The new year is in full swing and, like time itself, marketing refuses to come to a standstill. Revenue targets have been forecast for the entire calendar year. Our marketing campaigns will be responsible for driving opportunities that ultimately become new revenue. There’s no time to waste when aggressive growth is on the agenda for the year.
That’s why we, as marketers, must make effective decisions with our campaigns. This includes being smarter with how we target prospective customers. It means utilizing the platforms at our exposure to reach our targeted clientele. It also means leveraging data about content so we can produce assets that capture the attention of highly targeted people.
Visual content statistics are compiled into annual creative trends reports. These reports inform marketers what people search for when they look to consume visual content. Our goal as marketers should be to incorporate the themes of those visual content statistics into our plans. We can develop content that aligns with what the visual content statistics tell us about consumer behavior. Ultimately, this should help draw greater consumer attention to our brands.
When we’re able to capture consumer attention, we draw viewers deeper into a relationship with our brand. Once we have that relationship, we have their business. When we have their business, we’re one step closer towards our revenue targets.
Let’s look at some rising visual content statistics and brainstorm how to use them for business.
Rise and Zine
One of the biggest trends is the resurgent popularity of the zine culture. To clarify, a zine “is an independently or self-published booklet, often created by a single person.” The word is derived from the longer magazine. However, rather than a mass circulation, a zine is released to a select niche of people, typically a fandom or a clique group.
That’s all well and good, but how will a zine culture impact marketing and business?
Highly Targeted Zines
A zine article is released to a small niche of followers. This approach and the intended audience is very similar to that of a digital marketing campaign. As marketers, we’ve learned to become highly personal with our content. We also know that:
- Authenticity speaks louder than broad concepts
- Connection at a local level resonates with people in those communities
- Personalized visuals capture and retain attention better than generic content
When we create content that speaks to a highly targeted audience, it’s very powerful. The reach is much smaller, but the resonance is much greater. We’re not just firing off any piece of content to anyone in the area. We’re creating something personal, something authentic tailored towards a very niche audience. This best practice replicates the zine culture. According to an article describing the merits of the Zine culture:
“Zines are made because someone has something they need to say, and they don’t have a platform to speak on any other way.”
Tailored Content is, in Essence, a Visual Zine
If we follow best practices for effective visual content marketing, there’s a strong resemblance to zine platforms. As marketers, we have something specific to say and we want to share that perspective with a select group of customers. The audience is very niche and, if the data is accurate, the audience is looking for the solutions in our content.
Notice the resemblance? It’s practically the same experience shared by those in the zine culture. Zine articles are produced for people who have something to say. The creators are eager to share those thoughts with like-minded people. It’s a niche but highly engaged group. That’s why content is being created and tailored for this preferred style.
In business, we create content for our highly targeted consumers. Our fundamental goal is to enable audiences to think about solutions that help improve their day to day lives. We also want them to form a relationship with our brand. We want them to think of our brand as a trusted provider of content, information and, eventually, products and services. The content is then uploaded into platforms that optimize audience targeting so that our promotions will reach the right people. Mirroring zine culture as we create and promote content is one of the best ways to improve our performance.
Raw Authenticity is Powerful
Another one of the leading visual content statistics is that people are all in on authentic looking imagery. Consumers are more likely to do business with brands that promote authentic experiences. That means a brand’s content must appear authentic to instill trust and desire on the part of the consumer.
According to the creative trends, raw authenticity has returned and is coveted by people in search of compelling content.
“The style is uniquely undesigned, creating a raw look that stands out in a polished digital world.”
Standing out is Key
Take from the quote what is plain and clear. Plenty of content these days appears polished and proper. When consumers see too many similar updates, no particular asset stands out. That’s what makes raw authentic content so appealing to the end consumer. Unpolished and not-so-proper catches people’s eyes.
Think about where people regularly engage with content. They do so in social news feeds like the ones on Facebook, Instagram, and other platforms. And, that consumption is primarily on mobile devices.
This is the key factor. Mobile screens have very limited space, which means the average consumer can only view so much visual content at one time. If it all looks the same, it’s very easy to scroll beyond all the updates and retain none of it.
Be Bold and Unique
Content that’s distinct from the polished look is unique to everything else in the feeds. The look and feel of the visual—or video—appears less edited and more genuine. Take creative liberties to allow for more characterization in your content and less of a prim or pristine design.
Some examples of popular visual trends you can include in your content include:
- Choice of colors such as natural lighting or complexion patterns
- Childlike palettes that pay homage to the globally-resonant Kawaii style
- Motion graphics that appear buoyant, playful, and rippling in effect
- Typography that uses shadow and other textures to jump off the screen
Visual designs that help brands appear more authentic and, frankly, more human are far more likely to engage consumers. The old adage that “people do business with people” is truer today than perhaps ever before. People are less trusting of businesses, and especially of advertising. That’s why authentic-looking content is so powerful. It displays a more soulful side and allows consumers to connect to the brand on a more human level.
What’s Old is New Again
It seems like this saying randomly pops up in day-to-day lives. Yet, according to the latest content trends, a look and feel that blends the old school with futurism resonates with people searching for interesting content. The concept of futurism illustrates a shift from older cultures towards modern life. In particular, futurist art displays a fascination for new visual technology, often presented in eclectic visual styles.
How does this connect to visual content marketing? A futurist look and feel are what defined the dawn of the modern digital age. Visually speaking, people are returning to designs and illustrations of days gone by.
Days of Future Past
No, this is not a plug for the popular X-Men movie, though, admittedly, that was an awesome movie. It’s a reminder for marketers to look to the past when making content plans for the future.
Think of the trend as yesterday’s tomorrow which is, coincidentally, the name of a premium content collection from Shutterstock.
The visuals contain:
- Blue, pink, and purple colors highlighted by glowing neon designs
- Gradients, vector graphics and, in some cases, synthesized music
- Light grid landscapes backdropped with shades of neon lighting
The tone of the entire collection carefully blends palettes expressing futuristic art forms. The content is very bold, advocating a retro look and feel that captures the eye. Why is this important for content marketers?
Simply put, these assets are very captivating. The look and feel of the content draws in the viewer. So, as marketers, our first objective is to capture consumer attention, and this type of content suits that goal. Using these collections and similar creative assets for marketing campaigns draws people into the brand’s digital orbit. Ultimately, this is the first step of the overarching goal of marketing, which is to increase business revenue.
Let Visual Content sStatistics be Your Guide
An abundance of data points can inform effective business decisions with content. This article even offers insight into consumer behavior towards content from multiple content platforms. Make sure that data that highlights how consumers are searching for and responding to content is part of your overall marketing plan.
The more that marketers rely on data, especially in regards to consumer behavior, the more effective their campaigns. Effective marketing is about providing the target audience content tailored to their specific needs, tastes, and interests. Remember, personalization and uniqueness are excellent tactics to turn your content into a tool to generate revenue.
In the end, marketers should remain fundamentally committed to their goal of increasing business revenue.
Achieving that goal is to remember universal needs and challenges that all people, regardless of industry or location, are trying to solve:
- Time is not on their side, so how can your solutions help achieve more in less time?
- Budgets are stagnant or shrinking, driving needs for affordable alternatives
- New consumption platforms roll out all the time, meaning more promotions
- There is a large competitive landscape, and very little real estate to compete for attention
What consumers want are solutions to these challenges. It’s incumbent on marketers to position their products and their services as the best solution on the market. But to make that case, you need the right type of content. And the right type of content is what visual content statistics and data on consumer search habits tells you is the right type of content.