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How To Succeed at DIY Visual Marketing

By: Annie Button


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Marketing comes in different forms and perhaps one that is often overlooked in importance is the visual aspect. Non-verbal communication can be a winning format as it allows companies and brands to tell a story in a short time. Nailing the visual marketing provides clear and dynamic cues for would-be customers to understand your mission statement and goals at a glance.

Marketing spending is changing and there is a clear move away from advertising on TV to search, visual and social marketing. However, many companies believe they must rely on a third-party marketing company to bring their brand to the next level. We’re here to showcase the ways brands and SMEs can succeed at DIY visual marketing.

What is visual marketing?

Visual marketing uses material like images, videos, and graphics to showcase a product, service, or brand. The reason it’s so important is due to the way that humans process information. It takes just 0.4 seconds on average for humans to respond to visual stimuli, this is much faster than, for example, reading text.

Given the competition for our attention online, on TV, and advertising billboards, finding the right voice and audience through good visuals can make all the difference. The people likely to create visual marketing in an organization include content strategists, graphic designers, content creators, and brand strategists. Although for SMEs, someone else in the company can create effective visuals.

Identify your target audience

Like with any marketing format, it’s important to create a strategy when creating your visual marketing campaign. There is a lot of content online that you must compete with so you must find ways to outshine your competition. Brands that successfully come up with visual marketing campaigns that build engaging branded content for their target audience are more likely to enjoy a return on investment.

Data from HubSpot discovered that 70% of companies are investing in content marketing, but that doesn’t mean they must outsource it. Investing in visual marketing means putting a budget aside for things like market research; where you can identify your target audience and then develop a strategy to reach it.

Important steps in a visual marketing strategy include:

  • Finding clear value propositions
  • Identifying measurable objectives
  • Create a profile of your target audience
  • Compare yourself to your competitors
  • Focus on relevance
  • Determine which visual marketing tools you need

Define a brand identity

Similar to your visual marketing strategy, a brand identity is a key to success. A brand identity allows your customers to recognize your marketing just by the logo, color, or font used across all of your visuals.

Consider the most recognizable brands in the world, like Amazon, Google or Disney. All of their branding is consistent, and you know in a split second of seeing it what company you are dealing with. It’s best to create a brand identity once you have gathered plenty of information about who your audience is and what your visual strategy is going to be.

Your visual marketing style guide might include:

  • Your color palette
  • Photography style
  • Logo guidelines
  • Brand voice
  • Company fonts
  • Templates for all marketing materials

By creating a profile and set of guidelines for your visuals, the branding and marketing campaigns can remain consistent. Keeping the same tone and visual style throughout all of your marketing ensures your content continues to meet customer expectations, even if your marketing department grows.

Visual marketing tools

You can avoid spending hours trying to learn Photoshop through easy-to-use visual marketing tools. When it comes to SMEs, every bit of budget counts and if you can save money by doing your visuals yourself then it’s worth exploring.

Cheaper alternatives to Photoshop like Canva or PicMonkey allow you to do plenty of image creation and photo manipulation but at a fraction of the cost. These types of tools allow for user-friendly dragging and dropping and come with a stacked library of logos, fonts, and graphics to make your visuals your own.

Other visual marketing tools like Font Squirrel or Google Fonts allow you to create and use vibrant fonts for your marketing. For graphics, tools like Behance, or PowToons for animated graphics, mean you don’t need to hire a graphic designer for your visuals.

The types of visual marketing content you can use include:

  • Images and photos
  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • GIFs and memes for social media
  • Visual quotes
  • Presentations

Creating your own images

One of the best ways for a brand to do its own digital marketing is through the creation of its images. This could be a series of images or videos highlighting your products or maybe through an interesting infographic that highlights causes or statistics that your brand cares about.

When coming up with visual content, consider the story you are trying to tell. The visuals must be consistent with the story you are conveying plus your overall brand strategy and identity. Ideally, you will create your image content, even though it may be tempting to use stock images.

It’s possible to create stunning visuals on a DIY budget, however, and using the right camera equipment can go far. For instance, something as simple as selecting the right lens filters for the lighting can make a monumental difference.

Guidelines for creating your own visuals:

  • Maintain your brand guidelines
  • Check and double-check before publishing
  • Include your logo on everything
  • Create content for the platform you are sharing on
  • Include a call to action on digital content

Social media marketing

Your social media should be linked to your visual marketing as it is an easy way to share your brand images and identity with thousands of people. Automating your social media posts makes scheduling and managing this aspect of your marketing campaign easier. It also allows for fewer distractions as you don’t get sucked into a social media rabbit hole where you’re still scrolling through cat videos an hour later.

Consider influencers as a way to get your product or service seen by an audience that may otherwise be out of your reach. Research from marketing experts, Mediakix, found that 80% of marketers find influencer marketing to be an effective strategy.

You may also wish to consider creating a blog with images of the work your brand is doing to back up your content. Blogs are great for SEO purposes but adding strong visuals like images or videos can take your marketing to the next level.

Published: May 2, 2022

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