More often than not, we prioritise building supply for the marketplace to the aesthetic feel the website as we have this preconception that visuals is secondary. Well, your priority isn’t unfounded, but you could be overlooking an integral aspect of marketing.
Research shows that coloured visuals increase people's willingness to read a piece of content by 80%. If that does little to convince you, perhaps learning that visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content will make you think twice.
What is visual marketing?
Let’s all be honest here. Who still reads blog posts that have just words and no pictures? Probably no one, given our reduced attention span as we grow accustomed to the bite-sized 140-character posts on Twitter, to say the least. It no longer suffices to draw customers to your marketplace with run-out-of-the-mill marketing strategies. You will need attention-grabbing imagery and equally relevant content to captivate your audience before trying to sell them your marketplace offerings, which brings us to visual marketing.
In essence, visual marketing is the art of conveying a story that you want to tell through engaging visual media such as GIFs and videos. The key to successful visual marketing for your marketplace actually lies in personalisation, as 61% of consumers feel better about a company that delivers custom content, making them more likely to make a purchase.
Go the extra mile, it’s worth it
It takes more than sharing the exact same posts across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to really solidify customer engagement. Granted the need for consistency across these posts to reinforce the branding effects of your marketplace, it is also integral to capitalise on the disparate playing fields across various social media platforms.
Here are a couple pointers that will give your marketplace benefits more than you bargained for, giving justification to going the extra mile:
Play to the strengths of each platform
Posting snippets of information works exceptionally well with Twitter as they have a 140-character limit. One way to maximise the amount of information you can get in such a bite-sized post is to attach images, moving GIFs or even videos to further make your statement. A deeper impression can be left on users when you create custom tweets to make your tweet striking in the sense that people would not miss your tweet.
The same cannot be said for Facebook. It is more likely for memes to go viral on Facebook as opposed to Twitter, so knowing how to leverage on the strengths of each platform will optimise your efforts in garnering likes and shares. Also bear in mind that it is advisable to use the same cover photo across all platforms so as to reinforce the mindshare of your marketplace.
Only in paying attention to these disparities between various social media platforms would your conscientious efforts make a huge difference to the clickthroughs and views your marketplace will amass.
Embed pictures, GIFs or videos within your posts to boost its shareability
Photo source: Giphy.
The crux of the shareability of your post lies in its visual appeal. Posts imbued with noticeable imagery, or GIFs and even videos will surely catch the eye. We all know the reason why — our brains process and retain visual information faster and better than textual information. Research has demonstrated that if a relevant image is paired with information, people retain approximately 50% more of the information three days later.
Apart from that, it does pay to have visual content along the information one wishes to convey in posts by virtue of the fact that tweets with photos received 35% more retweets than those without; tweets with videos receive 28% more retweets than those without. Likewise, for Facebook, posts with photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs.
Clear call-to-action embedded within your posts
A clear call-to-action button in your post leaves readers with no excuse not to proceed to the next step. Of course, it truly helps when more thought is invested into the design of a call-to-action.
Look at how Dropbox approached their call-to-action button. The colour of these buttons aligns with their signature colour. It allows them to stand out so effortlessly against the simple and subtle background, naturally prompting you to move your cursor to it, even without you noticing or realising that it is a call-to-action button. To see other great call-to-action examples, take a look at Hubspot Blog.
Be audacious in your visual content
If your blog post, tweet or Facebook post starts going viral, you know you have hit all the right notes with your bold and original content. Better yet, when your visual content attracts boatloads of comments that trigger off a collective discussion, a huge spike in the hits and views to your marketplace ensues. These would no longer elude you if you consider piggybacking on hot trends and fads.
To leverage on the monumental network effects of social media platforms, you may infuse the latest trends into your visual content to maximise interest in your marketplace. Remember this recent viral topic on social media, where there were 2 separate camps furiously debating whether a dress is blue or gold? It left us bewildered and created quite a stir on social media.
If there is anything you should emulate, it is thinking along the lines of such amusing visual content or relatable memes as you devise a spectacular visual marketing plan.
Photo credit: Pinterest.
Crowdsource user generated content (UGC)
User-generated content can also benefit your marketplace in ways beyond your imagination. Not only does it enable individuals in your marketplace community to connect to people like them, there are other benefits of having more personal and relevant content for the community in general.
86% of millennials actually stated that UGC is generally a good indicator of the quality of a brand or service. Moreover, they seem to trust more in people than in brands. As such, crowdsourcing UGC will lend credibility to the image and branding of your marketplace. Ultimately, the perceived homophily in UGC, by virtue of it being created by individuals like themselves, will elevate customer engagement.
In this aspect, Pinterest has done a terrific job. Its UGC underpins the entire marketplace as the sustainability of network effects required for it to be a success relies completely on curated inspiration boards, which are filled with many of personal creations and photography.
Set to be the trending buzzword in marketing now, content personalisation has never been this important. Many marketplaces have in fact been catching onto this fad, and it could soon become a mainstay in marketing. As a matter of fact, 78% of Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) think custom content is the future of marketing, thus making personalised content a better selling point than the mainstream cookie-cutter collateral.
Similarly, you can customise visual content to be disseminated on various social media platforms to get the most bang out of your buck in marketing. In fact, a report has shown a corresponding increase in customer engagement when content is personalised according to the customers’ responses.
Moreover, 75% agree that dynamic, personalised content across channels is very important, further illustrating the need to tweak content to accommodate to the various types of social media platforms.
As inconsequential as it sounds to expend considerable efforts on the visual aspect of marketing, its ability to yield greater customer engagement is indisputable. Through visual marketing, relatable and relevant content can be made more riveting and personalised for better customer engagement, potentially increasing the customer lifetime value.
If visual marketing is well-executed, you leave no chance for failure by exciting your target audience or better yet, piquing the interest of respected opinion leaders who can sway the opinions of your target market to your favour. Now, do you think it is worthwhile to work on visual marketing for your marketplace?