The Case of the Disappearing Logo…and Text …and Branding: The Upsides (and Downs) of Visual Marketing

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Branding, like beauty, might be said to be in the eye of the beholder. It means different things to different people, but the key to branding is knowing that the message – however it is designed and on whatever platform it is delivered – belongs to a specific company. That may no longer be so easy to discern, at least according to recent reports of what happens when visual content is shared on social media.

Sharing is a great thing, right? We were all taught so as children and now, in a social media environment, sharing has meant a branding bonanza for many companies — drawing attention for free or next to nothing. As it turns out, however, with so many marketing/branding campaigns in visual mode not all the information required for branding (like your logo) makes the sharing cut. That’s a problem.

There are solid reasons for the move away from text-based formats to visual ones on social channels:

  • The brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text
  • People are significantly more likely to remember what they see when it’s in visual form. And, the stats show when social media uses a photo it does significantly better than text alone, earning:
    • 53% more “likes”
    • 104% more comments
    • 84% more clicks on links.

Brand Detection by Kuznech

If you have a strategic marketing or branding campaign underway, chances are it has a major visual component. If your brand identity is stripped or disappears when sharing because only the photo is forwarded, it begs the tree-in-forest question: If the visuals shown in your branding or marketing campaign are shared, but no one knows it’s your company, does it leave a mark? Can you consider the effort a success? You can’t create or move a community to support your brand or product if it’s not identified as yours.

Since brand names aren’t generally included in keywords, trying to find a logo in social networks can be a challenge. New visual search tools available perform “brand detection” so you can accurately monitor and assess sharing and effectiveness. One company – Kuztech – promises to uncover “hidden visual conversation” based on how often images are shared.

If photos or videos are part of your innovative approach to marketing and branding but you can’t measure results, it’s a hobby, not a business. Besides having systems or tools for measurement, you still have to make sure that your brand identifiers remain when photos or videos are shared.

What can you do to make sure that a campaign dominated by visual content doesn’t go unnoticed or unattributed? Here are a few suggestions:

 Don’t just go visual. You can’t (usually) sell with visuals alone. And using only images or videos limits the ability of your audience to find and share your content. Add social sharing buttons to encourage optimal message distribution.

Combine text on top of your visual. It’s visual plus text that gets shared the most. Customers need information, and using text makes it search-friendly.

Brand your images. Embed text and include your URL or watermark in your visual offering so people can find the original. Use colors and fonts and other identifiers that are consistent with your brand.

Make sure that marketing and visual design are strongly integrated. Surprisingly, many organizations are not accustomed to tightly aligning these. Today’s multitude of platforms requires a visual strategy.

Visual Content Mistakes To Avoid

So, mix it up with visual and text – everyone processes information differently. But make sure – no matter where you to go to deliver content and hopefully earn that lovely sharing – that your fingerprints are clearly all over it. Because it used to be that a picture was worth a thousand words. Now if you do it right, it’s worth much, much more!


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