Make a picture worth a thousand words.
- Posted On: November 09, 2015
- Category: SEO 2 Sales
- Posted By: admin
There’s no denying the power of visual media in online marketing. Pictures can catch the eye, and instantaneously tell a story or evoke a reaction. It should come as no surprise, then, that visual based social media is exploding as well. In just three years, Instagram has grown to 150 million users, a faster growth trajectory than both Facebook and Twitter.
We’ve already made a strong push for content marketing on this blog, and the power of visual media can be a strong compliment to your content and SEO efforts. But since images don’t quite connect with search engines the way text content does — search algorithms are text based, making web content like articles and blogs easy for them to find — visual marketing will require a few pivots in strategy to boost your reach.
Keep those keywords handy.
If you business already utilizes an SEO or content marketing strategy, you should be intimately familiar with the importance of keywords. If not, get on it! The ROI on keyword research is ridiculously high: proper use of keywords will laser-focus your SEO reach, and vastly amplify the quality of leads visiting your site. Remember, everyday there are potential customers using search engines to find a business like yours. A strong keyword strategy helps search engines deliver them to your doorstep.
The great thing about keywords is that their utility isn’t limited to text content. If your image is hosted on your site or blog, you have the ability to write a caption or description. Organically using your brand’s keywords in the descriptive text will still ping search engines, especially for visual searches on Google Image.
And when it comes to social media, your keywords should be prominent in your post, and backed up by hashtags. There are numerous online tools that will help your track the strength of various hashtags at any given moment (hashtagify.me is a popular choice), and help you strategically integrate tags that are relevant to your post.
Tell your story!
Is your business expanding, remodeling, or launching a new product? A few well-captioned pictures of your progress will engage much more effectively than a 700-word blog post. Remember the time-tested mantra of storytellers in any medium: “show, don’t tell!” Progress pictures keep people excited, and give them a “behind the scenes” glimpse into the inner-workings of your brand.
Virtually any major development or day-to-day victory can be chronicled in visual form. Visiting a partner? Show your audience a geo-tagged picture, and tag the partner’s account. At an industry conference? Take pictures throughout the day, and populate the captions with tidbits about how the knowledge and connections you’re gaining will help you serve your customers.
Engage! Engage! Engage!
Did you know Instagram has the highest engagement rate of any social network? Facebook and Twitter aren’t that far behind, and all three are great platforms to engage in conversation with your audience. Users love commenting, liking, and sharing posts, but that doesn’t mean you should assume they’ll act if they have something to say. Just like in traditional advertising, a clear call to action goes a long way.
When you post a picture, tell your followers the next step! If it’s a new product or expansion, ask their opinion. Ask them to share if they’re excited about it. Even better, use a photo contest to generate excitement and make your audience generate content for you!
The important thing is to think of social media as form of community engagement, rather than “billboarding.” Users will quickly get cynical and unfollow if your account is just an advertising stream, so make sure your posts serve to add value and start a conversation with your audience.
It may seem like a lot of work to keep active across multiple social networks — as well as maintaining images and regular content on your website — so automation tools such as Hootsuite or If This Than That can be a lifesaver. As we discussed previously, you can even host your website’s blog on Tumblr and create a home for all of your content and visual media under one roof. An hour or two setting up these tools means easy engagement across multiple platform, and a huge boost for your marketing ROI!
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