Eight reasons to your brand needs to use visual storytelling

At INBOUND14, Ekaterina Walter, an innovator who has led companies like Intel and Accenture to success with social media, discussed why visual storytelling should be an essential element to any brand story, and certainly any story that hopes to make an impact on social media.

Why? Because, as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. And when you have only 140 characters (such as on Twitter) to make your point, then linking to a photo is a better use of space trying to squeeze in 1,000 words.

And that’s just one reason. Here are seven more.

1. Images get shared.

Using images to help tell a story not only does it more effectively, but also with more viral impact. It’sproven.

People are much more likely to share posts with images (photos or videos) than without. And in social media, sharing is the name of the game.

Content is King- Visual Storytelling

Overall, on Facebook, for example, photos make up 87% of all shared posts, according to eMarketer.

Photos can also boost retweets by 35% (according a report by Media Blog).

social media facebook posts

2. Images catch attention.

According to KISSMetrics, photos get 53% more likes than and 84% more click-throughs than posts without images. When you’re scanning your social feeds or a web page, what do you stop to look at?

 

3. Images appeal to emotions.

Videos and images are also more likely to appeal to emotions…and as any good marketer will tell you, the key to engagement and action in marketing is getting to the emotion.

 

4. Images transcend cultures and boundaries.

You can tell a story with a single picture. Images make subtle connections that can be lost in translation. If you have a international audience, images (pictographs and drawings) can be useful and easily understood. Consider the universal sign for the men and women’s room.

Male Female universal pictograph restroom

 

5. Images make the point quickly.

A single image (or an infographic) can make a point much more quickly that a long post. On social media where attention spans are measured in fractions of a second, quick is good!

(Image Source: Charity Water)

 

6. Images get priority space.

On Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and many website home pages, images are given more physical space than similar text messages. This may seem counter-intuitive to the part about “getting the point across more quickly” but the fact is that social media sites (and other websites) allocate premium space to images. If you want to stand out in a crowded space, you need an image.

Tweets on Twitter

Tweets on Twitter images get more space

 

7. Pictures are memorable.

It’s easy to forget facts you’ve read, even when you’re interested in a topic. But visual images stay with you for a long time.

 

Not just babies and kittens

It’s important to realize that visual storytelling isn’t just about about cute pictures of kids and animals. It’s about telling B2B stories as well.

To use Intel as an example, one of the most shared images Intel ever experienced, was a post that internal marketing managers initially thought was a bad move. Turned out it wasn’t. The post was an image of a messy desk, showing an actual behind-the-scenes look at what happens at an Intel development center. The caption was “Inside Intel”. It received more views and shares that any single post they’d ever place on Twitter up until that point (according to eKaterina Walter).

More facts

Here are some other interesting facts about images (from INBOUND14):

  • Pages with images get 94% more total views than those without
  • Sharing goes up 30-40% on pages with images
  • Press releases are viewed 50 percent more often with image or video attached
  • Viewers spend 100% more time on webs pages with videos
  • Publishers using infographics grow their traffic 12%

 

Visual storytelling is the way to stand out from the noise.

 

 

Features of the new HubSpot CRM

HubSpot announced a new native CRM at INBOUND14. The new system was built from the ground-up to integrate with the HubSpot suite of inbound marketing tools and make it easier than ever for sales and marketing to guide potential customers through the sales funnel.

Using an Inbound approach to marketing means offering content that pulls people into the website based on what they want to know and when they want to know it, rather than pushing advertising messages out to them using “interruption methods.”

HubSpot CRM Overview

The HubSpot CRM takes care of all the little details – logging emails, recording calls, and managing your data – freeing up valuable selling time in the process.

HubSpot says the new CRM:

  • Is easy to use. The simplicity of HubSpot’s CRM makes it easy for people to start using it right away with very little setup or training. Your team can focus on selling instead of learning a new system.
  • Reduces extra work. HubSpot’s new CRM works in the background recording every interaction between you and your contacts so you don’t end up with a list of notes to input at the end of each day.
  • Reaches across channels. HubSpot CRM automatically tracks and records your customer interactions across dozens of touch points ranging from your website to social media to phone calls.

 

HubSpot CRM capture notes
HubSpot CRM captures notes.

HubSpot CRM Features

The features of the news system include:

Database – Collect and store data on contacts, companies, deals, and tasks with a reliable, easy to use database that is built to scale with your data. It automatically creates company records, links up existing contacts, de-duplicates leads, and manages many other details to provide quality data.

Timeline – The timeline shows you all the touch points with your customer, including every email, call, note and website visit. It gives you a complete overview on one simple screen.

Email – You can send emails right from any contact record. The HubSpot CRM also connects to Gmail, Outlook, and Apple Mail, logging emails with your contacts easily and automatically.

Phone Integration (additional cost) – You can make calls with one click from the CRM system. Easily and automatically log notes and recordings of your calls. (Recording optional.)

Google Calendar Integration – You can connect your Google Calendar to HubSpot CRM to view scheduled meetings and create new meetings in seconds without ever leaving your CRM.

Data Enrichment – HubSpot automatically adds valuable information, such as company background, key employees and social data, to your contact records.

What motivates people to share social media content?

According to a new study of global social media usage by Ispos Opening Thinking Exchange, the things which most motivate people to share content via social media are how interesting it is and humour.

Probably no big shocker there. If it’s funny or unique (maybe even strange) people will share it. Still it’s interesting to note that the study of 12,420 global internet users demonstrated how the motivations for sharing content can differ slightly from country to country.  Sometimes it’s more about the person wanting to portray a self image online than to be helpful to others. 

Differences by country

For example, the study showed that while the top reason for sharing content in nearly all countries surveyed was “important things,” it wasn’t the case in Saudia Arabia. There, the top reason (65%) reported for sharing something on social media was to let “others know what I believe in and who I really am.” That answer also ranked highly in Brazil, where 60% agreed. Comparatively, only 37% of the rest of the world said this was their top reason for sharing.

The survey also showed some regional differences among the willingness to share “interesting” content. That reason topped the list in China, Indonesia, South Africa and Turkey, whereas it was at the bottom of the list in Japan, Germany and Saudi Arabia.

Top reasons for sharing

Here are some interesting takeaways from the study:

  • 61% of people worldwide will share “interesting things”
  • 43% of people will share things which they feel are ‘important” or “funny”
  • 30% of global users indicated they shared content to recommend a product, service or movie
  • 29% shared something “to support a cause, an organisation or a belief”.
  • 26% will share “unique things”
  • 22% want to “to let others know what I’m doing” 

See the study  results here: Ispos Global Social Media Study Results

What marketers can learn from Scott Harrison and charity: water

charity: water Scott Harrison INBOUND13 UP THERE EVERYWHERE blog post
charity: water brings clean water to people around the world.

Scott Harrison’s story of turning his life around from one of excess indulgences and shallow endeavors as a NYC night club promoter, to founding one of the fastest growing and influential non-profit charities in the world, charity: water  — which brings clean water to poor villages around the world — is more than just a fascinating tale.

It’s a lesson in the smart use of connections, social media, emotional selling and accountability for your actions. And it’s a striking tale of growth with a zero dollar marketing budget to raising more than $100 million dollars and helping more than 3 million people in just six years.  Is it something that can apply to other industries in marketing?  I think so.

As a keynote speaker at last week’s Inbound Marketing Conference in Boston, Harrison presented not just a tale of how he got to where he is, but also succeeded in getting nearly 4,000 people in the room (include myself) to vow to support the charity’s efforts. Talk about leveraging the power of the masses!

 

Read my blog post at the UP THERE, EVERYWHERE website.

 

The Power of Origin Global Marketing Conference

E3 International Agency Network will host its first-ever open conference (open to the public and not just members). For E3, this is an important moment. For international marketers, it’s a great chance to hear from some experts in the area of place branding and global marketing.

GMC_teaser-quadrat2_D

The conference will be held October 9 in Duisburg Germany.

Why Duisburg? Well, for one thing, one of the agency conference organizers, Sander Werbung is there. For another, it’s a perfectly centrally located European location that many E3 members, prospects and clients will find it easy to get to.  And finally, it allows E3 to turn the conference into a workshop for the city of Duisburg…bring great minds together to consider it’s branding strategy.

The event will be held at Landschaftspark Duisburg Nord. This former iron and steel working industrial complex has been thoughtfully turned into a community park and conference location by the city of Duisburg Nord.

2369/114 b01

E3 Meeting Agenda

The E3 meeting will include several international speakers in the areas of place branding and authenticity in brand building.

09:00 am – Reception and registration

09:45 am – Opening: Michael Meier President E3

10:00 am – Greeting: Mayor of Duisburg, Sören Link

10:30 am – Speaker: Michael Beverland, Professor University of Bath (UK) “Building brand authenticity habits”

11:15 am – Break

11:30 am- Speaker: Julian Stubbs, Sweden  “Ideas for Duisburg”

1:00 pm – Lunch break 2:00 pm – Speaker: Carlo Einarsson, Sweden, “400 years of company history – Chances and Challenges”

3:00 pm – Speaker:  Raf Stevens, Belgium,  “Corporate Storytelling”

3:45 pm – Coffee break 4:00 pm  – Workshop led by Raf Stevens,  “How to create myths and legends”

6:00 pm – End

For more information and to register for the conference, visit the Global Marketing Conference website.

Global Marketing Conference Registration >>

I hope to see you there!

Seven signs email marketing is not dead

You’ve probably heard it said…”Email marketing is dead.” Well, don’t believe it! Email marketing is not dead, it’s just evolving.

The truth is, email is an important part of any marketing campaign. When used at the right times as part of an integrated multi-channel approach, email delivers just the right message in a highly targeted and measurable way.

Vendors like Constant Contact, Marketo and Hubspot make tools that not only incorporate email as an essential component to any marketing campaign, but also rely on email to be the closer for social media and inbound marketing efforts.  Email is a valuable and proven way to get your customers back to your site or responding to an offer.

Not convinced? Here are seven signs that email marketing is not dead:

  1. 94% of adults check their email every day. (Source)
  2. 74% of online adults prefer email for commercial communication.  (Source)
  3. 62% of adult US Internet users check or send email on a daily basis.  (Source)
  4. Social media users are over 60% more likely to check email at least four times a day than those who don’t use social media. (Source).
  5. People. who buy products marketed through email spend 138% more than people that do not receive email offers. (Source)
  6. 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email. (Source)
  7. Email generates a 2x return compared to other channels. (Source)

Check out this infographic from Marketo that sums it up.

Why Infographics?

You may have noticed a trend in business marketing that uses a type of presentation format known as “infographic.” Or maybe you heard someone use the term, and weren’t exactly sure what they meant?

So what exactly is an infographic, and what is it used for?

An Infographic, or Information Graphic, is the visual presentation of information, data or knowledge in a format that allows complex information to be presented quickly and clearly.

The concept of the infographic is not new (ancient cave painting could be considered one form of them) but their recent popularity for sharing in social media platforms has taken them to a new level in online marketing. You know the saying of a picture being worth a thousand words? Well, that’s the idea behind an infographic. A combination of charts, graphics, pictorial facts and figures makes infographics interesting to look at, entertaining and educational.

Infographics are generally designed to get across a lot of information in a small space. They are often vertical in format, but can also be used as slides or animated. A number of online applications and tools have cropped up to help the “graphically challenged” create interesting infographics without needing a great deal of graphic skills. These use premade templates and designs.

However, a graphic designer with skill in presenting information visually can create one-of-a-kind infographics that brings complex or confusing information to light quickly. These invite sharing on sites such as Facebook, Linked In and Pinterest. Infographics can be an important part of a Content Marketing strategy.

Here’s an example of recent infographic created by UP team members for a client called Netsize, a mobile billing application company.

NetSize Infographic
NetSize Infographic – m-commerce on the move