7 Ways To Beat Competition Through Strategic Visual Marketing

Evan Brown

Apr 03, 201711 min read
7 Ways To Beat Competition Through Strategic Visual Marketing

Are you implementing strategic visual marketing content in your day-to-day?

Several reports suggest that customer loyalty is fast dwindling, with customers switching from brand to brand in a restless disarray.

Research has shown that in a normal conversation, the importance of body language is 55 percent, voice tonality is 38 percent and importance of words is 7 percent. 

When you factor in the point that 93% of all human communication is nonverbal, it highlights the utter indispensability of having a viable visual online presence.

Visual senses play a major part in conveying and receiving messages, even in a normal conversation. 

Human Communication

Thus, when it comes to online marketing, videos, motion graphics and photos are the most potent tools in your marketing arsenal, helping you convey your message to the intended audience effectively.

Recently, video traffic is a fast gaining portion of internet traffic and experts believe that 90 percent of web traffic will be in video format in coming few years. 

This is a major reason why you must incorporate visual marketing concepts into your marketing strategy, in order to make your brand more appealing to people.

7 Nifty ways strategic visual marketing can help you beat competition

1. Take A Walk Back In Time

You can transform your Facebook timeline to depict a visual representation of the history of your company.

Leverage company milestones, as well as images from your opening day.

Another intriguing idea to pursue is to incorporate behind-the-scenes images and team pictures (on- and off-site) to let your audience know what makes your business tick.

Consumers delve deep into the history and background of your company before they decide to purchase from you.

By sharing your company’s story through images, you offer them the information necessary to foster an emotional connection and make an informed decision.

For instance, Volkswagen creates a visual timeline of their storied past on Facebook.

As fans take a stroll through the visual representation of Volkswagen’s evolution, commencing in 1938, they glean a more intimate sneak-peak into the workings of the German automotive company.

Readers feel part of the brand’s history as they scroll through the timeline.

Readers relish in the celebration of their one-millionth car produced, witness the construction of the original Volkswagen factory in Wolfsburg, and more.

one-millionth car

Volkswagen capitalizes on stunning imagery to take their audience through their company’s rich heritage.

The approach is not only educational and interesting, but this tactic resonates with everyone.

Both novices and avid car aficionados will delight in pursuing the history of the company to garner a cultural lesson on the background of Volkswagen- literally translated as the people’s car.

Each new image shared is designed to boost the experience and culture around the Volkswagen brand.

By weaving an impactful and heart-touching story into each post, see how the brand highlights important milestones within the company.


2. Removing Language Barriers With Visuals

Emphasizing visual elements eradicate language barriers, enabling brands to engage a wider audience.

Replacing words with pictures as primary storytellers, many organizations are using visuals to their advantage.

For instance, the World Wildlife Fund raised awareness about endangered animals by launching its #LastSelfie Snapchat Campaign.

Two ad agencies spearheaded the effort which aspired to capitalize on the fleeting nature of Snapchat images as a metaphor for the fast extinction of many animal species.

By sharing a series of #lastselfies featuring our favorite animals, WWF aspired to coax millennials into contributing their fair share in salvaging the species before it’s too late for them.


Psychology studies have revealed that people are more prone to feeling empathy for the subject of a selfie, which leads to action in turn.

In response to this powerful imagery, the World Wildlife Fund witnessed their content engaging more than 40,000 Twitter users in a week, enabling them to reach their monthly target in just 3 days.

Thanks to the emotional stories shared on Snapchat, what started off as a local project in Denmark and Turkey, soon spread throughout the world!

3. Focus On Fun

Akin to your regular content, make a habit of providing value and sharing relevant content frequently on myriad social media channels.

However with visual content, fun is a vital element that should never be overlooked.

This is why people share the content they like: it entertains them in some way, makes them laugh or inspires them.

The key is to strike the perfect balance between entertaining and informing.

In the years to come, Visual marketing will continue to gain ground as a prevailing force in growing your business online.

Through original, pertinent and creative videos or images that resonate with your customers, you can build a stronger loyal following with higher conversion rates.

Top-notch visual content that embodies your brand message and represents it in the best light can go a long way in fostering new leads who would willingly share what you have to offer.

For instance, Dunkin Donuts’ visual marketing is so scrumptious looking, vivacious and upbeat that their audience can’t possibly take their eyes off it.

Their social media posts are completely aligned with their style; they are jovial, imaginative and perky.

The element of humor makes the posts shareable and popular.

Instead of resorting to direct advertising, the brand chooses to flaunt their products in unusual ways.

Dunkin Donuts’

Similarly, Oreo knows how to play their cards right when it comes to keeping an audience actively engaged and happy.

The visuals posted by the brand have it all; parodies, culture, and wit.

They leverage current entertainment updates or popular events and work their delectable cookie right into it.

This renders their posts shareable and fun.

It’s phenomenal how the brand takes next to no time to react to an unforeseen event.

"You can still dunk in the dark", the brand’s fast response to the Superbowl, won widespread recognition.

Grammarly is an online proofreading and correction service touting an awe-inspiring visual marketing strategy.

Their Pinterest page is replete with engaging and hilarious content that people share and enjoy.

The wit and humor are coupled with eye-catching images that the Grammarly Cards audience cannot ignore. 

Grammarly Cards

4. Aim For Virality

Do you remember the famous ALS Ice Bucket Challenge?

Are you acquainted with the ubiquitous Coke campaign or perhaps a friend was nice enough to buy you a drink with your name engraved on the label?

All such marketing campaigns spread like wildfire.

Their juicy secret is their built-in element of virality.

When you get called out for the Ice Bucket Challenge, you have no choice but to step up, right?

And when you see a Coke with your friend’s name on it, how can you resist buying a bottle for them?

When creating a viable visual marketing campaign for your brand, try to unravel the secret force that makes your marketing innately viral.

This translates into making your content highly memorable, hyper-social, and fun to share.

Now every time we stumble across a video of someone getting drenched with ice water, it rings a bell for ALS awareness.

Think about what your brand will be known for.

For instance, Coca-Cola’s content marketing strategy is to a great extent built on visual marketing.

They offer quirky, colorful, and fun visuals that are easy to share and like by their audience.

The company exerts its efforts on interactive content to keep their audience engaged.

The brand also has plenty of brand memorabilia and uniquely designed animated gifs that never let their audience forget whose page they’re on. 


Another visual component that is shared most by the audience is in the form of Infographics.

Infographics are an effective way of improving engagement with target audiences , readers, or customers, maximizing your chances at scoring a viral hit, and catching attention.

According to Content Marketing Institute, Infographics were the B2B content marketing tactic with the biggest increase in use, from 2015 to 2016, up from 50% to 58%.

The best thing about Infographics is that they are annotated by nature.

They combine visuals and text in a way that divulges digestible chunks of information quickly.

People are drawn towards infographics just as they are predisposed towards text-based list posts.

Only, Infographics have a greater impact, as humans are visual creatures who are instinctively drawn to flashy pictures and vibrant hues.

As a rule of thumb, assemble pieces of your most popular content and start designing IGs as a means of repackaging them.

This is a great way of reusing information you know your audience already wants, albeit lending it a fresh and unique spin that your audience is likely to share and enjoy.

This lets you garner prime content to post on sites like Pinterest where IGs are the king.

Even better, leveraging myriad facts from a few studies and portraying them visually helps to communicate information effectively and grapple the attention of a user who may not have the interest to read lengthy reports.

5. Keep Social Media At The Heart Of Visual Marketing Strategies

Sharing stunning visual content on your social media profiles will let you garner more activity on those mediums.

Here’s how you can leverage your visuals and maximize their impact.

  • Choose or create an original picture for your profile that articulates the vision and message of your brand. This is even more imperative for your Facebook Timeline cover photo.
  • Actively use Instagram, Pinterest, and other visual social media platforms and capitalize on their sharing capabilities to share on Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites your audience hangs out at.
  • Invest in tools which include all the features you need and are easy to use, and get into a habit of regularly creating and sharing content, including succinct, one to two-minute videos for social media sharing.
  • Find good sources for visual content curation to expand your content creation program.

For instance, IHOP’s Instagram page is filled with delectable and colorful images that would compel their customers out the door, sprinting towards the nearest IHOP in a matter of minutes.

From luscious-looking stacks of pancakes to the strawberry-topped waffles you’re certain you can eat in one sitting, IHOP’s Tumblr and Instagram pages are nothing short of a wonderland of culinary delights.

In addition to incorporating delicious-looking and colorful pictures, their posts carry an upbeat sense of humor about them.

IHOP caters to their customers (a younger demographic) by posting drool-worthy food photos, customer-submitted images, and creative memes.


Similarly Bud Light has a vibrant and proactive Facebook Page, complete with visual marketing.

From native video to lively graphics, Bud Light has nurtured an interactive Facebook community through visual media.

And they want their followers to join in on the fun.

They are always inviting their fans to submit personal photos, be it an event Bud Light is promoting or a day at the beach, audience participation gives the Page a warm, unique “small town” feel.

Bud Light

6. Use A Wide Array Of Visuals

In addition to keeping up a constant stream of images on your Social media pages, videos prove mighty useful for representing a common dilemma and depicting your product as the knight in shining armor.

While there are myriad cheaper kinds of visual content available, videos serve as an extra clout for your campaign by showing your audience that you can go the extra mile for quality.

Studies reveal that incorporating video content on your social media pages boost conversion by 86%.

There are several kinds of videos that can lend a helping hand to your business.

You could consider customer tutorials, demonstrations, explainer videos, how-to videos, or fun and engaging videos to leave your customers wishing to associate with your brand.

2016 was the year that videos made a ravishing appearance on social media, and nothing embodies this better than BuzzFeed’s new social media channel Tasty.

Specifically focused on Facebook, the idea was simple, while the results were finger-licking addictive.

The social media analytics from their Facebook page would leave you shaking your head in disbelief.

Almost all their short videos garner millions of views and the top post? A jaw-dropping 1.2 million likes, 4.4 million shares, and 161 million views.

Easy Homemade Gnocchi FULL RECIPE: http://bzfd.it/2mmzukP

Posted by Tasty on Sunday, February 26, 2017

In addition to videos, GIFs are back in vogue and bigger than ever for brands.

A GIF is a better and more engaging version of web video.

There is no Post-roll or pre-roll ad.

The format doesn't care for super boring, long video and you get to watch a loop to see what happened.

GIFs are especially helpful for turning news events into humorous, short moments, celebrating good news and solidifying a point.

Posting GIFs on a regular basis helps your brand capture a younger demographic and even an older one by playing on their nostalgia.

For instance, DiGiorno pizza doesn’t just believe that GIFs make for great marketing—it has solid proof.

According to Luke Oppliger, director of social content at Resource/Ammirati, “We were happily surprised that when we started to do GIFs, they got even higher engagement.

We typically get a few hundred retweets and favorites, but we are seeing GIFs in the thousands.”

If you notice the pre-teens species around you, you’ll probably catch them with an iPhone in one hand and clutching a Frappucino in the other. 

Starbucks combined their two loves by creating 21—count ’em, 21—GIFs pertaining to its blended beverage.

Indubitably, these GIFs scream “hipster youth.”

Just by looking at them, you feel cool and renewed.


People also adore Infographics and can’t seem to get enough of them!

In fact, Infographics are shared thrice more than any other piece of visual content.

Thus, we can safely venture to say that an infographic will escalate your customer engagement, and when executed and used correctly, eye-catching IGs can be incredibly potent marketing tools that help communicate tons of information really thoroughly and quickly.

For instance, see how the Studio-C has summarized a possible copious body of data within one nautical-themed infographic, making their content easy to read and super shareable.

Strategic Visual Content - Infographics

7. Showcase Your Product In Different Lights

A picture speaks a thousand words.

Instead of simply posting images of your products, why not portray your products in real scenarios to make them more relatable to your audience?

For instance, Califia Farms natural beverage products tout an attractive package that they frequently flaunt.

Their packaging, in fact, is so iconic that it landed honors in the Beverage World Magazine’s global packaging design category.

Instagram is a perfect platform to exhibit that curvy, cool bottle, and the people at their brand never shy away from the prospect.

A majority of their posts feature the beverage's containers in some way or another; whether they are an accessory in the context or the main subject of the photo, healthy lifestyle Califia's buyer personas love.

Showcase Your Product

Similarly, Dr. Pepper's brand can do wonders when it comes to making their content appealing. 

They have a knack for converting their products into amazing visuals that are simultaneously striking and entertaining.

The content they post and share on their Facebook page is solid living proof that design is just as important a factor as written copy. 

Dr. Pepper brand

Key Takeaway For Brands In 2017!

With the proliferation and ubiquitousness of the internet, your audience is inundated with text; downright flooded by the barrage of information.

If you want to break the vicious circle and come across as fun and engaging, visual marketing is the way to go.

As visual content commenced its skyward journey on social networks, the emphasis on storytelling with pictures has also reached unprecedented heights.

Our guide to visual content would aid you in establishing a winning visual strategy which would bring all the customers to your yard! 

Which is the strategic visual marketing that best works for you?

Author Photo
Evan is an expert in digital marketing and has run several successful marketing campaigns. He has been working in the social media space since 2008, with a focus on design services, user interface planning, branding and others in the graphic design industry.