possessed the magic to gather the public around them and nurture their curious minds with knowledge and imagination.

However, we should start thinking of visuals as the modern generation of the word. People can not only read a message, but see it with their own eyes. Data backs up the aphorism that seeing is believing.

Venngage polled over 500 marketing specialists in a quest of finding their outlook on visual content. The numbers spoke volumes. Over 50% of them claimed that they used visual support in their strategies all the time. Not only that but 69% of them consider visuals a necessity and not a luxury.

On the other hand, when asked about struggles, professionals didn’t consider a satisfactory reach first. On the contrary, their number one problem is the recurrent need for engaging visual concepts.

That being said, visual marketing has become inevitable. To take a shortcut and steer clear of a slow visual production, let’s move on to revealing the 5 main ways to master visual marketing.

1. User-Generated Content

The simplest of them all requires no skills and no budget. Whenever a customer posts a photo with your products in reviews or on social media, you’ve gotten yourself with user-generated content (UGC).

These pictures are a gold mine. They might be shaky, not sharp enough, and the light could be just terrible. Despite all this, UGC is always telling the story of a happy client. It is the exact flaws you don’t want to see in studio photography that gives photos away as being honest product reviews.

The best part about social media is that users are at their most engaging stage. Businesses can leverage that and start an organic campaign for generating UGC.

User-Generated ContentThe simplest strategy is to create a unique branded hashtag. Next step, invite followers to post pictures with their products under the chosen hashtag.

This way, customers are happy to get in front of a large community while the brand gains original visuals. Other strategies include giveaways or contests which are highly popular on Instagram. Challenge your community to reply to your giveaway post with their most hilarious, creative or inspirational photo with your logo. In exchange, repay their benevolence with the chance of winning a coveted prize.

Once the campaign ends, it’s time to harvest the results. Chances are your marketing team is going to enjoy a robust collection of UGC. These assets are fit for daily posts, Instagram Stories, paid ads, blog photography, product pages, and shoppable galleries.

At the end of the day, UGC content is a modern construct through which consumers can communicate a product review. Viewers need a few seconds to grasp their meaning. In the hands of marketers, these resources can enrich their brand authority and raise awareness online.

2. Stock Photos but with Your Mark on Them

Not long ago, stock photography was considered outdated. Its presence set brands side by side with undesirable attributes such as lazy or cheap. However, thanks to the latest digital trims anybody can use, stock photos are now a valuable source of marketing content for any company.

In short, stock photos are professional pictures with sharp contrast and the right lights on. However, only the right ones that are also deeply customized will budge conversion rates over the roof.

Fortunately, the Internet is oozing with free and subscription-based repositories:

The Customization Part

Usually, royalty-free stock photos are not associated with originality. That’s because everybody has access to them, even your competitors.

Product PresentationsNonetheless, there are plenty of online platforms or software solutions out there ready to tweak your stock collection into a unique image for your brand:

  • Software (Photoshop, Paint.net, Corel PaintShop Pro X6, Adobe Photoshop Elements 12, etc.);
  • Online platforms (Canva, PicMonkey, Stencil, Crello, etc.);
  • Mobile apps (VSCO, Photoshop Express, Quik, Pixlr, etc.).

Any of the above tools can turn a stock photo unrecognizable. Through graceful fonts, carefully selected color palettes, and creative templates, anyone can freshen up any cliched photos.

3. Live Videos

You’ve postponed this long enough. It’s high time you grabbed any smartphone to broadcast live from headquarters or events.

Visual marketing comes in many shapes, and live video is the next level. Why live? Because viewers hold no high expectations for live streaming. On the contrary, they tune in for raw content of a behind-the-scenes format, where authenticity and spontaneity are at home.

What this means for you is the blissful absence of expensive recording equipment. Anybody can do it. All you need is a smartphone and a context. In return, you get to encourage engagement and brand awareness. There are different scenarios you can employ to set engaging live video content in motion.


A live video taken where most of the activity happens is like an open invitation behind the closed door of a brand. By entrusting consumers with a real-time view of your office, you create a strong bond with them based on transparency and dialog.

That’s right; it’s not just a monologue you’re going for. It’s a live conversation with your target audience since viewers can communicate with you in text messages and emojis. There’s going to be bloopers for sure. Nonetheless, these elements just add to the genuine flavor you are aiming for with a live video.

On top of that, consumers are always curious about what’s going on inside a brand they are considering. Don’t let them waiting and start planning your first live video.

Product Presentations

Product PresentationsTo you, it’s like second nature to get around your product or service. However, things are different with your new leads. Your product is a territory unfamiliar to them. Luckily, a quick demonstrative video can easily show them how to master it.

Unlike “how-to” videos, live training has a more accessible feel to it. First of all, the session will appear at the top of users’ feeds as soon as it gets live. Secondly, their option to ask questions in real time and receive answers on the spot is of tremendous help.

Under these situations, a relatable face with a warm voice at the helm of the presentation is going to make all the difference. Viewers will have it easier to interact with the brand and learn processes new to them.


Interviews are particularly attractive to any audience as they easily provide a human connection. The communication takes place outside any digital space. There’s only an examiner carrying out a conversation with a person whose particular experience is about to be revealed after a session of questions.

A live interview with a colleague, industry specialist, local celebrity, movie star or customer can draw a lot of attention and stimulate social media reach. Tip: avoid any kind of busy background. Keep it simple (your logo on a monochrome wall will do) so that the audience is engrossed in the conversation only with no other stimuli to divert their attention.

Moreover, the fact that it is live content gives audiences a chance to join the dialog. One of the most powerful ways to obtain high engagement is to answer messages right away.

On top of that, a responsive and inclusive behavior encourages more viewers to leave their passive stance and interact with the brand. So remember, a live interview through social media keeps followers in the moment.

4. Candid Snapshots

Candid SnapshotsNowadays, marketers need to get extremely comfortable with their smartphones especially their photography cameras. Any marketing plan needs to assign a generous time window for taking pictures and creating videos.

The silver lining of snapping your own pictures lies in authenticity and originality. Unlike stock collections, nonbody else possesses copyrights over your own work. Therefore, the visual content will preserve a unique attribute at all times.

Snapshots immortalize a moment in time that characterizes your company 100 percent. A spontaneous picture of your product while it’s made absorbs exclusive momentum only to cast that energy on to your audience. Other photos of your colleagues, new collections, company events, in-house brainstorms, meetings or coffee breaks can populate even further a busy visual marketing calendar.

5. Graphics

Graphics Add ValueFonts and graphic elements add value to any social media post. Brands are expected to be authorities in the industry. A good visual can share market know-how that enriches their customers’ shopping experience.

For instance, Starbucks has developed a special relationship with its community on Instagram. Besides being on time with every international celebration, Starbucks is also making everyone feel welcome and part of the community. Their delicious formula mixes colorful graphics with meaningful messages that touch on every type of coffee drinker.

If you want to create beautiful graphics, images and infographics, you may find infographic tips, examples and templates here.

Types of Graphics and Visual Messages

Types of Graphics and Visual MessagesHere’s what you can include:

● Customer reviews - Brand ratings are benefiting both clients and companies. For one, they help others make better shopping choices and improve brand image at the same time. For sure, positive reviews deserve their own spot on social media, framed in an attractive photo.
● Infographics - They may appear to have no place on social media as users consume tiny bites of information at a time. However, a short version of infographics in bold colors can catch the eyes and add value to a user’s scrolling session. 
● Employee quotes - What better way is there to humanize a brand than to allow its own employees to speak? Their words showed against a photo of them while at work underlines the humane side of the company. As such, users will find it easier to approach the brand next time.
● Case studies - Advertisements and promotional content have but a narrow space to talk about product benefits. As such, they mention general or vague features only. However, a specific situation where the product saved the day can look very well in a festive font.
● Inspirational quotes - When there are no more quirky days to celebrate (#NationalPizzaPieDay), no brand milestones, no company news, the only safe thing marketers can rely on is a motivational quote.
● Memes - If a sense of humor suits your brand image, memes can offer a hearty laughter session. From short phrases starting with “One does not simply…” or  “What if I told you…;” to meme celebs known as Philosoraptor, Awkward Penguin, Success Baby or Confession Bear, there’s a meme format for every situation or unconventional idea.
● Doodles - Getting artsy with your team’s skillset secures a safe road straight to an original creation. Colorful and inventive doodles crowning products invigorate the look of any social media feed.

Tips to Building a Visually Compelling Social Media Calendar

The starting point is always the toughest. Where there’s no compass, chaos can set in. This is why you need the kind of vision that only planning ahead can get you. An editorial calendar will set your social media activity up for weeks in advance.

Tips to Building a Visually Compelling Social Media CalendarHere are some tips to guide you to a busy social media calendar:

● Decide on a posting schedule - Consistency raises anticipation. Get your community accustomed to a timetable, and you will cultivate an internal routine. Moreover, this strategy ensures followers won’t forget about you due to oblivion.
● Content type selection - Out of the above-mentioned types of visual content, choose a handful of them. Make sure they fit the company profile.
● Visual templates - You can turn to your team of designers to create a staple template for each type of visual content. Templates are a welcome shortcut that saves marketers precious time.
● Mark important dates down - Any significant company milestones up for next month? How about national days that your brand usually celebrates? Mark them down in your calendar and allocate enough time for them to organize original visual posts.
● Stick to a visual signature - Some brands post photos in a particular color scheme only. Others keep their logo visible in each of their pieces. What’s useful about this strategy is that people start recognizing your content at first sight.
● Include metrics for measurement - Likes, shares, comments, impressions, reach - these metrics will tell you which visual format is valuable to your company and which ones to start cutting out for good.

Working with a professional graphic designer can definitely help you define your brand identity.

Final thoughts on Visual Marketing

All in all, visual marketing is no longer an option. It has become the norm. Thanks to the numerous tools, examples, and templates on the Internet, it’s easy to get the hang of it. What’s challenging is keeping up with a busy social media calendar.

By adopting visual communication, your social media activity will get plenty of rewards. Higher reach and impressions lead to busier traffic on your website. From there, your on-site strategies will take over and guide visitors down the sales funnel. So what are you waiting for? Start talking in pictures!

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