Is Your Marketing Strategy Post-Digital Ready?

There was a simpler time when the average person did not look at her smart phone 46 times a day, sometimes even without a reason, but mostly to reply to a text or to browse the net. A lot has changed since then; the life of the average person has become closely integrated with the digital that it is rapidly becoming a necessity rather than a choice or an option.

20 years ago, marketing to the consumer was easier with only a fewer channels like radio, TV, print or cold-calling. After online marketing became a dominant trend (as a result of the digital revolution!), not only are there plenty of channels, but the methods of marketing are way too many and they keep on multiplying.

And now the attention span of the consumer has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds (that is shorter than that of a gold fish which has an attention span of 9 seconds!) and that literally means, you would skip this introduction, skim through the subheadings and the bullet points and settle at the infographic that is at the end of this post!

Remember the food recipes? They are now 60 second videos! 

You might have the time but you don’t want to spend it on reading through the recipe when you can memorize the entire process with the help of a 60 seconds video that does not even involve a person talking you through each step.

As a result of the digital revolution, which has introduced many digital devices to the life of the average person for reasonable prices, communications have become shorter and more visual; not only because of the shortened attention span and the fact that human beings are biologically wired to process visuals 60,000x faster than text, but also because it’s simply more impactful on an audience that is digitally savvy.

People always favor what is more convenient, hence the rise of visuals that are easier to understand at a glance. Consequently, images have replaced the traditional carefully-worded brand messages, videos have taken the place of tutorials, infographics are preferred to blog posts, graphs are used instead of tables or lists of statistics and 95% of marketers use a separate visual content marketing strategy!

A Tweet with an image can generate 150% more retweets  

Fan engagement has become a significant part of current day marketing. On popular social media platforms, visual content gets the highest engagement from fans.

Until it is no longer possible for people to take photos and videos with their smart phones and share them via social media networks or access the internet (and what are the chances of these happening?), visual content will be a central part of everything marketing related.

Research shows that content with relevant images can get 94% more views and are 40 times more likely to be shared on social media. Their abilities to evoke emotions and to convey information more effectively regardless of linguistic barriers are the main reasons why visual content will remain popular among social media users.

Such visual content with high fan engagement can do wonders to your product or service, especially where branding is concerned.  

Visuals are the new words. How cool is your brand? 
Images, videos, memes, emojis have become a visual shorthand that can convey an idea or message far more effectively than words. While visuals have become the hype all over the internet, it will not die down as long as people have access to mobile devices and the internet remains a major source of information.

The smart thing to do is to embrace the shift and adapt your marketing strategy accordingly, before losing out to the competitors who have already taken the next step in marketing.

Here’s how to replace words with visuals; 

Look for opportunities for visualization in the information at hand
There are certain types of information, like statistics, processes, geography, comparisons, anatomy, chronology or hierarchy, which illustrated with visuals, make more sense. Rather than relating such data using words, use visual elements like graphs, diagrams, maps, photographs etc. for more impact and better understanding.

Preserve your brand identity with a consistent visual style 
It is crucial to make sure that every element, especially visual content, associated with your brand is consistent across all platforms. Consistency helps consumers identify your brand quickly and memorize it better. Typography, iconography, color, illustrations etc. used in all channels from website design to social media templates and email templates must resonate with your brand identity.

Use different visual content marketing elements properly 
Each visual element has a purpose (infographics to simplify and visualize data, diagrams to outline processes, relationships etc., bar charts for comparisons etc.) and if they are not used properly within the given context, they become a source of confusion rather than of quick understanding. Always consider the purpose and the relevance of the particular visual element before using it.

Integrate social media to communicate the brand message
It was the emergence of social media that stirred up the trend of visual content marketing. Then there’s no question that social media networks are the ideal visual platforms to distribute your visual-friendly brand message. Besides these networks are the breeding grounds for fan engagement.

Pay attention to usability and  scalability 
None of your efforts would come to fruition if it cannot be quickly loaded and viewed properly on the mobile device of the consumer. While 80% of the internet users own a smart phone, laptops and desktop computers are becoming secondary devices to mobile devices. Given these stats, it has become essential to make sure that any visual content you create is scalable and is user-friendly.                

Just like the Internet took over traditional forms of media, visuals have replaced words almost to an extent that makes us writers uncomfortable. However the trick to survive this developing transformation from word to visual is to adapt sooner by incorporating a visual marketing strategy.

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