Cutting through the clutter, or “noise,” has always been a challenge for marketers seeking to create awareness, engage their customers and build their brands. It’s no different for senior living providers that are trying to gain competitive edge in a difficult economic environment. While it is difficult to stay on top of the latest communications techniques when your priority is your residents’ comfort and satisfaction, it is important to stay “plugged in” to business techniques that can advance your business priorities.
In her article, “Four Types of Visual Content That Cut Through the Noise”, author Ekaterina Walter provides useful suggestions for optimizing the use of your visual content.
Says Ms. Walter, “From the beginning of time, people have been expressing themselves through visuals. “It is very natural for us to pay immediate attention to illustrations and graphics. And in an increasingly noisy digital landscape, marketers must use them to stand out.”
A 2012 study by ROI Research supports this point of view. It found that 44% of respondents are more likely to engage with brands if they post pictures. The rise of visual networks such as Pinterest and Instagram now provide great opportunities for marketers to let their visual creativity shine.
So how can marketers effectively engage their customers through the use of visuals? Ms. Walker suggests four types of visual content that cut through the noise.
Create custom images to use on multiple networks. You want to do that for two reasons. One, every one of your communities (audiences) is unique. You don’t want to post every single image across all of your networks (Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.). Honor the uniqueness of your communities by posting custom content.
Second, each social network requires a different image dimension. If the rectangular images work well on Tumblr, they will be cut off on Facebook to accommodate more of a square dimensions. Also, get creative with your images, play around with them, but ensure that the image clearly articulates your message. And include a little bit of your brand in every one of them; that way they will be instantly recognizable through that bit of consistency.
Video is a highly consumable format. People reach out and search for videos because they prefer to witness whatever they are searching for in real life. A video doesn’t have to be professionally done to solicit emotions and create memories.
Even though there is a place for professional brand videos, I believe that more and more brands should be allowing their fans and advocates to tell their own stories, share their own creativity. That is why crowdsourcing is becoming a darling of marketing—it is an authentic way for advocates of a brand to spread their love.
Everyone is looking for great data. We love posts that summarize the data around a specific topic, because it means that we don’t have to spend hours compiling it ourselves. But what’s even more attractive to us is the data compiled in one place visually; hence the popularity of infographics. The carefully crafted Infographic is easy to read and follow, and it is visually appealing. It includes valuable information and it tells a story.
SlideShare is among the most popular places for people to search for great content. SlideShare made PowerPoint presentations sexy again. A well-done presentation is an opportunity for marketers to not only share their knowledge, but to showcase their creativity as well.
Possessing the required marketing expertise, (or partnering with a firm that does) and applying creative visual content to your social media and other marketing initiatives, can give your senior living community a boost in brand awareness and competitive advantage.