Why You Need to Strategize your Visual Content in 2017
To begin, here’s a short quiz.
What Am I?
I have multiple tabs open on my laptop. Some days I work from coffee shops, some days my home office, and other days I visit the newest co-working space. I am ALWAYS on social media, but not just for personal use. I am constantly thinking and using the word strategy. I have a mental calendar in my brain at all times. I am responsible for developing voice, concept, and identity. I a integral to the modern company. Can you guess what I am?
Yup, I am a content strategist.
Where Did Digital Marketing Begin?
I started working in digital marketing over nine years ago. Back in 2008, social media was just emerging as an important tool for communication, marketing, and branding. I was lucky to find myself on the forefront of this rapidly growing subset of digital marketing, and started managing social media accounts.
To do this role, I didn’t attend “Content University,” if such a place even even exists; instead, I educated myself using Google and posed a lot of questions to seasoned marketers. Back then, client “asks” would simply include posting creative branding ideas on a whim, while curating content from other sources. This was enough to have a successful digital presence.
At times, when clients needed longer content, I would write blogs, but posting new content on a weekly or daily basis was only utilized by the most foreword thinking companies. Most clients were new to the world of digital marketing, and a long way off from having a formalized digital marketing strategy. Those of us working on developing digital content at the time were also constantly evolving our tactics for building an online presence.
Where Are We Now?
In 2017, content development is a whole new world. You can click-to-purchase your favorite outfit from Instagram. We receive the President of the United States’ perspective through Twitter & hashtags. We rave about our days on Facebook Live, and we order groceries in a few hours on Amazon Fresh. You may even receive those groceries by drone. In a short time, a lot of our daily activities moved offline, to online and the need for better and more content followed.
So the imperative business question in 2017 is not “Do we need digital content?” (as it was in 2008), but rather, “How do we keep up with everything online?”
I have analyzed this question from multiple angles, and my answer always ties back to one thing. Every business, big or small, needs a solid annual content strategy. When content strategy is developed on a yearly and big-picture basis, it can dynamically impact a business’s social media voice, marketing goals, and overall communication.
From experience, I’ve realized that this is the most impactful resource for any business that desires online success. By developing a strategy, the message delivered by a company is cohesive, creative, and more interesting. An annual strategy is often based on vision and the bigger goals of a business.
Content backed by an annual strategy is more likely to connect with the intended audience, and an annual strategy provides a way to mark progress, goals, and markers of strong content. An annual strategy is also more likely to be implemented, whereas week–to-week or day-to-day planning can quickly go off course.
What is our Top Tip for Your Annual Strategy in 2017?
Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text (1). With this information in mind, it seems silly not to integrate a written strategy with visual goals? This can increase the goals of your annual marketing strategy outlined above and improve the effectiveness of your social media posts, webs copy, and other online presence. This is not new advice in the world of content development, just perfected.
I will advise a number of businesses this year and look forward to working on a Visual Content Strategy (VCS) for each company that is specific to their industry, branding, and sales goals. For my company, Visual Content Agency, and I this is a more effective and clear form of a digital roadmap. It is not solely a written document, we no longer like to hand over a one-time roadmap and tell our clients to figure it out. Alternatively, a carefully constructed and jointly-develped VCS becomes a year-long story, which comes alive throughonline content in all of its many forms. A VCS uses traditional editorial planning, content mapping, creative ideation, and strategic analysis to plan a year ahead and get content out to the right audience in a timely manner.
The best part: once your strategy is defined, your management will fall into place. Your marketing managers can delegate tasks, organize your promotion plan, or start a fun campaign that can be run by other employees without the same commitment of oversight and concern for staying “on brand.” A VCS will keep the rhythm going for you and your team.
So now I ask, are you focusing on visual content in 2017? Where you are headed and what are your biggest struggles for reaching your goals? I want to hear from you and build a better content strategy for your business! To get started, contact Visual Content Agency and arrange to meet with me or download Visual Content Agency’s Recipe for Visual Content Success, below.
(1) Business to Community. Visual Marketing: A Picture’s Worth 60,000 Words. 2015 January 16. http://www.business2community.com/digital-marketing/visual-marketing-pictures-worth-60000-words-01126256.