When I entered the social media game back in 2009, visual content was a minor element to the success of social. It’s not that it wasn’t important, but it was a side note, an extra – not a necessity.
Tweets and status updates mainly consisted of copy and/or small photos to highlight an article.
But all that has changed.
Since the advent of Pinterest, social media has been waking up to the fact that visual content is a powerful way to reach users, and marketers are salivating. The past few years we’ve seen GIF’s come to life, photos become a necessity, and videos autoplay, muchhhh to the annoyance of most.
It’s a much more colorful world out there, and personally, I couldn’t be more pleased.
However, there are still MANY businesses, blogs, and social accounts not taking advantage of the visual content mania, and suffering because of it. They wonder why all their efforts fall short or that they have to work twice as hard to get the same results as other similar accounts. They beat their heads on the wall and spend endless amounts of money, yet just don’t get it:
Without visual content, specifically NATIVE visual content – a business will never become a brand.
What is a brand? My simplest definition is a business who’s learned how to make its customers and online audience FEEL something for it.
Gone are the days when anyone can build a successful brand without visual content, without sharing the story of a business in photos or videos, without allowing its audience to see behind the scenes. Without visual content, your social networks will get lost in the massive drain of content because there will be NOTHING to differentiate itself from the rest.
We are becoming a culture SATURATED with content, saturated with great articles and informative posts. And because I love to write, I’m thankful that won’t ever go away. But if you want to stand out, then visual content is the way.
Here’s 3 reasons why:
1. Everyone is doing it.
And by everyone, I mean – the successful folks. Visual content is IN, and it’s not going anywhere, so if you don’t jump on the bandwagon – it will leave you.
People like visual content, they look for it, they spend lots of time with it. Why? Well, many reasons. It’s more interesting, it’s human, it’s unique, and we’re lazy by nature. Many folks would prefer watching a 2-3 minute video than reading a blog these days. And others are addicted to photos – if they weren’t, Instagram wouldn’t be such a hit.
Think about it. There is nothing special about Instagram other than it makes taking and sharing photos easy. And it was a mega hit way before they released videos. The reason people (like me) are so addicted to it, is simply that it’s photos. We love looking at pictures! Especially if they are of other people or places we want to go.
The more technology advances and the easier it is to make and share pictures, videos and GIFs, the more it will happen.
Not partaking in this fantastic ritual will leave businesses all sad and alone. And frankly, very boring.
2. Native content is EVERYTHING.
Let’s be honest, there’s NO lack of content online, right? Any time we want to find something out, Google is at our aid. Or any time we want to see a place we’ve never been – there’s endless routes to get there online.
The ONE thing that stands out for businesses now, is native content. And if you aren’t producing a lot of it, then the competition will succeed.
It’s crucial that we schedule out time to be purposeful about creating content for our businesses, no matter how busy or chaotic life is.
Writing once a week doesn’t seem like much, but blogs take time, and I don’t always have time. But there’s nothing keeping my brand from standing out among the ocean of other social media marketers than MY content. If I don’t write blogs, make videos, share photos, and continually produce native content – then someone else will steal my shine.
3. Humanization is required.
Without humanizing a business, there’s no way anyone will ever feel enough about it to turn it into a brand.
Visual content is one of the fastest and easiest ways to humanize ANY business in ANY industry. No matter how dull or dreary your industry may be, with a little photo fun and video savvy – it can become a brand people love.
For example, picture a stint. Now take a stint and pair it with a visual story about how one procedure saved a man who had lost his job and was on the road to losing his family home. All of a sudden, we start feeling something for that stint, right? We can relate or we feel compassion.
It’s not like that couldn’t happen with a blog, but it hits stronger with photos included or with a short video.
You can take any techie, geekie software company and turn them into the coolest guys out there if you share the backend story – the one people don’t normally get to see.
But without humanizing a business, you’ll NEVER succeed with social media.
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