Here are the top 5 visual marketing trends that stand to make a mark in 2016.
Visual networks are growing the fastest
Facebook continues to be the king of social networking with the most widespread reach spanning the globe. However, the networking giant loses out when it comes to incremental growth. Two of the three fastest growing social platforms of 2015 were visual sites. Pinterest topped the chart with a growth rate of 97% followed by Tumblr (94%) and Instagram (46%). It isn’t surprising then to note that 70% of Instagram users check their account at least once each day and half of them check it multiple times during the course of the day.
Brands that are looking at increasing their relevance among their audience need to update their content marketing strategy with a focus on these networks. It requires them to go beyond just including these channels in their distribution strategy but to create content that is tailored to these sites. Brands like GoPro have understood the pulse of their audience and attracted legions of followers who act as their ambassadors and information disseminators across the globe.
Live streaming: Periscope & Meerkat
When a platform reaches a million users within 10 days of its launch, you better sit up and take note. Live streaming apps like Periscope and Meerkat are the ‘next big thing’ in the world of visual marketing. It presents innumerable possibilities for brands to innovate as proven by Fashion & Lifestyle brands like DKNY and H&M that used the app to let fans get a peek into their world through exclusive access to events and ‘behind the scenes’ updates.
Similarly, GE launched #DRONEWEEK in July 2015 allowing fans to get a peek into real-time manufacturing and testing of GE’s products. The drones provided a detailed view of some of the company’s least accessible facilities making the campaign both innovative and challenging.
This is one trend that holds equal potential for both B2C and B2B marketers because of how it enables real-time interaction between customers and brands. A report released by Periscope in July 2015 stated that their users watched 40 years’ worth of videos every single day!
Visual search is the next big thing
Consumers and marketers alike are looking for more efficient ways to search for information. Every platform is incorporating updated algorithms to address the user’s needs by showcasing possibilities even before they present themselves. One of the avenues that is seeing a lot of interest is visual search- the ability to search for products or any information by uploading an image or just scanning it.
As Wenda Harris Millard, COO of MediaLink very rightly puts it, “Technology acts as a facilitator to enhance everyday life. Much like storytelling is enhanced by technology- it’s not about the technology. Technology is the facilitator.” Brands that will successfully innovate and enable a more visual search experience stand to be the first ones to win audiences over in a ‘visually dominant’ world.
Visuals will dominate B2B Marketing
Videos play an exceptionally important role in B2B marketing as they provide an easier and more succinct way to communicate the benefits of the product. A whopping 73% of B2B marketers state that videos have a positive impact on marketing ROI. Customer testimonials and influencer videos go a long way in showing the benefits of the product rather than plain content describing features. Many B2B companies extensively use YouTube for their own company videos as well as user uploads.
SAP has a YouTube subscriber base of over 22K followers for their multiple channels that cater to different verticals of the technology giant. Their videos range from company updates and interviews to full fledged product tutorials. CMI’s latest report on B2B marketing trends stated that 51% of B2B content marketers consider creating visual content to be a major priority in 2016.
User-generated visual content
Running out of creative ideas? Turn to your community for inspiration. User-generated content (UGC) has helped many brands promote themselves and create relevance among their target audience in a way that they can relate to. A recent Tubular Labs report states that user-generated content makes up for 32% of the top videos on TouTube, 17% on Vine and more than 50% on Facebook.
But visual user-generated content isn’t all about videos. Brands like Burberry and Starbucks often invite users to contribute pictures to their social networks as part of short online contests and events. These contests are a great way to integrate audience participation with creativity to generate positive buzz for the brand.
What do you think are the other visual marketing trends that will matter for marketers looking to create better content in 2016? Let us know in comments!