Content is king, and visual media is making a play for the throne. As the internet marketing landscape evolves, platforms that lend themselves to image-centric messaging are coming to the forefront of conversations. Instagram recently announced it has more than 150 million users, while Vine declared it surpassed the 40-million-member mark. Emerging social media channels are not only becoming more popular forums, they are also introducing new ways for brands to interact with their target audiences in meaningful ways.
Getting visual with video boosts engagement
Consider the fact that 89 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 34 watch online video content once a week and 40 percent of Gen Y members watch clips every day, Brafton recently reported. Many marketers recognize customers’ craving for streaming media and 99 percent of the leading brands have crafted strategies appropriate for platforms like YouTube, and countless others share on Instagram and Vine. Organic video content gives businesses the freedom they require to create clips that address viewers’ questions and concerns throughout the sales funnel. Storytelling is key when brands rely on visual media to communicate with prospects. A picture might be worth a thousand words, but a clearly narrated message ensures marketers are giving audiences key takeaways that guide them toward conversions.
New image ad outlets boost graphic reach
However, there are signs the visual and video marketing fields are going the way of channels that paved the way for internet browsing – search and social. Brands have increasing opportunities to get their messages in front of leads with a mix of organic and sponsored content. Instagram Director of Business Operations Emily White revealed the photo- and video-sharing application will soon sell ad space to brands, although the network promises to keep the user experience purely about sharing moments and captivating images. Rather than invading members’ news feeds, the sponsored content is slated for browse and search options.
As more visual content marketing opportunities become available, companies will need to determine how to balance paid and organic approaches in their efforts to reach prospects. Sponsored ads can provide brands with immediate visibility in front of target audiences, but custom content is generally more effective in conveying messages that convince viewers to become leads or convert. The era of visual content has arrived, and marketers can’t lose direction as they explore new paths to reach customers. They must find ways to fold these new formats into existing campaigns that have already proven successful on the web.
This post was published 9/18/13 on Brafton.com