Visual Marketing Strategies That Actually Help Small Businesses

The world of marketing is nothing less than a battlefield these days. There’s always a tussle for attention. The struggle to keep up with the trends. Fear of being outrun by competition. And the constant pressure of meeting customer expectations. 

When it comes to marketing, brands are always at war! You think you have done your best today in marketing only to be overthrown by a competitor with even stronger and trendier marketing strategies.

As a marketer or business owner, you should, therefore, always be ready to embrace the emerging trends in marketing strategies. And if there is one takeaway from observing the emerging trends in marketing, it is this – visuals are the key to a successful marketing strategy. So, brands are gearing up for the race by tweaking their visual marketing strategies, continuously.  

And when we say visuals, we mean both images and videos tailored to fit the expectations of different social media audience groups. But what kind of marketing visuals do you need? This can be a tough choice to make. We get it. That’s why we are going to talk about practical visual marketing strategies that work for small businesses. 

What’s So Great About Visuals Anyway? 

If you are wondering why images, videos, and other visuals have such a strong impact on customers, let’s give you an example. 

Have you noticed bibliophiles criticizing the movie adaptations of their favorite books? They mostly have a problem with the portrayal of the concept. As they read the book they subconsciously visualize every single character and every single scene in the story. If the movie does not replicate this, it disappoints them. 

That’s the power of visual imagery. Visual imagery refers to the brain’s ability to automatically create pictures to associate with every bit of information it records. 

So, as a marketer, if you wish to effectively communicate a message to your customers, tap into the power of visual imagery. Understand the kind of pictures that your audience is likely to associate with the information you convey. And make things simpler for them by providing this imagery in your ads. 

In short, use visuals to back up the message you convey and you are more likely to succeed in getting a response from them.

The Power of Visuals Marketing Strategies for a Brand

Without beating about the bush, we’ll give you an example! We’re talking about visuals after all. So we’ll allow the ‘visual’ here to talk for itself. 

What can you infer by looking at the Facebook Ad below?

Source: Facebook

There is not a single word displayed in the ad above but you probably already guessed that it is from Starbucks. Now how did that happen? The logo and the color scheme must have given it away. And your mind might already have registered the fact that this was perhaps an ad for a pistachio-based beverage. 

You’re right. It was indeed an ad from Starbucks for their pistachio latte. Even without words, your brain was able to process all this information and that too in a matter of a few milliseconds. 

Can you see the power of visuals in branding from the above example? This would not have been possible if Starbucks had not concentrated enough on its visuals in branding. For efficient branding, good visuals and great marketing strategies go hand-in-hand. And you need to do this consistently. 

Benefits of Visual Marketing Strategies for The Business 

With all these examples we saw you now have a rough picture of the power of visuals in marketing. But have you ever wondered about the concrete benefits of visual marketing? Let’s talk about them. These are the factors that convince brands to spend a major share of their budget on creating visuals for promoting their brands. 

1. Thrive in a competitive space

When you had made the decision to launch a business, you already knew that there is likely to be tight competition out there. But still, you chose to fearlessly execute your plan simply because you had a great idea! Now, wouldn’t you want the world to know about the idea that makes your brand different? 

If you know that visuals have the power to show customers that your business is different from others, wouldn’t you be eager to use more visuals in your marketing? 

Tweets with images and other visuals have 18% more click-through rates than those with text alone. If statistics do not convince you, let’s give you an example. 

Put yourself in the consumer’s shoes for a moment. You are browsing through an e-commerce site to buy something for your home. And you shortlist two products that meet your requirements but both happen to be from new brands. The pricing and product features are all the same. The only difference is that one listing has clear and professional-looking product images, great product mock-ups, and a good demo video. The other has some basic images. 

Which product would you choose? 

Remember, you do not know anything about both brands. You would still go with the one that has clear images and a demo video. This is because the brand managed to capture the essence of the experience the product offers with the help of visuals. That’s how visuals can make your brand survive and thrive in competition. 

Kimp Tip: A demo video is persuasive visual content that can alter shopping behavior. With Kimp Video services you get engaging product demo videos to showcase in your ecommerce listings and product pages. 

Here’s a demo video example by Kimp 

2. Brand recognition 

Here’s a quick question for you. Look at the taglines below and see if you can identify the brand-

“Just do it”

“Open Happiness”

“I’m lovin’ it”

These are the taglines of Nike, Coca Cola and McDonald’s respectively. These brands managed to earn such recognition in the competitive space only because they were always consistent with their brand messaging. 

Brand messaging involves establishing your brand’s personality, and the core message, consistently. 

To do this efficiently, you need strong visuals. 

Source: Wikipedia

Big brands have meticulously built this recognition for themselves through years of consistent brand messaging, through consistent use of visuals in their campaigns. And for this, they use an array of media like billboards for outdoor advertising, flyers, newspaper ads, and a wide range of digital advertising campaigns too. 

In all of these ads, the visuals look consistent. They all capture the same emotion. And the same brand message. That’s how they make people remember these brands and their taglines so well. 

Kimp tip: Did you notice that we spoke about consistency a lot? That’s because it is the differentiator in branding. Customers will remember your brand better and grasp your brand’s message only when your visuals reflect your brand and remain cohesive. This becomes much more convenient when one team takes care of all your visuals instead of different teams or different designers. 

Wondering how to do that? Choose a Kimp Graphics subscription. And all your marketing designs will be taken care of by a single dedicated team. 

3. Better engagement 

Good marketing finds the perfect balance between promotions and customer engagement. While promotions persuade people to buy a product, customer engagement persuades them to trust your brand. So, yes, you need to focus on both. And undoubtedly, visuals play a crucial role in both these aspects. 

Most of the engagement that happens on social media platforms is because of the images or videos in them. We’ll give you an example. On Facebook alone, posts containing images have 2.3 times better engagement than text-only posts. 

That said, you should also remember that engagement spans beyond the likes, shares, and comments you see on the social media page. 

If your visuals are powerful and meaningful, customers will end up sharing them across other social media platforms as well. Thus they act as advocates for your brand. That can significantly add to your marketing efforts. 

When customers start talking about your brand on social media, even people who do not know your brand yet might be exposed to your brand. And let’s face it, people trust brands that they hear from their friends and family easily. Thus, with the engagement you drive through visuals, your brand gets fresh leads as well. 

Kimp Tip: All the popular social media platforms are in favor of visuals. For example, on LinkedIn, using images in your posts will double the comment rate. And this gets even better if these are original images. 

Want to have a steady flow of original designs to represent your brand on social media? Choose a Kimp Graphics subscription and transform your social media content strategy. 

4. Make an emotional connection with your customers 

The way customers feel when they interact with your brand or use your products is something you cannot take lightly. They might forget what your brand offers but not how your brand made them feel. So, these emotional connections influence long-term relationships with your customers. 

In the case of physical stores, there are so many tangible elements that influence customer experience or the emotions they feel at the store. Lighting, organization of the product shelves, and easily accessible billing counters are a few physical factors, for example. 

But, how do you tweak the experience for customers who have still not visited your store? Or if you run a business online with no physical store, how do you influence your customers’ emotions? Simple, you use your brand aesthetics in these cases. 

Visual elements like images you share on social media, and your ads all have a role to play. With these visuals, you trigger different emotions. 

For example, the ad below advertises the product and captures the Halloween vibes too! 

Designed by Kimp

As you can see in the above example, the color, the text style, and the underlying message together determine how the customer feels about the image. 

We’ll give you one more example. BMW uses emotional advertising in a lot of its campaigns. Look at the ad below and you will understand what we mean. 

Ads like these lead customers to believe that the brand takes road safety seriously. So, they automatically associate the brand with safe cars. Can you see the power of visuals in making that emotional connection with your audience? 

Visual Marketing Strategies for Small Businesses 

All the above merits make the case for visuals in small business marketing. But the real question is, how do you make visuals work for your brand? After all, not all brands with good designs make it big out there, do they? 

To be sure that you are investing your time and money in the right place, we’ll talk about effective visual marketing strategies to focus on. 

1. Use a good mix of visual content types 

Visuals could mean so many things. But should your small business jump into getting them all for your marketing? Not at all. There are a bunch of common visual content types that most brands use almost everywhere. Here they are-

  • Images – you find them everywhere. For example, there is a hero image welcoming your audience on your website homepage. You use images in social media posts, ads (both digital and print), and even in your blogs. In fact, blog posts and articles that contain one image for every 75-100 words earn better conversions in the form of social media shares. 
  • Videos – you can use videos on your business’s YouTube page, or even Stories and regular posts on social media. Quick fact: 75% of Instagram users engage with video ads. 
  • Infographics – over the past few years, infographics have been steadily growing in popularity. They can be of great value in social media posts and even in digital ads. 

Kimp Tip: Besides regular images, brands also use custom illustrations in promotions and social media posts. They have a strong influence on your brand image. And then there are brand mascots. So, you have so many options when it comes to adding visuals to your marketing. 

Want to explore them all? Choose a Kimp subscription that suits your needs. 

2. Listen to your audience 

Having carefully-crafted designs for your marketing is great. But these designs would be of no value if you do not know what your audience wants. 

As a small business owner, you might definitely have an idea of how you want your brand to appear. However, customers do not always understand this unless you convey your message right.

Here’s an example of a social media post that will encourage people to like, comment and share. 

Designed by Kimp

To know how to convey the intended message in a language your customers will understand you need to pay attention to customer interactions on social media. 

For example, there are several trends that pop up on Instagram Reels. And incorporating these trends makes it easy to grab the attention of your target audience. 

3. Pay attention to your brand aesthetics 

As a smart business starting to build your social presence, you can lay a strong foundation for the design aesthetics of your brand by carefully considering things like-

  • Colors you use in your visual content 
  • Symbols or illustrations 
  • Logo design and watermark styles 
  • Design templates you use for your Stories and posts 

In fact, you can use the overall aesthetic of your social media page to create brand aesthetics that make your brand easily recognizable.

Let’s give you an example of why things like the color of your visual content are important. What brand comes to your mind when you look at this color below?

Source: Medium

Tiffany & Co. is the right answer. This shade of robin’s egg blue has become so popular that its other name is Tiffany Blue. The moment you look at those tiny blue boxes, you can connect with the sophistication that the brand offers. 

Brand recall that happens without direct visual cues, like the thought of Tiffany & Co. even without seeing a product from the brand, is valuable. So, when you start working on your visual marketing, start paying attention to your brand aesthetics including the color palette, from day one. 

4. Remember your brand’s personality 

With a number of visual marketing trends coming up, it might be quite tempting to try them all. But you should remember that as you chase visual content trends you cannot miss your brand identity. 

Every brand has a personality. Have you identified yours? You should be sure about the ideals or the purpose of your brand. And then use your visuals to give life to this personality. When you personify your brand through visual cues, people feel the emotions you want them to feel. 

We’ll give you an example. The popular motorcycle brand Harley Davidson stands for “ruggedness”. Over the years, the tough and durable motorcycles from the brand and the raw ads from the brand have continued to strengthen this personality. Below is an ad from the brand for Halloween. 

Even as the brand is making a switch to electric motorcycles, it continues to retain the rugged flavors in its ads. Here is an ad for the electric vehicles from the brand. 

Consistently maintaining a style and making sure that the design styles align with your brand’s personality will make your visual marketing efforts more successful. 

5. Add value to your customers 

For your brand to be successful you need to offer customers something that solves their problems or adds value to their life. 

Similarly, when you want your branding efforts to be successful, your visual content should aim at creating value for them too. 

According to Google, the second important reason why people watch videos is “to learn something new”. 

Here is an infographic that delivers a lot of information within a small space. Visuals like these help customers learn something new. And by offering value to customers, you are increasing the chances of your customers engaging with your posts. 

Designed by Kimp

So, if you create visuals for your content, ask yourself, “how will my customers benefit from this”. 

  • Will they have new information to learn? 
  • Is there something funny or will there be a heart-warming message that will make them smile? 

These are the kind of visuals that actually make a difference in your marketing plan. 

Give Your Small Business a Competitive Edge With Visual Content Created by Kimp 

Based on a study by the Neilson Norman group, people often do not pay attention to stock images or generic images. Images that contain information are the ones that truly make an impact. So, if you want visuals that really make an impact or visuals that increase conversions, try unlimited graphic design today.

Sign up for a free trial now.