How to Use Visual Marketing to Grow Your Local Business

Exactly why is it that “a picture paints a thousand words?” Could it be that since 90% of human communication is nonverbal, we respond more to visual stimuli than words on a piece of paper? Bingo! So why rely solely on the clever musings of a talented copywriter when a few carefully selected graphics or photographs can boost your marketing ROI to the moon?

Visual Marketing on Social Media

Savvy marketers are using Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram, among others, to connect with customers on a visual – and visceral – level. Social media is for more than just making people drool with pics of scrumptious meals and desserts, however. Social media sites are an excellent forum for pictorial communication. Use photographs of your product or service to tell a story, to show people enjoying it, and to build brand recognition.

Product Branding

Graphics and artwork have long been used for product branding, from logos and packaging to simply creating an overall mood or atmosphere around a product. This is where you might envision the type of person who would buy your product: how they might dress and where they might use it. For instance, if you’re trying to create an air of mystique and exclusivity around your product, you wouldn’t show it being used by a typical discount store customer while they’re dining at a fast food restaurant. Use photographs to associate your product with people, places, and activities you think your target customer would enjoy or aspire to.

Create Artistic Content

Purchasing advertising space gets your message out there, but you can multiply your ROI to infinity if people start sharing your images on Facebook and other social media sites. Create pictures and artwork that are so amazing, funny, quirky, or unique that viewers will feel compelled to share them with their friends. Even better if you start off the trend by posting them to your own social media business pages.

The Nostalgia Effect

Share an historical perspective of your company, with sepia-toned images of your opening day, even if it wasn’t that long ago. People love to look backwards to “simpler” times, and often have fond memories of things like rotary phones, black-and-white televisions, and old fashioned mimeograph machines that gave off a distinct and not unpleasant odor. If that’s your demographic, play to it with photographs that will tug on your customers’ heartstrings and trigger warm feelings of nostalgia.

Create Motivational #Hashtags

Come up with inspirational slogans and pair them with photographs to create an interactive customer experience. Encourage customers to submit their own photographs on social media sites using the hashtag to make them feel part of a movement or personal crusade of some kind.

Make it Personal

Share company milestones, team victories, and more with celebratory photographs of your team in action. Customers like to see the faces behind the name, and this helps to emphasize the fact that you’re a local business and not some giant faceless corporation. Don’t be afraid to have some fun with it, by wearing funny hats or tee-shirts, or other unusual clothing.

Remember, even more than a catchy headline, images are attention grabbers. Reading requires effort, and viewers are much more likely to make the effort if only to find out the story behind the photograph. Get the picture?