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-94 more total views attracted by (3)Did you know that 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual or that the human brain processes visuals 60,000X faster than text?  People relate to visual media!  At the October meeting of Social Media Dallas, Ekaterina Walter educated and entertained us with her presentation, “Make Your Marketing Memorable with Visual Storytelling and Real-Time Marketing.”

Ekaterina began her social media career at Intel and worked to engage an audience composed largely of “geeks and nerds” by experimenting with visual content.  She learned that by posting a photo of the desk of an engineer, she created one of the most shared and commented on Intel posts of all time. This gave her the insight that, “If you open your kimono just a little bit and show behind the scenes, you can begin building community.”  What works with your audience?  Is it head marketing or heart marketing?  Ekaterina asserts that we need to think beyond product features and the marketing message and get to the heart.

We are wired to think in pictures.  Images act like shortcuts to the brain and transcend cultural boundaries.  Is a picture truly worth a thousand words?  Well according to Ekaterina, 60% to 80% of those queried said they won’t buy a product that is promoted without images.

So how do we use visual media  to create engagement and draw our audience into moments that really matter?

  • Stay on Brand – Have a visual strategy with a consistent look across every image.  Create interesting moments to draw audience into moments that really matter.
  • Infographics – Publishers who use infographics grow traffic at an average of 12% more than those who don’t.  Ekaterina says, “Create snackable content from a long form write-up.”  This is a way to share critical data points in a slick design.
  • Pinterest is a great traffic driver! – It accounts for 25% of the retail referral traffic.  She referenced Sephora whose Pinterest followers spend 15x more than their Facebook fans.  You can also add value on Pinterest by sharing ebooks, webinars and data in a consumable way.
  • Add Value and Entertain – Visual posts on Facebook can attract and provide content that is useful and interesting to your customers at the same time. By conveying these ideas visually, you can entertain your audience around top of mind.
  • Tiger Woods VideoUse Video Effectively – It is important to marry content with context.  If a platform excels in delivering GIFs, like Tumblr, then that is what you should provide on that platform.  Ekaterina shared that one of the most under utilized strategies is the use of video. Video can be used to take a feature and turn it into something fun and spice up your content strategy. Ekaterina shared this video response that was delivered to a disgruntled EA customer regarding a “glitch” in his video golf game. She suggested video replys to unsatisfied customers can make responses more personal, answer questions and even entertain.
  • Slideshare is a go-to network for business information and education.  The PRO account has lead generation baked in.  It integrates with LinkedIn and can be shared across your networks.  People looking for business information search on Slideshare.
  • Find Ways to Add Humor with Images, Cartoons and Video
  • Activate Your Passionate Advocates – Build relationships by spotlighting Fans of the Week and employees.
  • To be Effective Marketers, We Have to Foster the Environment of Urgency – We need to be ready with brand strategies, content marketing, message and media optimization, alignment with trending topics, engaging audiences at online/offline events, customer service and product development.  Relevancy has a deadline and demands speed.
  • Real Time Marketing – Exposure to RTM increases awareness, consideration and purchase intent.  Companies executing RTM have a 26% lift in conversion rates.  Just because social teams react in real time, does not mean that they haven’t been training toward an opportunity.  The famous Oreo campaign was the result of training and execution in advance of the event. Real-time responses take a lot of preparation – listening, meaningful data, actionable insights, employee and agency empowerment, flexible strategies and editorial calendars, on-brand risk taking, thinking and operating like a publisher and always on budget.

Ekaterina closed with these tips.  “Don’t just create marketing campaigns, Build Tribes! Inspire Movements!”  Monitor your competition and make every effort to respond to questions in real time.  If you cannot, set customer expectations regarding your response time in social media.  If you do this, you will grow your business and strengthen your brand by leveraging photos, videos, infographics, and presentations.

We want to thank Ekaterina Walter for her wonderful presentation and Moments by Marya for capturing those special photos of the event.  Next month’s presentation with feature our panel on “Social Giving, Social Good.” The panelists will explore the factors driving the growth of on-line giving such as viral content, changing attitudes and the new digital platforms and tools that facilitate giving.

And for those who missed our big announcement, Social Media Club of Dallas has rebranded and is now Social Media Dallas!  You can check out our new logo on all of our social sites.  Stay tuned for more changes as we transition to our new brand!

Kathy F. Catoe

Kathy F. Catoe is the Vice President of KTO Group, LLC, a marketing consultancy specializing in brand and social media strategy. KTO Group also offers its customers Optionz, a consumer incentive reward program.  Connect with Kathy on Twitter @kfcatoe .