When it comes to marketing content, it’s no secret audiences prefer visuals over words. I know I fall in the 65 percent of the population who are visual learners. Watching a 30-second video beats reading a 30-page white paper any day. Am I right? Keep in mind too that humans are also hit with about 5000 ads per day, shrinking our already stretched attention spans.

More than 60 percent of marketers said integral visual brand strategy was necessary to their 2017 marketing strategy, yet 31 percent of marketers said they spent less than 10 percent of their budget on it. Given these statistics, creating content that resonates with audiences AND that is retained by them should be top of mind for brands.

Here are a few steps to help you create a visual brand strategy:

  1. Effective content marketing strategy begins with your buyer persona; visual brand strategies are no exception. First, identify your audience to find out where they collect and search for new information. For example, if your target persona is a baby boomer CEO and you’re aiming to reach them through Instagram, you may need to rethink your approach. (According to Pew, 50-64 year-olds only account for 11 percent of Instagram’s user base.) Matching your target audience with the platforms they frequent most will help you determine what types of visuals you’ll need to create and where they’ll live. 
    Effective content marketing strategy begins with your buyer persona; visual brand strategies are no exception.Click To Tweet
  2. Before you jump into design mode, you need to create and/or assign key messages that are most important to your campaign. If you’re working with quantitative data, for example, pinpoint and prioritize a few key statistics that show or prove value.
  3. Work with your team to categorize the key messages that should be emphasized on each platform. Social media sites like Twitter are fleeting, so you may want your long-form messages to appear in a more versatile format with a longer shelf-life, like YouTube. In fact, posts with videos attract three times more links than text-only posts.
  4. With your audience research completed, you’ll have a better sense of how you’ll communicate your key messages to your buyer personas. As I mentioned above, determining where your audience gets their information will give you an idea of what format to use—infographic, social media images, videos, slides, memes, etc.

If a full-fledged visual strategy feels like biting off more than you can chew, start small. Experiment first with incorporating graphics and videos into your brand or marketing strategy to get more mileage out of your content. When you’ve mastered that, then explore how you can advance your visuals to the next level.

Need some help developing or retooling your organization’s visual brand strategy? A strategy workshop should be your first step.

Strategy Workshops with Stern Strategy Group

With her combined talents in visual content creation and media relations, Jacqie strives to show AND tell unique narratives with every opportunity. Her experience spans the higher education, healthcare, technology and management sectors. Creative and detail-oriented, Jacqie helps ensure team efficiencies and client results. While she doesn’t own one yet, Jacqie has a passion for dogs, and hopes to one day rescue and train her own four-legged friend.