How to Define Your Visual Social Marketing Goals: Website Traffic, Sales, Customer Engagement
To use visual social marketing strategies effectively, you should have some set goals ahead of time. These goals help you gauge how effective your social media presence is and whether it’s worth the time and cost.
Attract website traffic
If your website has relevant content that’s sharable across social networks, the objective of generating website traffic from visual social marketing makes sense for your marketing plan.
The key to success with this strategy is that your website must have content that people are interested in sharing on their social networks.
For traffic generation to become a marketing objective, your website must have content that people want to share on social media. Adding visual elements to a website that has no interesting content doesn’t generate traffic from social media.
Visual social marketing has been shown to generate sales, especially for businesses that sell products online. Because most products are visually oriented (and people like to look at them), they fit most naturally the objective of growing sales by way of visual marketing.
Pinterest in particular has been demonstrated to drive traffic and sales to e-commerce sites. Sephora, a company that sells makeup and beauty products (at www.sephora.com), found that its Pinterest followers spent 15 times more money than their Facebook fans.
The prominence of visual elements on the Sephora Pinterest boards is clearly a part of the increase in sales. The Pinterest boards present ideas to consumers visually to show what they can do with the products sold at Sephora, so it’s no surprise that the company is effective in driving sales.
User-generated content, where customers and website users generate visual elements, has also been shown to increase sales. Lululemon, a retailer of high-end yoga apparel at www.lululemon.com, found that adding images from its customers to its home page increased the company’s sales. Lululemon asked customers to share their workout photos with the hashtag #TheSweatLife. The best-looking photos were shared on the Lululemon home page.
In a beta test, Lululemon saw a 5 to 7 percent increase in its conversion rate when it added user-generated images to its website. The conversion rate is the percentage of people who have visited the website and who ultimately purchased an item.
An increase in the conversion rate means that a higher percentage of website visitors were converted into customers. Potential customers who were able to see real people wearing the clothes they were considering buying were more likely to buy.
The examples of Sephora and Lululemon show how exposure to visual social marketing can increase web sales.
Adding visual elements to your site can be a powerful way to engage customers with your brand or business. Customers who are engaged are actively participating with your business on social media. Customers typically engage with brands that they have a strong connection to, so driving engagement has the benefit of increasing brand affinity.
On social networks such as Facebook, images generate more engagements and interactions (such as likes, comments, and clicks) than other types of content.
Additionally, user-generated visual content also drives engagement. Many businesses have run small contests asking customers to share photos or videos for an opportunity to win a prize.
For example, whenever reps from Koyal Wholesale, a wholesale reseller of wedding supplies, attend a trade show, they post images on Instagram asking their customers whether items are “hot or not.” They also ask “yay or nay,” where they ask Instagram followers for their thoughts on a new product. (The post shown generated 187 likes and 19 comments.)
This process engages customers in the process of choosing items that the company carries. Customers who feel that they’re a part of the process and who are engaged with the business are more likely to become loyal customers.