One of the major issues that a lot of innovative business owners in particular often run into with regards to their marketing is that more often than not, explaining “innovation” is easier said than done. If you have a truly unique product or service that has no real existing parallel on the market… how do you properly convey that to your potential customers? How do you make them understand what this is and why it’s important, let alone in a way that will get them to truly sit up and pay attention? The answer, thankfully, is simple: by embracing visual marketing with open arms.
Because the truth is, marketing is about a whole lot more than just selling something. With the right approach to visual marketing, you can break even the most complicated topics down in an easy, straightforward way that virtually anyone can understand. You’ll just need to keep a few important pointers in mind while you do it.
Keep it Short, Keep it Simple: Marketing the Visual Way
As an example of all this in action, let’s take a topic that has been in the news a lot recently that people hear a lot about but still don’t really understand to its fullest extent – blockchain beyond cryptocurrency. At its core, a blockchain is a “decentralized ledger made up of all transactions that take place across a peer-to-peer network.” That network is made up of a series of computers called nodes, and each node both verifies and records transactions as they happen in real-time.
Once that transaction has been properly verified, a new block of information is added to the chain – which is where the term “blockchain” actually comes from. At that point, this new block cannot be tampered with in any way, shape or form – thus recording all the details contained within for all-time.
Obviously, this is all pretty sophisticated – to the point where even tech-savvy people have a hard time understanding it. But with the right visual marketing approach, you can break it down in a way that virtually anyone can comprehend.
You might use a timeline maker like Visme (which I founded to help people better communicate with one another) to go through the various activities involved in adding a block to the chain, one-by-one. You could start with the transaction and break it down into its various forms – a transaction could be a cryptocurrency transaction, the recording of a contract, or the creation of some other type of information.
Then, you would break down the process of adding a block to the chain in a step-by-step way. You could include steps like “transaction requested,” “peer-to-peer network interaction,” “verification” and more. With each point on the timeline, you could provide a brief definition of what is happening and how it all relates to the larger end goal of the new block being added to the existing blockchain.
You could write an introduction at the beginning that outlines the purpose of the blockchain, and a conclusion at the end that goes into slightly more detail about how this differs from something like a traditional bank.
Suddenly, you’re left with a single visual resource that people can use to learn about a topic that is getting more and more popular as time goes on – all in a way that anyone can understand without even a hint of tech experience under their belt. Not only that, but because your collateral is visual in nature, it’s also far more likely to be passed around among satisfied readers and shared on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, too.
Another example of this (and one more directly related to the world of business) would involve a piece of visual collateral that breaks down exactly what your products and services do and how they differ from the offerings of your competitors. You could break things down on a feature-by-feature basis, for example, or you could even outline some common problems that many people in your target audience are facing and how your product is the ideal solution for all of them.
Regardless of the approach you take, the intent is clear – you’re trying to inform and educate your audience in a way that goes beyond straight selling, acting as an opportunity to provide value into their lives in and of itself.
In truth, this is the type of approach you should be taking at all points in the content creation process. Even when you head to a site like Respona to research potential topics for something like a blog, try to place an emphasis on those that can be expressed visually (either exclusively or primarily with images and elements like Infographics). As you compile more and more topics that you’re going to be working on in your task management software, be sure to make a note of which ones are visual pieces and which ones aren’t. Not only will this help make sure you have a healthy blend of both, but you’ll also be able to quickly see which ones you’ll need to spend more time on (as visuals naturally take longer to nail down than something like text alone).
If you’re not prone to thinking visually this early on in the process, you could even approach things using a technique like the following. Start with your topic and write a brief outline of the points you want to cover, using a series of five or even ten bullet points. These are the ideas that your piece absolutely must convey to properly do justice to the topic you’ve selected.
Then, go through and make a note of those bullet points that can be expressed in either very few words, or exclusively with visuals. Once you have that visual “spine” in place, you can write the text for the remaining bullet points – while also using those paragraphs to segue into and out of the associated visuals.
Far too many people assume that making sure of visual marketing means you have to create collateral that is exclusively made up of images, but that really isn’t the case. So long as you’re able to take those inherently complicated ideas and distill them down to their bare essentials, all while using relevant images to support what you’re talking about in the most organic and straightforward way possible, you’ll arrive at essentially the exact same end result.
In the end, remember that human beings are visual learners. This has always been the case and it very likely always will be. So rather than relying exclusively on text and trying to shy away from that fact, part of your job as a marketer and as an entrepreneur is to lean directly into it. It can be a liability if you’re not careful, sure – but it’s also an exceptional opportunity just waiting to be taken advantage of by savvy marketers who know what they’re doing.
By thinking about things in these ways and by following best practices like those outlined above, you go a long way towards guaranteeing that one of those savvy marketers is you.
About the Author
Payman Taei is the founder of Visme, an easy-to-use online tool to create engaging presentations, infographics, and other forms of visual content. He is also the founder of HindSite Interactive, an award-winning Maryland digital agency specializing in website design, user experience, and web app development.