Visual marketing has taken the world for a spin and changed marketer’s mindset from all text to a combination of content and visual. The marriage of the message with the image attracts viewers, communicates your message, tells your story, and builds your brand. How do you create this synergy with a brand that isn’t visual, such as financial services or dry cleaning? Let’s dive in and see how visual marketing can help non-visual brands make an impact.
Who is your ideal audience?
The first step is figuring out who your clients are. If you’re a dry cleaner, you know where your clients live, that they care about their wardrobe, and that they don’t necessarily want to talk about dry cleaning.
Create a list based on the data that you have about your clients to determine what will be interesting to them. Make a list of your top twenty clients and then determine what traits they have in common.
- What need do you fill for them?
- What makes this client great? Why are they in your top twenty?
- Are they predominantly mobile customers?
- Do they live in urban, suburban, or rural environments?
- Are they concerned about the environment?
- Why do they choose you? Location? Great service? Price?
If possible, create a survey that you can ask your top twenty to complete. Tell them they’re tops on your list and you want to better meet their needs with social media marketing. If you can give them a gift certificate or small premium to say thank you, it’s a great customer touch point that will help you create your future marketing messages.
Once you come up with an ideal audience persona, you’ll have an idea of what type of visuals would be appealing to them. Sometimes joining the bigger social media conversation can help you connect with your clients and potential clients.
Some Pinterest board ideas:
- Community service projects.
- Highlight another small business that you partner with such as a wedding planner or boutique.
- Holiday boards.
- Neighborhood or city hotspots.
- Show the personality of your brand by adding a few things that you like that is appropriate to your audience.
Build your brand
Create a brand mood board to discover your visual fingerprint. Pinterest is a great place to create a secret board; you can also collaborate with team members. You probably already have a logo with specific colors that you’ll need to incorporate.
Build your brand’s visual assets by creating a list of:
- High-resolution logos for use in social media design work. Your logo isn’t the place to skimp. You need a solid design that translates well and communicates who you are and what you do.
- A list of the two or three colors that you use in your corporate branding with the hex codes. You can use the Chrome extension Eye Dropper to grab the codes. The hex codes should be used in all your design work without fail. No guessing on the color wheel to proximate the red.
- What is the visual style of your brand going to be? Casual? Formal? Based on your ideal customer persona, create a mood board that will appeal to your audience and use this as a springboard for future visuals.
Tell your story
Use visuals to tell people who you are and what your story is. Stories can spur conversation and build relationships. Take the time to write out the history of your company.
- Who started it and why?
- Whose idea was it to start the business?
- Do you have old photos from when your story began?
- What year was it?
- What else happened that year?
Tie your story in with your community and the bigger picture so that your clients learn about who you are and what you do. Brands connect on a human level with individuals when they are allowed to see past the register or website and into the people who created the vision for your company.
You can also translate this into a meet the team approach so people can meet the people behind the website, customer service responses, or tweets. Create visuals from meetings, brain storming sessions, and company picnics.
Communicate your message
Now that you’ve got your visual assets ready, know your ideal client, and have a mood board that has your company vibe, you’re ready to start creating visuals.
Jodi Okun is a great example of someone with a challenging non-visual brand. She has a business helping parents figure out the financial services maze to fund their children’s college career. This is not an easy audience to find or reach, but Jodi has spent several years telling people who she is and what she does. She hosts a Twitter chat called College Cash, she writes about financial aid, and always stays on her brand message. Jodi has taken what traditionally would have been a local small business and turned into a nationwide business as she talks to people from all over the U.S. and works with clients locally and virtually.
Jodi uses Pinterest to reach her audience with these boards:
All interesting and related topics with a few things that tell you who Jodi is:
Having this base of boards gives Jodi an idea each time she wants to create a pin or repin other’s content. Using Tailwind, Jodi can find which boards are popular and build on them as well as finding popular pins. She can pin related pins and give her Pinterest audience more of what they already love which in turn helps more people find Jodi, learn what she does, and helps more parent’s get help with college financial aid. See how it all works together?
I hope this gives you an idea of how you can turn your non-visual brand into a Pinterest visual dream for your clients or future clients. Reaching more people with visual marketing is achievable for all types of brand. Setting the foundation for your success with visual marketing makes it easy to build a solid visual brand and reach more people who add to your bottom line.
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Peg is the Director of Content Strategy and Social Media with Tailwind. An avid Pinner and Instagrammer, Peg co-wrote The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users with Guy Kawasaski.