We’re predicting the biggest visual content trends to expect in 2020 so you can implement them into your VCS and hit the ground running come January 1st.
We’ve been through this before; the importance of a Visual Content Strategy can really put your business on the map, specifically when it comes to marketing your brand or services. But let’s look at your strategy on a deeper level. Are you using tools that speak to your audience? Are you utilizing visual content mediums relevant to your industry and to society as a whole? What are you doing differently come this new year to make sure your reach grows more impactful? Amy & Vincent share in our latest broadcast, 2020 content trends & predictions. Then, we break it down more intuitively, below!
Let’s start with strategy.
By now, you’ve quantified your results from 2019 to find what works and what..well..doesn’t quite fit the bill in your marketing strategy. In planning for 2020, it’s important to keep and continue to develop what worked, but to also adjust things a bit to stay relevant with the ever-changing advancements in this industry.
Storytelling is a big one; it’s not new in the world of marketing, but it’s here to stay! Thought provoking, emotional video spurs interaction and gives your audience something to relate to. The human race is naturally drawn to story-telling, so why not continue to capitalize on this basic form of human interaction and communication?
Another strategy not new to us but equally growing in value is influencer marketing/user generated content. Think about it, this is the modern world’s more efficient form of word-of-mouth. How often do you find yourself buying into a brand because your mom, sister, best friend, or boss raves about it? People feel more comfortable investing in products or services when they’ve seen the proof and it’s coming from real, relatable people. Influencers got their name from influencing buying decisions. They serve as marks of admirability; people aspire to be like them, have the things they have, & live similar lifestyles. That’s what makes influencer marketing so valuable. The difference is influencers are within reach, whereas celebrities are untouchable.
For B2B businesses, educational content, chat bots & messaging, & email marketing create a more personal connection with the audience/consumer. How-to videos in the form of live broadcasts, real-time, or podcasts have become part of the demand when researching before buying. Implement content & media outlets Create that builds confidence in the buyer’s decision to invest in your brand or service. And be readily available to answer important questions they may have.
The way in which you create and produce content based on the strategies above are equally important.
These types of visual content should definitely be implemented in your VCS:
Insta-stories have quickly taken the advertising world by storm. “70% of people discover new brands and products through FB & IG stories alone” (source), meaning stories are the name of the game! This next year, if you’re not active with your stories, you probably won’t get noticed. With instant access, consumers/your audience can absorb your marketing content in seconds, so create your content mindfully. Quick tip: consider the way in which we hold our phones to view videos; create short vertical video content for easy viewing.
Similarly, live-broadcasts have proven to be quite beneficial in marketing strategy. “80% of consumers prefer to watch live videos from a brand than read a blog.” (source) What’s awesome about Facebook and Instagram is that they accommodate all levels of influencers from professional broadcast companies like news organizations to anyone looking to share or spread the word on a topic or brand.
In 2019 our team at VCA set out to test our live broadcasting skills with our “Building Your Visual Brand” broadcast series that were fleshed out on channels like LinkedIn, Instagram & Facebook.
Now here’s a fun one: augmented reality. This can be as simple as Snapchat filters, or more complicated like AR for shopping experiences. About 1/7 of the entire world population are AR users according to Augmania. If you’ve tried the Snapchat Dog Filter, you are of this statistic! But the real benefit in AR is the multitude of ways to use it to enhance the shopping experience, benefit the consumer to see the product more intuitively, or even help with more serious issues like a phobia. In fact, 8% of mid-sized businesses are using Augmented Reality (Deloitte).
This past year, we tested our content skills for a client who wanted to provide their audience with a 360 avocado grove experience at a large trade show. Using Oculus we were able to format the footage so booth attendees could feel like they were submerged into a visual experience.
Strategy set, time to execute
Now, all of this is wonderful & new, but what we haven’t shared is the many ways your visual marketing strategy can be streamlined to alleviate a ton of work on your end. There are a multitude of planning applications and programs to help you improve on your social media efforts for the upcoming year; each of which may serve a different purpose, but will ultimately enhance your strategy.
Automation scheduling & visual mapping tools such as Buffer, Planoly, Iconosquare are great options when it comes to scheduling out your social media content in advance. These programs allow you to execute your content in bulk, but schedule it out according to your VCS ahead of time, and post to your social channels automatically. You can find some other examples of types of content management here.
Social media advertising, when done right, can be extremely benefical to your brand exposure, but also tracking results at the end of each quarter. If you haven’t utilized Facebook ads yet, now is the time to get started and broaden the reach of your marketing campaigns.
In your execution, tracking KPI’s will help you discover opportunities in your strategy and help you make the necessary adjustments in real-time in order to maximize results. Checking in with your amplification rate, video & story views, conversion rate, engagement, reach, post reach & of course continuing to track followers & growth is where you’ll find really beneficial information on how your marketing strategy is landing if your audience.
Stay Relevant in 2020
These strategies and content types are sure to keep you relevant come 2020, but keep your eyes on industry leaders. And remember, consumers love new. Seeing the same old advertisements and videos will quickly have them turning their heads toward more progressive competitors. Implement these new strategies and types of content in creative ways that will speak to your audience & keep them intrigued!
We had the best time capturing avocado content at Fresh Summit, the largest fresh floral & produce tradeshow in the United States.
We’re back from a three-day long event in Anaheim, California called PMA Fresh Summit. With a record breaking 24,000 people in attendance, we were a small speck in a gigantic crowd of the produce industry’s top professionals, influencers & brands. The best part? This was our team’s first time physically attending the show for our client, West Pak Avocado, Inc. & experiencing the live activations & displays from top brands like Pom Wonderful, Avocados from Mexico, Chiquita Banana & more.
Avocado UX Experience
As one of the top three avocado distributors in the world, West Pak desired their booth stand out from the green fruit crowd. They commissioned VCA to create a sight worth seeing with one goal in mind: immerse their audience into their global, dynamic world of avocados.
After months of hard work the creativity resulted in a complete UX experience for their booth & social media. Developed by our Creative Director Vincent Apodaca, the final output was a 7:00 minute custom video designed for their whopping 118” inch LED video screen. In tandem, their team designed a custom seating area for a VR avocado grove walk through. Shot by VCA’s director of photography partner, David Berry & edited by Vincent Apodaca, the tour was a hit as fans flocked to see the groves using the @oculus VR headsets provided.
Social Avocado Activations
To launch West Pak’s 2020 multi-part video series, the Avo Effect in time for PMA, VCA launched the official trailer & landing page days leading up to the event. Amy Hadrys & her social team prepared to host on-site interviews at West Pak’s booth during the event to capture the buzz & excitement. With the help of VCA’s collaborative videographer, Maritza Lopez, the team was able to spread social avocado love with industry partners from AFM (Avocados from Mexico), California Avocado Commission, Fairtrade America & more! In addition to the booth itself, the VCA team supported with 24/7 social support including live stories, customer service & community management on Instagram throughout the weekend.
But don’t worry, we still took time for work, avocados & balance – enjoying tasty samples & fresh floral smells all around.
At VCA our Visual Content Strategy™ is a 3-step process you can see, where we create your strategy, produce your vision & manage and measure your results. Our definition is that a VCS (Visual Content Strategy™) describes the process of planning, creating and sending the right visual content to the right audience in the appropriate time frame through a repeatable editorial framework.
Visual Content Strategy™ Checklist
Create your strategy
Start researching by asking these questions.
What are your goals & objectives for next year?
Who is your audience or your desired audience?
What is the voice/tone of your brand?
What channels work best for your company? (For example, is Instagram your most effective channel? Maybe LinkedIn connects more with your audience.)
Write down everything you researched or put it in a visual roadmap – this is your guiding document for your content messaging, goals & creativity.
Produce Your Vision
What types of content will you create throughout the year
Dictate what types of content work best for your brand.
Integrate a production plan by deciding what content you need – then plan out your production schedule!
Develop content calendars by writing down important dates for the months ahead.
Manage & Measure
Assign the right people the right tasks & get to work by distributing content to the channels that matter most.
To measure the success of your content try A/B testing, reviewing your Google & social platform analytics & check your top KPI’s like engagement, reach & impressions to see what your audience loves the most.
When its all said & done…
Through discovery, planning & production our Visual Content Strategy™ focuses on utilizing a mixture of owned, earned or even paid content throughout the year through primary formats like core (branded content), micro (bite-sized) & timely (in the now) content.
These content types are effectively designed to be distributed in a custom framework across your top digital platforms! Once you’ve done so, we hope that your strategy helps to improve your brand’s content quality, grow your online audience & meet internal marketing goals while organically growing your long-term reach, engagement & audience loyalty.
Desiring a custom Visual Content Strategy™? Take our 5-minute survey here to see if we are the right for you!
“65% of the most successful content marketers have a documented strategy.”
Don’t jump in the content deep-end! Start with a proven process from Visual Content Agency’s content experts.
This week on “Building Your Visual Brand” broadcast, Amy & Vincent explain how not to jump in the content deep-end by starting with an initial prep process that mirrors our proven Visual Content Strategy.
In our last broadcasts we’ve covered what stands behind the term Visual Content Marketing and why our Visual Content Strategy is the #1 way to put online marketing into action. Now, it’s time to get the facts straight on prepping your strategy.
Four Facts To Prepare You For Creating A Visual Content Strategy
Get your team ready to spend some quality time together. We suggest designating a solid amount of time for a team brainstorm meant to unravel the inner workings of your current state of marketing. This typically calls for a complete run through of your company, brand messaging and annual marketing goals from brand name, location & mission statement to annual revenue & social media.
#2 Audit Your Content & Distribution Channels
After you discover your marketing’s state of mind, it’s time to audit your content to determine what is working and what areas can be optimized. We suggest starting with your current or projected goals to achieve audit results and what the benchmarks for these goals might be. Let’s say you are planning to host a new campaign to kickoff your new strategy – analyze what past campaigns have shown the best results on your social media channels. From there, dig deeper by focusing on what content resulted in more likes, comments, shares, reach and user-generated content. Next, we recommend a round of digital asset management. We suggest digging into your catalog of past content, photography, videos and more – to see what you have to work with for the next year, too.
#3 Review Competitors
Once you’ve thoroughly audited your content, we recommend always referring back to competitors and what they’ve done within the year. How does your content stack up? Did you run a giveaway for a season and see no results but they had plenty of interaction? Determine how your competitors did vs. yours. Look at their total following and how you relate. See what types of people follow their feed. Begin to see who their audience is and how they are speaking to them on their website, blog and social feed. It’s important to compare and contrast.
Lastly, take the time to understand the data in your research. If you are not currently tracking, measuring and maintaining a spreadsheet or monthly analysis of your digital efforts, we highly recommend incorporating this into your Visual Content Strategy. These benchmarks are called key point indicators (KPIs). Top KPIs on social media are: . Performance data is essential to enhancing your content strategy. Remember this: Every day, month & year mean something online. Knowing how your content performs is essential to adding more value and budget to creative initiatives annually!
Want to learn more & meet wonderful content experts at the same time? Join our “Build Your Visual Brand’ Facebook Group, here.
Start here to change your visual brand online forever.
This week on “Building Your Visual Brand” broadcast, Amy & Vincent had some fun defining the ultimate way to bring your brand to life online through content marketing.
In our last broadcast we covered what stands behind the term Visual Content Marketing. This week, we are defining the #1 way to put the most important online marketing into action.
First up – Do you have a brand identity?
You have a brand because you or it have an identity of some sort. First & foremost you probably have a logo to represent your name. You may also have a core message to explain your brand’s purpose. Whether you are a consumer or B2B company, you may provide a product or experience for others.
Ask yourself – is your brand ready for online visibility?
Your company is ready for online visibility when it has enough offline to turn it into reality online. It is also ready when it has a budget in place to hire a team of people or a bandwidth internally within the company to support the effort involved. For example, if your company has a marketing calendar of annual events, this is worth documenting and sharing with your online audience. If you have customers who email or mention to your staff how wonderful your service is, then why not showcase this online in the form of reviews and testimonials? Your brand is visual when it is moving in a direction where the people in place are making it known and your audience are watching. Now it’s time to put your visibility to work!
Let’s make your brand visual!
Did you know: Only 39% of marketers have a content strategy
In order to make your brand visible online & social media ready, you must have a content marketing strategy. At VCA we call this our VCS (Visual Content Strategy). We define our 3-step process as “strategy you can see” through our annual visual process that maximizes long term reach & efficiencies for your digital media marketing goals.
If you are one of the 40% of marketers who have a strategy, is it working for you? If you are of the 60% who desire it – here’s the goal: to be successful on your top digital marketing channels, you need a plan that visually represents your brand on a monthly basis through channels like your company website, blog, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedn & even Youtube. For example: graphically placing your logo on images helps to make it stand out. As well, sharing live events on Instagram stories will give your audience social proof that your brand is in attendance.
How to Document Your Visual Content Strategy
Visual content strategy is not created on a whim nor is it an overnight success. A Visual Content Strategy is based on internal discovery, strategic planning and production process paired with a daily plan.
65% of the most successful content marketers have a documented strategy. Let’s make your strategy 100% visual
You should focus on creating content that is educational, delightful and inspirational, but most important, 100% visual. Once you do this you should A/B test what works, if one meets your company goals and benchmarks along the way, continue with that strategy.
Want to learn more & meet wonderful content experts at the same time? Join our “Build Your Visual Brand’ Facebook Group, here.
If you ask any of our content collective what our mission at VCA is, they’ll stand firm: “to shape the future of social media by giving brands a visual representation of their voice online through strategy, creativity & storytelling.” In this video, our team leaders got together to visually solidify this statement and why our growing team is so passionate about the Visual Content Strategy we have created for our clients.
Your Story Starts with Visual Content
As our creative director & co-founder, Vincent Apodaca says, “Telling stories is important to me because that’s how you leave a legacy, that’s how evoke emotion with your audiences. I don’t feel there is any other way to create content.” As a creative content marketing agency, our goal is to create a process where strategy meets visual content. Whether it be a brand video, email marketing strategy or complete visual storytelling campaign – we have helped our clients better tell their brand story because we make it easy for their audience to enjoy.
Introducing Visual Content Strategy: A Seamless Three-Step Process
“The strategy is really the heart of VCA – it’s called a Visual Content Strategy. Visual allows ours clients to see what they are getting and content marketing is really what they need to be successful online.” says Amy Hadrys, co-founder and Director of Strategy. In the video, Amy passionately points out our the 3-step process & why it is a must for client’s desiring a content marketing plan for their social media channels. “It starts with strategy and it ends with measuring results. In the middle of all that you have a production plan.”
Our Visual Content Strategy is a custom-tailored, strategic visual roadmap that includes various strategies, annual themes & topics, best practices and more. At VCA, we often bring together our client’s entire year into a content marketing plan for social media. As Amy adds, “We look at strategy as an approach for being a catalyst for the content. How are we going to get there?”
In order to get there, we have to make it happen visually. Director of Production, Chris Cordova explains that, “everything we do at VCA is aimed at creating compelling content online. We get together and we think of different ideas, different concepts that work in all sorts of formats.” In order to do that, we heavily focus on making production our priority in order to streamline the creativity & the chaos that Vincent says content can become. Think of all the photos, videos and assets you have as a company – “it’s our job to take your story and your message and to translate that into something visual,” says Chris Cordova.
Therefore the strategy, production & management all work together to build momentum for the brands we work with. “We are the messengers for the content, we also are the content creators. And we bring that content to life online,“ says Vincent.
The final leg in our 3-step strategic process is to manage & measure our clients’ content results. As content comes alive so do their social communities. As Chris mentions, we pride ourselves in being open with our clients and providing them not only our expertise but resources for their teams to be more successful online. Our strategy team heavily relies on measuring KPIs, benchmarks, milestones along with top metrics to assure our production teams are being given the proper information to analyze the way audiences are engaging, reaching and interacting with their social feeds. We desire to keep reinventing for our clients and making their social message unique online.
Calm & Cool: Our Content Collective
How we work at VCA is very special, in that we have a distinct group of creatives hand-selected by our team leaders. ”We really believe in collaborating with the best. Together, we feel we have created a content collective” says Vincent. As we continue to create content strategies for clients who desire to adapt their brand within a world where social media is virtually at the center of our day, it takes a distinct group of people to make content a reality.
As Amy closes the video, she says, “the time is now to invest in content marketing and I believe that we are at the forefront because we have developed a process that works and a group of people that really are passionate about what they do.” Watch our video in full, below!