5 Ways to Incorporate Visuals in Your Marketing

Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Flickr, YouTube—all the hottest social networks today are highly focused on visual content. For small businesses, the rise of visual marketing tools presents a great opportunity to tell the story of a brand through different media. But for those folks who may not be visually inclined, coming up with ideas to showcase your business with photos and videos may be challenging.
If you’re struggling to think of ways to incorporate visuals into your marketing campaigns, here are 5 ideas to kickstart your creative engines.

1. Showcase Your Products and Services

Chances are, if you run a business with a storefront, you have physical products and services that you can photograph and film. And consumers are hungry to take in visuals before they make a visit to a local business or purchase an item online. So get snapping and recording!

2. Give a Face to Your Business

Sharing pictures and videos of your staff will help give a face to your company and encourage sharing among employees and their friends on social media. Remember to tag the photos you post (with permission, of course) for maximum exposure.

3. Solve Problems

Do you have multiple customers who complain about a similar problem or point of confusion? A few how-to videos can be a huge help, and an effective way to engage viewers. These days, it’s easier than ever to create informational video content—all you need is a smartphone, a steady hand, and a plan.

4. Highlight Patrons

As evidenced by the “selfie” craze, people love to share photos and videos of themselves. Tap into your customers’ desire to be in the spotlight by posting photos and videos of patrons visiting your store, using your products or services, or sporting your business’s branding.

5. Ask Customers to Share Visuals

Consumers also love to capture their own photos and videos and upload for friends, family, and strangers to enjoy. Tap into this trend by running a contest asking customers to submit their own visual media related to your brand for a prize. You can also create simple campaigns to crowdsource content on your social accounts.

The Bottom Line

Visual marketing is a key way to engage with current customers and new consumers, bringing your business to life and showing some personality behind your brand. Luckily, it’s not hard to get visual with modern technology at your disposal.

Did you know? SinglePlatform distributes photos along with business listings information and menus across the web. Learn more about how we can help you distribute visual content to engage consumers.

2014 Marketing Trends for Small Business

As 2013 winds down, we not only look backward to take stock of all that has happened, but also begin to look forward to the new year and all that awaits us. It’s a time to celebrate accomplishments, learn from mistakes, and set goals for 2014. You may already be done with the bulk of your business planning for next year. However, there’s still time to nail down a marketing strategy that will set you up for success. Here are 6 key trends to be thinking about as you develop your plan.

Trend 1: Visual Marketing

People in the social media industry have been talking about the merits of visual marketing for the past few years. In 2014, it’s primed to take center stage. If you’re not already incorporating images and videos into your social media channels and marketing campaigns, now is the time to try your hand at visual content.

Trend 2: Inbound Marketing

Historically, businesses have focused their marketing efforts on outbound marketing—that is, marketing efforts aimed at a large audience with the goal of converting a small percentage to paying customers. Examples of outbound techniques include advertising, trade show attendance, purchased email lists, and cold calling.

In recent years, marketing has been shifting away from a traditional outbound model to an inbound model, which focuses on helping your business get found by people already interested in your industry. This type of marketing aims to make your business visible on search engines, social media, blogs, and listings sites as you create and share compelling content for consumers to interact with.

In 2014, the shift away from outbound marketing to inbound will be even more pronounced. Make sure to budget for the time, personnel, and money needed to invest in developing solid inbound channels.

Trend 3: Mobile Marketing

In October, we discussed the growth in mobile device usage for local search and mistakes to avoid when developing mobile marketing campaigns. Numerous studies conducted in the past year all point to the importance of mobile search for local businesses. If you’re not already present on mobile, make sure to plan for it in 2014! (Pro tip: SinglePlatform can help you with this.)

Trend 4: Brand Authority

In today’s saturated market, it’s not enough to merely say that your business provides products or services worth using—it’s up to the business owner to prove their brand’s authority over time.

This process is not something that happens overnight. It involves investing in a number of areas, including messaging, service, and content. We’ll cover the specifics of how to build brand authority in another post later this month.

Trend 5: Personalization

In November, we covered a few different ways that you can personalize your communications. Personalization is hot right now, and will remain so in the new year. This ties in with the aforementioned inbound marketing and brand authority trends. Today’s consumers want to interact with businesses that are relevant, engaging, trustworthy, and include a human element in their business marketing.

Trend 6: Less Is More

Consumers deal with a growing amount of virtual noise every day. As a small business, you may be tempted to try and stand out from the crowd by being bigger, more extravagant, and flashier when it comes to marketing. But the success of campaigns from Apple, Google, and other major brands has shown that simplicity is often the best tactic when it comes to messaging.

The Bottom Line

There’s no secret formula when it comes to creating a successful marketing plan. However, it is important to incorporate current trends into your efforts to make sure your time, effort, and budget are spent wisely.

Have specific questions or exciting ideas when it comes to small business marketing? Share them in the comments!