Visual Marketing in 2023: Definition & Examples
Visual marketing has been killing it for the last forever. It has always been there as people love things with their eyes. The first impression always works, and visual advertising is what helps you promote your items. Today marketing teams invest all they have into images and video as they know this is a powerful tool that helps to bring your ideas to users and look better than your competitors.
Let's check what exactly can be on your visual advertisement ideas list, consider all advantages and disadvantages (yes, there are some), learn the types of visual marketing, and review some examples that will inspire you to do better.
Table of Contents
The visual marketing definition is quite simple. It is the media that you translate to your audience, which helps you connect. It can be anything that doesn't require reading — images, videos, and branded content. A nice visional marketing strategy can help you outdo your competitors who might still work on their text blogs without adding some eye candy to it. We're not saying you should drop writing but rather enhance it with the right imagery or materials that will help your customers understand your ideas and your messages better.
Probably, you have some apps that help you find fun and interesting visual content: Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr (if you still use it), etc. These platforms were made for visuals, and you know how good visuals bring much more attention to the product and services online than anything else. You can even tell stories about your brand with the right visual marketing. If the words are the thought of your brand, then visuals are the face.
More than that, the right materials help users understand the size, weight, etc., of the product, see how it looks in their apartment, and imagine owning the product. This will definitely help to sell your items. On the contrary, bad visual content can make everything worse, so invest your time in this topic.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Not us who invented the phrase, but it's true. Any visual advertising starts with a beautifully crafted image. It is everything as it shows what you want to say and what your clients want to get. You can't sell a fashion piece, diamond ring, locksmith services, or vegan burger without showing it. Even if you try to describe them with words, you'll still lack some of the magic that imagery does. Not to hurt writers, but a picture of a donut is far tastier than words about it.
Not to be phonies with words, here are numbers. MDG Advertising states that 60% of people buy faster if they see a picture.
As for now, there are six types of visional marketing that you can apply. Here they are.
Marketing specialists have been using images since the beginning of marketing, advertising, and the Internet. As soon as a new medium appears, visual marketing is there. Approaches change, however, and for now, there are myriads of different types of pictures you can use for your campaigns, depending on your brand, target audience, product, etc. You've seen them all: photos, collages, drawings, gifs, digital illustrations, posters, and plenty of others.
As the Internet is speeding up, you can use formats that require some time to download. Videos are one of them. Sometimes it's easier to show than tell, and sometimes, it's better to show and tell. So, you can use a video. Besides, people get the feeling of presence if you show other people. And you can communicate your ideas more clearly. Advertising seems to get the most of visually pleasing videos as they evoke more emotions and can engage with you on a deeper level.
You can use infographics to deliver the information you have in the text more uniquely and easily. Have you seen that this kind of visual imagery makes it easy to understand even the hardest topics? It can turn everything into a Something for Dummies book. Use that if you have big chunks of information that can be explained in more visual ways.
Slides are good for tasks where you have loads of structured information that you need to divide into so-called chapters. You can do that with the presentations. They work best to communicate the history of your brand, your big idea, your values, your team, etc. Don't be afraid to add a well-thought-out presentation to your website to communicate your ideas more.
Listen, this is not a joke. Memes do most good things today. They can help explain information, share the vibe, make people laugh, and, eventually, befriend them. Sounds cool to us! Why not use this popular imagery to get more engagement from your customers?
If you have a strong quote, make visually pleasing imagery of it. And even if you don't have some, find those that fit your brand and mirror your ideas. In the end, who wouldn't agree with Gandhi's "Be the change you wish to see in the world."?
There are lots of advantages and some disadvantages when it comes to visual marketing. As you know that it is all about images, you could guess some of the points we'll have in this block.
Let's see how many of the advantages are new to you here and which you've already known.
1. Boost Website Traffic
Great visuals are perfect for social media. You can get website traffic as you share good content online. Think yourself. Which restaurant will make you want to go to the website, see the menu and book the table ASAP? The one that just wrote about having steaming tasty dishes or the one that actually invested in taking a picture of their best dish that is extremely aesthetically pleasing?
2. Boost Brand Awareness
Increase your awareness with nicely built imagery. You know it yourself, the better the visuals, the more likely you remember the brand. Social media, once again, is a perfect place to share your visual content with people, so they know your brand, show it to their friends, etc. It works great and always had. But still, don't neglect a nice text under your pictures, it should add up to the visuals to immerse readers into your brand deeper.
3. Evoke Emotions
You can connect with people on a deeper emotional level with the help of visual marketing. It is easily the most attention-grabbing thing that can describe and tell so many things, especially if you have something to tell. With great creators, you can communicate anything: real, unreal, abstract, or not so abstract. Once again, if you run a restaurant, show people that are happy at your place and that they are in love. It is all about good emotions and tasty food.
4. Differ From Competitors
Competitors are everywhere. Even though they are your competitors, they actually help you grow professionally. Be better, be faster, and be stronger — that's all you need to be more advanced than your competitors. The higher quality the images, the more customers you get and the better relations you build with them. That's easy. Furthermore, each brand has its unique branding that helps to look different in the eyes of your clients. This means that you have to be remarkable and remind people about your brand using small things, so they recognize exactly YOU and not your competitor.
5. Boost Online Engagement
Binge-worthy content always attracts commenters and people who want to share it with their friends. That is another advantage that you should know about. At this point in marketing history, people need to have quality content that you invest your time, money, and soul into. Thus, it will be rewarded with views, comments, and shares, meaning that many more people will see your brand. And that influences the awareness and loyalty you build in the eyes of your clients and prospects every day.
We have much fewer disadvantages than advantages, and that's precious. Let's break down the things you might run into when creating content.
1. Time and Money
We’ve mentioned this before, but yes, visual marketing is expensive and time-consuming. However, it does its job perfectly. Besides, you need to plan your content, find and hire creators that share your vision and can bring some fresh ideas. But it's worth that. You will notice immediately that the content is good right after you post it, especially if you had other content prior to that.
You can't really prove the return on investment as there are no numbers that can tell you that imagery brought you 500 buyers last month. It could or it could not. But it surely influences many other things. It's hard to tell whether the financial return exists with visual assets. If so, you still won't know how much. In general, it does boost your business, but you just can't count the numbers.
Here we've got to the most interesting part of the topic — visual advertising examples. We'll check different types of imagery on different media, so you know the range of possibilities.
1. Chanel Mother's Day Campaign
There's nothing more sweet and beautiful than this visual campaign. It is exclusively visually driven but has a great creative idea to it.
Chanel visual marketing example
Chanel is a pretty conservative brand, and everyone knows that. Everything has to be polished with them, but what about the target audience? Surely it's not the same as Colourpop, Holika Holika, or Pupa have.
These ladies are in their 30s, with high-paying jobs, families, and kids. And kids just love drawing pictures for their moms, and moms in turn, get presents from their kids on this special occasion. So, Chanel just combined these two ideas and congratulated moms on their holiday on behalf of those whose congratulation matters the most. That’s brilliant!
2. Burberry Open Spaces Campaign
Check it out first before we talk about it!
No surprise here that fashion is all about visual marketing. As Thomas Burberry created the brand for those who like to explore, the new generation takes it to another level stating that exploring is not only about places now but also about ideas, feelings, and thoughts.
3. Oreo Halloween Campaign
Holidays are a great chance to play with your visual marketing and add new colors to it. Oreo did a good job with its campaign.
Oreo visual marketing example
The idea is great. It is common for people to make sweets with Oreos, and the brand knows it. That’s perfect for Halloween. Do you see how such imagery evokes pleasant emotions that resemble home? That's where you should aim if this is part of your brand.
4. Apple Pay Campaign
Try not to feel that disgust!
Ok, this one comes from our feelings of disgust and fear rather than from good places like Chanel or Oreo did. It's not quite ethical to use those in your commercial, but it works here. Tell us you won't use Apple pay from now on after watching this visual advertising! Surely a nice move to show the 10$ bill adventure before it comes into your hands.
5. Starburst Vertical Campaign
We haven't forgotten about exclusively social media campaigns. Check this one out!
Starburst visual marketing example
This is creative. This is about how you eat the candy — vertical. What else is vertical? Phone. So the brand made this collaboration on horizontal-vertical things to tell people that it is better to eat their candy vertically. Perfect for stories on Instagram and Facebook. And it surely will get extra attention as it looks like nothing else.
6. National Geographic Cheetah Trafficking Campaign
This is a rather sad one but extremely educational. Don't be afraid to evoke feelings, it will do the job.
National Geographic visual marketing example
As many people on the Internet like images of exotic animals without thinking twice about it, National Geographic actually asks to think twice as those animals could be trafficked. And, you know, fellow marketing specialists, the more people like some kind of content, the more business grows and brings more of that history to viewers. So that's why we have that educational campaign that hopefully does what it was created for.
7. Arby's Sandwich Portrait Campaign
This one is more than a simple visual marketing example. This is a full-scale activation for users that was made with the help of nice visuals.
Arby's visual marketing example
Arby's is a restaurant that serves plenty of foods and specializes in sandwiches. So they've decided that people could get their own portrait made out of sandwich ingredients. Isn't that fun? And they will surely post it on their social media, so many people notice that. This is how to raise awareness.
8. Calm Campaign
Are you crazy about stuff that goes around? Calm has an ad that offers you a break!
This is another example of a good creative idea. See, visual marketing is not only about imagery, it is also about a good idea that evokes emotions and signals to people that you are their friend and they actually need you.
9. Savage x Fenty Valentine's Day Campaign
A brand that celebrates diversity has everything we need to see. And happiness, alongside being sexy, is the feeling that we get from this brand.
Show your audience that they are part of your brand. You're not simply selling things to them but actually making things for them. This is definitely fun and cool to show everyone who you are making your products for.
10. Abercrombie & Fitch No Logo Campaign
This brand is famous for teen clothing and logo placement all over the items. Which became sort of a joke.
And as they've made some blank hoodies, they had to promote them. Based on the target audience, they made the right move, went with TikTok and became viral. The point is to consider where your target audience might hang out and place your commercial there.
So, this is basically it. The main point with visual marketing is that you have to remember your target audience, make good content, and continue exploring your brand. If you have any questions, feel free to reach us so we can help you out! Good luck!