Is it the best marketing strategy?
In order to keep up with the relentless stream of digital technology, businesses, and pretty much anyone who is selling anything needs to be thinking of ways to consistently improve their marketing strategy.
In the past, business was all about numbers. These days, while the books still need to balance, the entire landscape of the business world has changed. To thrive in a virtual environment, companies should be putting the same level of thought and energy into developing the creative aspects of the brand as they do with their metrics.
Conjuring up a creative brand identity isn’t easy, especially under the watchful eye of the internet. But building a brand is a necessity for all businesses and anyone who is selling anything!
Creative Marketing Strategy That Work
Most successful brands have a distinctive image, voice, and style and they use social media as a means to showcase their personality and charm customers. With a few notable exceptions, this is not something that happens overnight.
Thankfully, there are plenty of universal strategies that are cost-effective and easy to implement. Two examples that work are:
- Authentic Images
The virtual world is highly visual and image-based marketing is a necessary tactic. Images are a powerful form of communication and according to Deloitte, more than 3.5 million photos are shared online every single minute.
In order to be seen, marketers need high-quality pictures that their audience will appreciate such as, authentic images.
While there is a burgeoning rebellion against overly-edited, perfectly polished photographs in marketing and advertising; authentic images don’t equate to unretouched images. Authentic images are about capturing a candid moment, something that seems truthful.
For all the deception and disinformation there is online, there is an equal amount of honesty. So much of social media is made up of real people sharing snippets of their real lives. This newfound candor has had a huge impact on how we view each other and the world around us. The more accustomed we get at seeing believable images, the more skilled we become at identifying the lies.
Forward-thinking marketers are jumping on board the bandwagon. The move towards celebrating the every day the imperfect, natural and normal – is with the hope of reaching and engaging with the masses.
5 popular photographic techniques that reflect this trend:
- Light Streams
But truly authentic images are down to more than just credible locations and plausible models.The most successful images in marketing are those that manage to express genuine emotion. According to Plutchik’s Wheel of Emotion, there are 8 primary emotions:
While you might imagine that most marketers should be aiming for the number 1 to 4, there are a lot of times when the need to harness the full spectrum of emotions is necessary.
You can fake a smile but you can’t fake feelings.
Things like jealousy, fear, elation or love have a way of radiating from a person. Even without words, emotions are evident. This applies to still images too, an obvious example is when a smile doesn’t quite mirror the eyes.
Emotional branding is a forward-thinking marketing strategy that has been proven to increase customer retention and loyalty. When it comes to parting with their money, how a person feels about the brand in question is ultimately the deciding factor.
Brands that manage to make an emotional connection with their customers are generally deemed as trustworthy, honest and dependable. While this has always been the case, it’s more important than ever to find ways of instantly communicating these traits and values.
Think about how we consume information – how we learn about businesses, brands, products, and services.
TV, newspapers, radio, word-of-mouth – sure, some of us, some of the time. But by and large, we discover brands online, through social media and websites. And even that is evolving. Perusing the internet isn’t done at a desk anymore. Mobile internet usage surpassed fixed internet access years ago.
Last thing at night, first thing in the morning, the daily commute – it’s during these stolen moments phones that we’re most likely to discover businesses, campaigns, sales, events, and blogs.
But every one of us is being flooded with a deluge of diverse information and we don’t have enough time to process it all. We make snap decisions about the images we see online, based on our emotions. Like it, love it, dislike it, share it. Or the fate worse than contempt – scroll right by. Standing out under these conditions is the ultimate test for brands and marketers but including authentic images in marketing is a proven way to get an audience to respond, interact and buy into a brand.
Images that include people tend to lead to more engagement than those without, but everything, animals, landscapes, and objects can all be shot in a real and authentic way.
First and foremost, storytelling in marketing is not about composing fiction. A brand’s story should always stem from the truth and be an honest account of who the brand is and what it stands for. Stories are a compelling form of communication. Stories are entertaining, memorable, and have the capacity to ignite inspiration. Brands that master the art of storytelling apply their unique narrative to all areas of the business from sales to PR, marketing to funding.
Storytelling helps brands of all sizes to connect in a meaningful way with their audiences. Storyful, the global leader of social insight, news, and video content, connects some of the biggest brands worldwide with their audience through user-generated content. Allowing brands including Google, Apple, Coca-Cola, Dove, and Lipton to tap into the thoughts and emotions of their audience, and in turn, tell a shared story.
“The videos we source for our clients are created by people in their everyday lives, capturing real moments.The emotions and reactions in these videos are authentic and relatable. The audience can enjoy and engage with the stories in much the same way as they would relate to videos from their friends or family members. This means that the audience can easily imagine the brand or product being part of their lives.” says Aoife Dowling, Senior Content Acquisition Agent at Storyful. “Though Storyful primarily works with video content, authentic images can be used in much the same way to tell a brand’s story.
Targeted, user-generated images can capture attention and provide that all-important personal aspect to marketing. Working with authentic images creates a “look-like-me” effect. When audiences see images associated with a brand that mirrors their own real lives, they’re inclined to consider the brand as trustworthy.
Show, Don’t Tell
Creative writing 101 – the show, don’t tell rule is about allowing the reader to experience the story, it’s about the actions, motivators, and emotions rather than descriptions. You can tell your prospective customers that you’re the best at what you do. But it’s only when you show them that it becomes real and relatable.
Marketers have an advantage that most writers don’t – they can use images to reinforce their story, to illustrate their words. And the choice is practically endless, they can show their product, their services, their customers, and employees. Using authentic images will ensure their story is even more engaging.
Rather than me telling you more about the benefits of storytelling, take a look at this clever infographic that Fathom Events created which shows you instead.
Creative marketing strategies such as authentic images and storytelling have sprung from a pool of shared knowledge, insight, and expertise. And they work, when implemented well.
But the key word is creative.
Creativity is often misunderstood, and, it’s far more pragmatic than it gets credit for. Creativity is about unique ideas, original concepts, and logical solutions. It is imagination in motion.
It’s often said when it comes to modern marketing that Content is King. But the reality is – creativity rules the roost.