In direct response to the technology evolution over the past decade, audiences are consuming information in new ways, from smaller, more portable screens on mobile devices to third-party apps and discovery platforms. The result has been a shift in content consumption preferences, and 91% of consumers now prefer interactive and visual content over traditional, text-based or static media. To stay current, businesses in every industry are striving to meet the mounting demand for visual content as they revise their multichannel content strategies.
Many businesses are already seeing the value of incorporating more visual content, and according to a recent study we at Wibbitz conducted this past fall, visual content can make a noticeable impact on every major business goal — influencing website traffic, brand awareness, social media engagement, lead generation and sales.
Here are some steps companies can take to get started with their visual content strategies.
Build A Diverse Visual Storytelling Toolbox
The most effective visual-first strategies embrace multiple types of visual content: photos, infographics and animations, to name a few. Different forms of visual content all add value in different ways, so it’s important for marketers to diversify their toolboxes with technology that can streamline the creation of each. However, when it comes to visual content, video is king: It’s predicted that by 2021, video content will account for almost 82% of internet traffic, making it an ideal format for marketers to disperse a narrative to a desired audience. Once an option and now a necessity, employing technology to help create and deliver high-quality, cross-platform video content will pay dividends.
On the path to earn the benefits of incorporating visual content, marketers will inevitably face obstacles in terms of creation and execution. Without employing solutions and working with teams that know the ropes, a lack of bandwidth and resources (including talent with the skill sets required for the professional production of visuals) could hinder a visual-first strategy and place greater strains on already stretched budgets.
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With these challenges in mind, marketers must ensure they are stacking their visual toolboxes with a variety of resources, such as premier editing technology and automation tools that can help them build a visual-first strategy in a sustainable way. Brands and publishers like Glamourmagazine, which recently redesigned its online arm and mobile app to embrace a new focus on creating a visual impact over-prioritizing the latest news, are recognizing the benefits of leveraging technology to create visually engaging content that keeps up with consumer demand without compromising quality or breaking the bank.
Automation is a relatively new development in the creative space and provides a more efficient workflow, thus allowing companies to keep their teams streamlined while creating compelling content at a higher rate. Our research found that with the use of automation tools, companies are able to create all forms of visual content more regularly.
Using automation tools also helps tremendously with processing data, automating mundane tasks and streamlining workflows so marketers can focus on the real task at hand: telling a beautiful, compelling story. Video is now an asset for every message, on every platform, so employing automation tools that expand the efforts of marketers makes a big impact on a brand’s message resonance everywhere. Visual content is now essential for businesses to keep consumers engaged, as well as keeping pace with their competitors.
Choose Your Partner Wisely
Similar to choosing a partner for any endeavor, selecting the right technology partner to back a visual-first, automated strategy is essential. During the selection process, look for tools and platforms that bring both creativity and technical capabilities to the table. Marketing strategies used to require creative work to be outsourced, but now, marketers can stack their toolboxes with mechanisms that not only bring visual creativity in-house but also provide them with modern capabilities that allow for effective and efficient distribution. Embracing tools like automation can feel daunting at first, but relying on expertise that brings modern innovation directly to marketers with little to no technological skills makes it easy for brands to stay competitive and up to date on the latest trends.
Audiences’ demand for visual content is only increasing, therefore marketers need to adjust their strategies to make them both visually appealing and effective. All businesses strive to serve diverse audiences across all channels, and while this process can feel overwhelming, the right toolbox alongside the right technology partner will help marketers be fully armed and ready to deliver consistently and sustainably.