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Social Media and UGC

How Visual Marketing Can Help with Brand Loyalty

Reports say that customer loyalty is disappearing. Consumers put less trust in brands and tend to switch brands a lot faster, writes Professor Steven Van Belleghem. To combat this threat, marketers are looking for more ways to generate emotional bonds or tie into the feelings of their customers.

Visual marketing is one such way that companies are attempting to make a stronger connection.

“We’ve now entered a phase in which visual communication is supplanting the written word. Some are now calling it the dawn of the Imagesphere.”Bob Lisbonne, CEO of Luminate and former SVP of Netscape.

The Social Media Examiner reports that our brains process pictures 60,000 times faster than text. When your brand shares a picture, your fans decide in a split second whether they want to see more.

At Pixlee, we believe this trend is developing very quickly, and we can see more and more companies putting effort into their visual communications strategies. But we wanted to get another opinion on the matter and reached out to our friends at HaikuDeckfor their insight.

Haiku Deck is a venture-backed company building a business around inspiring presentations, and whose value proposition is to help marketers like you make your content more visually appealing. We asked HaikuDeck’s VP of Marketing, Catherine Carr, about how visual marketing can create brand loyalty. Your tagline is, “Presentation software that’s simple, beautiful, and fun.

” Why is a more visual presentation simpler, more beautiful and more fun and how does that translate to brand loyalty?

We’ve all experienced the sinking feeling of seeing a presentation that’s crammed with bullets and tiny text. Not only is that type of presentation not visually appealing, it’s often not clear and focused in terms of the message itself. And it’s certainly not fun.

Our mission is to make the whole experience of presentations — creating them, presenting them, and sharing them — feel more inspired, and our focus on imagery is central to that.

In terms of brand loyalty, we hear consistently from our fans that they love the image search, and that they love the way their slides look — the app actually makes them feel more creative and more confident about what they’re presenting. We reinforce that feeling whenever we can by showcasing our community’s creations in our Gallery and on our blog.

Either with statistics or anecdotes, can you share any thoughts on how one of your customers have seen their campaign success improve since putting more emphasis on visuals?

Absolutely — I can think of a few great stories to share. Stephanie Bell, a lawyer and community advocate in Jefferson City, has been using Haiku Decks to promote local events, like a 5K run and a shop local day. She was amazed at how quickly they circulated and how many views they accumulated, and commented that she never would have reached such a large audience otherwise.

Another great success story was from John James, a real estate broker who used Haiku Deck to land a $1.4M listing. His clients told him specifically that they went with him because the visual way he presented the information was so much easier to understand.

One other story that’s worth sharing is of Emma Fexeus, a Dutch design blogger who has used Haiku Deck creatively to showcase her site statistics, her editorial calendar, and design trends. Her decks in combination have been viewed nearly 200,000 times.

Your own blog is very focused on using images and embedding visually stimulating presentations into the blog. What can you tell us about the kind of engagement you see from readers?

We definitely have a lot of fun with our visual content! I try to incorporate a wide range of styles and moods, from playful to poetic.

By far our most popular blog post over the past year was “10 Winning Presentation Ideas,” which is essentially our overall philosophy in Haiku Deck form. But even in our “how to” posts that help people use the product, we include a lot of screen shot imagery to make it as easy as possible to connect the information to the actual app experience.

If a marketer was considering ways to improve brand loyalty through their communication channels, where would you suggest they start?

I believe that people value creativity and responsiveness, especially from brands. When things feel too produced or too scripted, it’s harder to forge a real connection with your audience.

The other thing that I feel has been critical to creating a real sense of community is that we work really hard to celebrate and showcase what our fans create. Of course I have a unique advantage here since our brand is about creating content — but I think any brand could find a similar angle, even if it’s just sharing their community’s stories, photos, or other creative contributions.

Any other thoughts you’d like to share about Visual Marketing?

Visual content can sound expensive or intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be! I don’t have a big budget or even a design team, but we produce a huge amount of lightweight visual content to celebrate our fans, to announce product and company milestones, or just to share beautiful, timely imagery. I create just about everything — team bios, job descriptions, press releases, even requests for Webbys votes — in Haiku Deck format, which makes our content stand out and just feels more fun.

Andrew Higgins
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