Last week I gave a talk on ‘ Harnessing the power of visual marketing for search’ at the Google head office in London. The audience consisted of 120-140 senior digital marketing and traditional marketing client side professionals. I presented the talk with Alicja Sliwinska who is a Digital Communications Manager at 4Ps Marketing.

The event contained an eclectic range of talks and panel discussions, covering all aspects of search given by 4Ps Marketing staff and clients ( some of which included  representatives from Yotel and Vivienne Westwood ). The discussion of how to best utilise visual marketing in the arena of search marketing is one that is constantly re-examined by the industry, so it was no surprise that the questions at the end varied from ‘How will google in the future index visual marketing?’ to ‘How do I budget for visual marketing for search?’

For those of you that were not at the event, here is the talk:

‘ To give you an overview of this session. We are both involved in different sides of visual marketing for search, Alicja works in digital pr content for search and I work in the production side of the visual marketing…so hopefully we can both combined give you a fuller picture on this subject. Obviously the answer to this question is very unique to each brand and industry, but I hope some of our insights from things we have learned will help you with this.

– Some great examples of visual marketing 

Bellroy – Live The Outside  On the homepage of this website there are various 8-10 second videos, showing the different harsh weather conditions that the product is specifically made for. If you would like to find out more, there are some images focussing on products functionality. Followed by some text giving the exact specifications. Then the customer is given a choice, if they want to find out more they can click the video icon and watch a product video or if they feel they already know enough they can go straight through to the purchase page.

Citi Car Parks – Battle Of The Sexes This site appears in the top 5 ranking on Google, when you type in ‘ who is the better driver men or women? ‘ apparently a very popular search query. The website is influenced by video animation despite being mainly java script. As the viewer scrolls up on down the animated images on the page begin to move and transition as though they are a 25 frames per second animation. The visitor is then asked input their information on this subject via a questionnaire and then they are shown the previous results from other users answers to tell them who are the better driver? Men or women. This page links to the Citi Car Parks website, so this is beneficial for search as a result.

Final Cut King vs. La Coste These two teamed up to do a series of creative vines showing the product they were focussing on in the videos. The combination of amateur camera and cinematography equipment and capabilities, combined with expert editing skills creates something very engaging for the viewer. These also feature the product within each effect and the product is used to enable the effect and therefore the ‘wow moment’ the viewer has from watching the video. These received lots of coverage on fashion, marketing and video production blogs which benefited search from a digital pr point of view.

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– No Point Doing Visual Marketing For The Sake Of It. What Does Your Goal Look Like?

No Point Doing Visual Marketing For The Sake Of It. What Does Your Goal Look Like

Look at your 6 month goals and 5 year goals then build a strategy that reflects what you are trying to do as a business. These questions will help you realise if you need to be targeting new customers with this piece of visual marketing or really just finding a better way to communicate with your existing customer base. Thinking about this subject can dramatically affect your positioning and in turn your choice in formatting. For example, if your 6 month goal is for retaining market share, you will need to be focussing on mainly communicating to your existing customer base so this will affect stylistic approaches.

As this is such a collaborative process.  Its important to value what people in other departments are doing in order to make this a successful team effort. Especially when your dealing with technical, business and creative minds its easy to not see another departments KPI’s due to lack of understanding. Remember it is a hugely collaborative effort to succeed in visual marketing for search. Therefore making the most out of all of these minds combined is half of the battle.

– Does The Goal Look The Same To Everyone?

The creative department may think success is that they have a achieved a really fantastic piece of work in terms of the quality. To such an extent they are totally oblivious that the person who commissioned it did not see any return on investment and does not see it as a successful campaign. Managing expectations of everyone involved will mean that your visual marketing is striking visually and achieves the return of investment that it needs to.

– Leaning Back vs. Leaning In

Before starting with various concepts, choosing styles of existing work that you like and want to incorporate in your project.  You need to think about whether the audience is leaning back or leaning in. Leaning back audience is passive and has a vested interest in the content they are watching and therefore your content if its on a paid platform. The leaning in audience is active and seeking content all the time. The different platform for this content will dictate if you can be more brand focussed or customer focussed in the transaction of value to the viewer. Remembering their level of engagement depends upon the value you are providing and giving that value means understanding the different sets of eyes that are watching, how they came to be watching and why they are watching.

– Emerging Tech

In 2005 phones started to get some video capabilities, but due to the low resolution of these they were more of just a gimmick. 2007 saw the first iphone and ipad where the video quality started to rival what we could expect from the older amateur home camcorders. Which started a new wave of filmmaking enthusiasts in the consumer range. 

Fast forward to 2015 and the latest iphones now can offer the amateur videographer time lapse and even slow motion presets. So consumers can achieve the same effects as professionally trained filmmakers without needed to know the same level of knowledge in order to get these shots. Go Pro Drones are arguably a result spawned from this new kind of approach to filmmaking where’ professional style’  shots can be achieved through limited knowledge and access to prosumer technology. The latest Gro Pro drones mean that even amateur videographers can achieve panoramic shots at angles only previously achieved by very expensive 40 foot camera crane, that would need to be operated by a trained person. In the pro range, Arri have announced recently at the BSC conference in pinewood studios that their new Alexa 65 in their cinema range will now film in 6K. So in these latest products we can see that there is lots of progression at both ends of this market.

– Predictions for 2015

User generated content will still be crucial for building loyalty and brand advocates and an effective way for customer communicating with one another. However as brands strengthen themselves as publishers there will still be a huge demand for even more innovative, engaging and professionally produced high end content in order to stay ahead of the competition. 


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