Are words still important for marketers?

News that Yahoo acquired Tumblr for $1.1 billion and the growing success of Vine and Pinterest has us wondering: are words still important for marketers?

Let’s first take a look at some of the growing social media platforms:

  • Instagram–An app that allows users to stylize and share photos.
  • Pinterest–An online scrapbook of things that interest you.
  • Tumblr–A microblog that lets you share photos, links, music and video, as well as text.
  • Vine–A mobile app used to create and post video clips to other social media channels.
  • Wanelo–An online shopping community. Think of Pinterest with the ability to purchase.

The one thing all these platforms has in common is that they are visual.

While words will always be important to marketers, it’s clear that consumers of information like visuals that can convey information quickly and keep them entertained. Here are some ways that marketers can benefit from this trend:

  1. Use photos in marketing and PR efforts. This is especially important if you sell a product. A client of ours in the manufacturing business achieves double the coverage when we offer a high quality photograph with a news release or article pitch. Make sure photos are high quality and creative. Don’t forget executive photos: we recently were battling to have a byline accepted by a publication and suggested our client invest in photographs of the author taken in an unconventional way. This was the edge we needed to snag the article placement.
  2. Condense information into an infographic. Complicated or detailed information can break through the clutter when incorporated into an infographic. Even the most boring information becomes interesting in a good infographic. Make sure infographics aren’t too long (if they are, break them up into two or more infographics) and cite the sources of your information.
  3. Develop short videos to convey ideas. It’s fairly easy to make and post videos these days. Videos are a good way to add personality to your business, demonstrate a product or feature, and create customer loyalty. Keep videos to under a minute.
  4. Incorporate visuals in everything. Invest in a good designer to add interest to marketing materials by incorporating visuals. This is especially important for dry material, such as white papers. Visuals can include charts, graphs, icons and photos. Online materials should include interactive components.
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