You Are What You Eat: Optimizing Content ConsumptionQuality? Or Quantity? Content Marketing Struggles with the Right Path Forward3 Ways to Take Brand Advocacy to the Next Level with User-Generated Content5 Reasons Why Your Content Marketing Isn't Working
Let's Measure Social Media ROI in a Way That Isn't StupidTo Grow Your Social Marketing Budget, Determining ROI Is a Critical Job SkillWe Need to Rethink Our Definition of Engagement
- Content Marketing
Technology & Data
Social Change Agent Survey: Passion, Skill Set, and Persistence Lead to Career GrowthSandy Carter's 6 Social Business Lessons to Learn from Candy Crush5 Tips for Creating a Company Culture that Connects with Your Sweet Spot ClientsWhy Leadership Should Be a Collaborative Exercise
8 Internet User Statistics Every Small Business Should Know AboutCan't Find Time for Social Media? This Approach Will Help6 Ways to Turn Your Small Business into a Media Hub
- Social Organization
Beyond Engagement: Why Advocacy Is Always About the PeopleFormer IBM Senior Advisors Launch Brands Rising to Build Employee Advocacy ProgramsPerformance and Risk Management Through Social Media TrainingEmployee Advocacy Summit: Advocate Stories from the Field
- Customer Service
Join us September 15th in Atlanta for The Employee Advocacy Summit and learn how to unleash the power of your employees.
Post your event here and we'll share it with our community. If one of our members is featured, we'll promote as well on their profile.
- Marketplace & Webinars
The SMT Marketplace
Your resource for exclusive content and insights from Social Media Today, and opportunities to reach our community of professionals.
The Social Business Book Club brings you books, discussions, and insights from today's to business thought leaders.
Join interactive talks and and panel discussions with leading thinkers and practitioners on social media and networked business, or browse the catalogue of recorded sessions - all completely free.
Reach Social Media Today's community of marketing and communications professionals in an editor-approved context with a native advertising package.
Visual Marketing's Secret Weapon
Posted on November 27th 2012
Visual marketing is big right now. Pinterest has recently launched business accounts, Twitter is including images in searches, and photos on Facebook are liked 53% more often than other content. If you’re doing any marketing online, you’re looking to trade in those thousands of words for some pictures right about now. Traditionally you have two choices:
Stock photos are a good way to add visual appeal, but try to avoid the done-to-death shots of people shaking hands, looking puzzled, or huddling intently around a laptop. And, of course, if you have the time and interest, you can always take your own photos.
When done right, creative and appealing infographics are great for presenting complicated information clearly. But as they’ve grown in popularity they’ve very quickly become genericized, overused, and less effective.
So now you’re stuck. You need to take advantage of visual marketing and want to differentiate yourself visually, but how to do that when everyone is working with the same basic tools. Some savvy marketers are aware of a third option – a sort of visual secret weapon that’s both familiar and underutilized...
You see them often, and you probably even follow a few, but maybe you haven’t considered using them. You should. Whether it’s an endearing mascot like SEOmoz’s Roger mozBot, a regular feature like Small Business Trends’ Friday comics, or most everything about Hugh MacLeod’s gapingvoid, cartoons are visual marketing’s secret weapon.
So what makes cartoons so uniquely useful? They offer several distinct advantages over other visuals:
I like to think of cartoons as extremely short stories. You’ve got setting, characters, dialogue, and plot. It’s amazing how much information can be delivered and understood in one picture with a sentence or two. And because that content is succinct, visual, and humorous, it’s more easily recalled.
Reading a cartoon is like unwrapping a present. You have some idea as to the possibilities, but then again, there could be anything in there! Dogs in lab coats? Writing equations? What’s going on? What are they doing? A reader will want to know the answer and will happily linger to find out.
Why do people post cartoons in the break room? Why do people pin them on Pinterest? You often hear people say things like “This cartoon is so you!” or “Boy, is that me!” People take a kind of ownership of cartoons, seeing themselves and others in them, and then can’t help but share them.
So the next time you’re uploading a photo, or looking for another infographic, consider using a cartoon. By taking advantage of cartoons’ stories, surprise, and shareability, your visual marketing will be a sight to see.