I recently conducted a survey to determine some of the problems entrepreneurs face when trying to creatively market their businesses and build their brands online.
To my great surprise, one of the problems that kept recurring was the lack of resources to market their businesses. But I was a bit astonished by that admission. I asked myself, in an age where technology is so prevalent, why are start-ups allowing limited resources to stop them from marketing their businesses effectively?
While it is true that start-up costs may be high for first-time business owners, they fail to realize that there are many cost-effective ways to grow their brands.
One of the most effective and proven ways to increase a business’ online presence is using visually appealing content.
Like a prosecutor grilling a witness on the stand, you may then ask, why is visual content so powerful? Simply put, it allows individuals to communicate information in ways that words alone may not permit.
The Content Marketing Institute found that well-crafted visuals can help build trust, differentiate companies, and grow a business while poorly-conceived visual content can damage the audience’s perceptions of a company’s brand.
So what is one of the first things start-ups need to do to grow their brand using visual content? If you guessed that they should integrate their brand into everything they do, treat yourself to something nice. All of their visual content should be a reflection of their brand.
Therefore, entrepreneurs should avoid doing the bare minimum like including a logo or business name in the content because that would be insufficient.
Other aspects such as colour, typography, and designs are equally as important. Consider an athlete who puts in minimal effort in training and has a poor diet.
What do you think will be the result when the sports meet arrives? So consider your business’ integrated approach as an athlete who trains well and has a proper diet. What do you think will be the likely outcome? To answer the obvious, an integrated approach will increase the likelihood of success and help your start-up rise above the online noise.
Ekaterina Walter in her new book The Power of Visual Story Telling indicates that the human brain processes visuals 60,000x faster than text. Consequently, web posts with visuals drive up to 180% more engagement than those without and viewers spend 100% more time on web pages with videos.
I can just imagine your bulging eyes in astonishment now. Entrepreneurs should integrate visual content across all social media platforms! Every business owner’s mission should be to ensure that their content is consistently shared on the available social media vehicles.
Plus, it is imperative that entrepreneurs’ websites are able to capture the attention of their viewers to provide them with pertinent information about their brands.
I am sure that visual content expert Donna Moritz had no intention to rain on your parade or burst your proverbial bubble when she suggests that people do not like to be “marketed” to.
But unfortunately, that is a mistake that many entrepreneurs consistently make. They fall into the trap of sharing content that is solely related to their products and businesses with the hope that such a method will increase their fan base and build their brands.
Regrettably, taking such an approach will most likely breed the outcome that some students are familiar with when they refuse to study, failure. Moritz goes on to indicate that people like to be entertained, helped, and inspired. Therefore, those are the areas that entrepreneurs must attempt to address in their visual content if they are to be effective.
Equally as important is the fact that the content also needs to be “snackable”. Don’t reach for the chips and dip to add to your visual content though because the word simply means that it should be easily “digested” or interpreted and unique to the brand.
Using visual content is an effective resource for businesses that want to develop. What do you think is one of the vital components that some of the world’s top entrepreneurs and companies use to grow their brand? They use properly managed visual content. I am sure you guessed it.
One of the complaints that many people make is that they are not creative and do not have the resources to pay for a designer. It is true that the average person isn’t a Picasso or Da Vinci because most have creative geniuses the size of Austin Powers’ mini-me.
However, free easy to use design tools for creating visually appealing contents for the creatively challenged exist such as Canva, Picmonkey, memegenerator, and wordle. And if you are like the average person, free is always good!
Additionally, apps like OVER and wordswag are also quite powerful and simple to understand and can be used for creating effective original visual content. Entrepreneurs can also easily create videos like the pros using apps such as adobe voice and videohance.
So what are you waiting for? Make your brand stand out like the brightest crayon in the box.