Can You See Your Brand’s Future?

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The future of consumer engagement is so clearly visual, and in a hyper-competitive marketplace, images can give brands an edge and win sales. Marketers tell me there are four compelling reasons to get smart right now about content is shared, re-posted, and engaged with:

  1. Visual assets need to be managed. How are your images being shared? Brands spend a lot of money creating content to help sell products. Those images are online and will be shared in perpetuity. This investment needs to be understood, analyzed and optimized.
  2. Visual communication is the future. Consumers learn about brands, and which ones are meaningful to the influencers around them, through engagement with images online and across social platforms. If you don’t understand the value and dynamics of the visual component, only half of your brand story is being communicated. Some fashion companies spend millions a year on visual content that they surface in advertising, on retail sites, in social media campaigns, and so on.
  1. Marketplaces are getting more competitive. The stakes have never been higher when it comes to selling to the same audiences. It is invaluable to go deep to understand what your competitors are doing with their visual content. Imagine the reckoning confronting a fast fashion brand that willingly remains ignorant of the visual assets and strategy that other brands in their category use to launch new lines and sales efforts.
  2. Influencer marketing needs accountability. Brands are using influencer marketing to get their content discovered, build some viral fire and reap the resulting sales. But here’s the question: It’s easy to throw hundreds of thousands of dollars at a famous influencer, expecting this will result in engagement and sales, but how many of those efforts really pan out?

The picture of who is having true influence in your audience network gets much clearer through a dive into earned media insights and analytics. Brand marketers use platforms like ours to view who is sharing and inspiring others to re-share, and which publishers and channels have the greatest impact.

It’s critical to have a deeper understanding of how your visual content is being engaged with to get greater value from your visual content investments. But what’s really compelling is when you use those insights from earned and owned media to inform paid media campaigns.

It’s critical to have a deeper understanding of how your visual content is being engaged with to get greater value from your visual content investments.

Once the data and analytics tell the story of the value of content engagement, insights allow you to connect the “discover-to-buy” pathway: creating custom audiences based on people who have seen or shared your visual content. These are segments to target through your ad tech platform of choice. This is so valuable because you are now using first-party data based on people who have already shown an interest in or an affinity for your brand and its products.

And that data is not just key for targeting people who may become customers, it’s a way to hedge against all of your marketing being tied up with Google and Facebook. From Pinterest, to Instagram, and across Facebook, you’re getting one set of insights that tell you a lot about potential customers, what content they’re interested in and how they share it. The segments you create let you engage them with targeted, relevant messaging online and on any social media platform, channel, screen or device. The future of your brand is clear, you just need the visual content insights to picture it.

Jonathan Gardner

Jonathan Gardner

Jonathan Gardner is a veteran marketing and communications executive and is a consultant for global technology companies. Follow him on Twitter @thejongardner.
Jonathan Gardner

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