4 Ways to Use Visual Content to Enhance Buyers’ Journey

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Posted by Craig Maloney | September 7, 2017 | Filed under: Marketing

4 Ways to Use Visual Content to Enhance Buyers' Journey
One of the great opportunities of digital marketing is that it allows brands to interact with buyers at each stage of the consumer journey. You can reach out to buyers who encountered your brand earlier in their research process, pushing them toward conversion, or you can offer value-adding content at the decision point itself.

But if this is an opportunity, it can also be a bit of a struggle, simply because it requires a lot of finely-honed content distribution. Compounding this problem is the reality that online marketing is more visual than ever, with consumers seizing the opportunity to actually see products in action before they buy—whether through still photos or demo videos.

The implication for marketers is that they have to take visual discovery seriously—reaching consumers whose journey leads them through visual search, or through an online showcase like Pinterest. The question is how. Here, we’ll offer four quick tips for engaging buyers in the visual discovery stage of their journey.

Be an Inspiration

One study finds that roughly half of all Pinterest users start searching for holiday-related products a full 60 days before the holidays arrive—meaning they want to see some different ideas before making a final purchase. This same study finds that most of these Pinterest quests begin not with specific products, but with general concepts.

People use Pinterest and other visual search tools to find inspiration—not to seek out that one specific product—and that’s a stage of the buyer journey where your brand should be present. This will require a creative, story-driven approach to marketing.

Think Across Platforms

The average buyer’s journey will span different devices (phone, tablet, etc.) as well as different platforms (social, search, etc.)—and it’s vital that your brand be presented in a consistent way. Basically, whenever and however a consumer encounters your brand, the messaging needs to be right.

This is where a truly integrated approach to digital marketing is invaluable. It’s also where visual discovery—using carefully chosen, branded imagery—can really be a boon.

Implement Native Ads

This one’s pretty straightforward. Studies show that native ads get much better traction than banner ads—plus, there are some great options to make them visually consistent with the rest of your branding. Product listing ads are just one example.

Note that native ads, when done right, are especially likely to win engagement from millennial-age buyers.

Get More Bang for Your Ad Bucks

The fragmented nature of the consumer journey means it’s difficult to use ad dollars effectively; the solution is to map your buyers’ journey across different devices, platforms, and goals, and to be judicious in assigning ad dollars where they make the most sense. Doing this effectively requires the use of data and analytics to indicate where your consumers are actually seeking their inspiration, and where they come to the decision point.

For help with data-driven, integrated digital marketing—marketing that considers the full scope of the buyer’s journey, and presents your brand as the brand of choice throughout—we invite you to contact our orange county digital marketing experts at EverythingOnline today.

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