Visual marketing has been around for a long time. (Think cave drawings!) When you drive down the road and see a billboard, the visual grabs your attention. That is a form of visual marketing. Visual images are used to create a positive first impression.


What is visual marketing?


Visual marketing is photographs, videos, infographics and other branded image content used to connect with and convert your target audience into clients. It benefits businesses because it makes use of the fact images attract attention and are remembered longer than the written word.


Types of visual marketing :


There are many choices when it comes to visual marketing. What are the most common visual marketing content types?


Product Photos

Product photography is one of the most common types of visual marketing. Major companies will spend huge amounts on creating the perfect visuals for their products. Why? Because high quality branded product images sell. This is especially true online, where shoppers can’t feel or hold the product to check it out.


Product photos that offer different angles, detail shots and are clean visually give shoppers a greater sense of confidence. That confidence leads to conversions.


images that sell brands


Website Images


A website tells browsers a lot about your business. If your site looks dated or has bad photos, it displays a lack of professionalism. On the other hand, if your site is modern and clean with beautiful imagery, it portrays quality and confidence.


Notice that word “confidence” keeps showing up? Confidence leads to trust and sales.


From product photos on sales pages, to product group shots, business offices and corporate head shots, website imagery is an important type of visual marketing.




A combination of visual and text, infographics can display a lot of information in a concise manner. Data visualization is also highly shareable, so infographics are a great way to market visually.




Commercials, FAQ’s, education, in fact, almost any kind of information can be turned into a video. Videos are perfect for the mobile market where smaller screens make videos easier to understand than the written word.




Slide presentations, interactive tools such as quizzes or 360º imagery can communicate a lot of information efficiently.




People love reading inspirational or impactful quotes that would have meaning to your target audience. They make shareable visual marketing content. Some popular quote graphics lay text over a beautiful background. Something that stands apart from these and really grabs attention is when you physically put the quote together. I’ve included examples below.


A.A. Milne Quote
visual marketing quote



Memes are funny, relevant and are another great form of shareable visual marketing. If you are able to catch a trend, your memes can even go viral. A good example of this was when Bernie Sanders’ image from the 2020 inauguration started showing up in photos everywhere.

GIFs and Stop Motion Graphics

GIFs and stop motion graphics are moving photos or unique video styles that capture attention by animation.


Why has visual marketing become a must-use?


In today’s online world, more people are using social media, wathing online videos and e-commerce shopping than ever before. If you want to connect with and market to your target audience, there is no better way than online.


For years, social media told everyone that posts with a photo or video were seen and liked by more people than text only posts. This shows the power of visual media.


That means that to effectively stand out in people’s feeds and minds, consistent visual marketing is a must-use. I want to stress the word consistent here.


If your visuals are high quality (and they should be) you don’t want to suddenly start sharing low quality materials. This creates a break in your branding and gives reason for consumers to wonder about your business.


If your visuals aren’t high quality, (there are those who think their imagery is good enough when it is only passable), then investing in quality business photography is a must.


As stated above, a positive first impression is important. Every piece of visual marketing content that you use may be a consumer’s first interaction with your company. Quality matters!



Best practices in visual marketing.


1. Stay on brand


Visual marketing offers different methods to share your brand, products and message. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be consistent and on brand. You’ll want your colors, your company’s voice and values portrayed in every piece of visual content you share.


2. Align your content


Each visual need to fit within your marketing plan. You may mix text in with your visuals as in the content types of meme, quote, presentation or infographic. Advertisements, which are a form of visual content also often make use of text.


It is important the visuals you plan match the message you are trying to convey – stay on message!


3. Help consumers


There is a lot of competition for attention online. Making your visual marketing helpful to consumers is one way to get attention, likes, saves and shares.


For example, breweries and distilleries could offer drink recipes as a form of visual marketing. A food manufacturer could offer different meal recipes for their clients. Someone selling household detergents may share the best ways to remove a stain.


If you understand your target audience, helping them accomplish the things they need to do is a great use of visual marketing.


4. Repurpose content


Just because you post something doesn’t mean everyone sees it. In fact, you sometimes need as many as seven interactions before someone takes action.


Repurposing your content offers you different ways to get your message across. A presentation can become a video, a blog article and still images.


In fact, any form of visual marketing content can be repurposed to create something new and different. Videos become blog articles, blog articles become videos. Get the idea? A bit of creativity helps to take your visual content from single use to maximum benefit. Repurposing makes content creation more affordable.


And don’t forget to repost! Just because you use it once, doesn’t mean it can’t be shared again when the time is right.



5. Clear call to action


Visual marketing is a step in moving your target audience toward becoming a client. This is proven with increased conversions when powerful product photography is used on product pages.


This means every visual marketing piece you put out should have a strong, clear call to action. It might be toward a purchase, a save, a share or to get more information. Whatever call to action you include, make it easy for people to do!


6. Adapt to the platform


A bad visual content marketer uses the same visuals on every social media. But, each social media platform has different requirements. It may be image size, number of words or letters, or type of post/video.


Videos on Instagram are different than videos on Facebook. (At least at the time I wrote this – although both are owned by Meta so that may change.)


Sizing, run times, carousels, stories, reels, and posts on Instagram have size and length restrictions. Twitter has text limitations, Facebook, well, it is Facebook.


So adapt your visuals and ads to the platform you use when posting. You can repurpose one for the other, just as long as they fit into the environment.


7. Avoid stock photos


I get it, stock photos are cheap, but they are also everywhere. Stock photos have a quality that says, stock photo. They do nothing to help your brand or audience connection, they are just generic visuals.


It actually isn’t that much more expensive to create original photos for your small business. Having a photographer on retainer can lower the shoot cost and keep you in new quality content that speaks for your brand.


8. Test everything


No one gets things right the first time out. Run A/B testing on your visual marketing content to see what works best. Facebook ads are great for this, offering a mix of advertising photos and copy variations to see what works best.


Not only will A/B testing help you fine tune your advertising, but teach you about what appeals to your target audience. This makes creating future visual marketing content easier.


9. Make it easy to share


Sharing is one way to reach more people. If you create great content, people are happy to share it as a thanks or even to help others with the information you provide.


There is software you can add to your website that will put the sharing buttons where they can be easily found. Don’t be brash or heavy handed about this, just make it easy for them.


Be certain to brand your content with your logo and website if possible. This way, when shared, it will make things easier for new people to find you.


product Photography Blog

10. Find & use the best tools for visual marketing


There are different ways you can create visual content for your marketing efforts. You can do it yourself, or you can contract it out. As a photographer, one of the services I provide is content photography.


Doing it yourself will require time and patience as you learn the processes involved. It will also mean that while your work will improve over time, early content won’t present as good an appearance. This, along with the time invested can slow down your business’ growth.


If you contract the visuals out, you should end up with better visuals and extra time to grow your company. One thing you will still want to do, either in house or through an agency, is design the campaigns. This way your visual asset provider will be able to deliver exactly what you need.


If you decide you want to do everything yourself, here are a few of the best tools for creating visual marketing content:


  • Canva: Canva is easy to use to create all types of visual media, from posts to infographics to posters. You can change colors, text, add logos, etc. They offer a ton of templates, and even more if you pay to join.


While Canva is for the non-designer who wants good looking graphics, it should be mentioned that their templates do have a generic look. You may see other businesses online that have a similar look to your content.


  • Envato: Envato is a paid membership and well worth the price IF you are familar with Photoshop. (You will need a subscription for that too.) Envato offers all types of stock images, graphic templates and more. You can easily adapt these to suit your needs in Photoshop if you know what you are doing.

  • PicMonkey: PicMonkey has more editing functions than Canva, meaning you can alter their templates to create more original works. It is an affordable option for the business owner with a small budget.



  • PiktoChart: This program can assist in creating infographics and charts for both visual marketing and presentations. A good tool for complicated graphic designs.



  • Font Squirrel: This is a free resource for font styles you can add to enhance your visuals. All of the fonts are licensed for commercial usage, which makes this a fantastic resource!



  • Google Fonts: An open source set of fonts that fit almost every style. You can even customize the fonts for your own needs. It is simple, easy to look through and can save you time when searching for a font.



  • PowerPoint & Keynote: Depending if you are on a PC or a Mac, these slide presentation softwares are great for creating graphics and presentations.


The cost for the program can save you money over a subscription to one of the other sites or Photoshop. Just be careful to make certain everything you are using is licensed or you could get into trouble.


Things you should know about visual marketing.


Design visuals for your brand.


Every piece of visual content you create should include your brand. Visual cues communicate a story, value and benefits about your company. These visual cues instantly tell viewers this is your content and create a feeling about your company. 90% of all sales are emotional ones, so your visual branding can trigger sales.


Create visual guidelines.


Before you begin creating visuals for marketing, you should sit down and create a set of guidelines. These brand guidelines act as art direction and will make certain all materials created represent your company, people and products. Consistency sets expectations, inconsistency has the same effect in the wrong direction.


Be careful of change.


Often, business owners will grow tired of a look or logo early, and change, while sometimes needed, can cause problems. Customers want a familiarity with the companies they do business with.


One example of bad change was when Coca-Cola ditched it’s formula for “New Coke.” The company suffered major business loss and finally due to public demand, brought back the original flavor. The only “difference” was they started using corn syrup instead of sugar to sweeten it. A lot of people started drinking Pepsi!


While this doesn’t mean you can’t change things, it is important to test reactions before making a major shift in your company & marketing.


Create relevant content.


A complex message or too much information can dilute your marketing and confuse consumers. Think of the highway billboard I described at the beginning of this article. Understand the relevant point you want the consumer to know and make it easy to digest as they drive past.



Properly executed, visual marketing will raise brand awareness and improve your business’ conversion rate.


If you want help in creating visual marketing media, reach out. Not only do I create different styles of product photos, but can help with creating photos for your visual marketing and social media programs.


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