In today’s digital age, we are all viewing, sharing, or creating multimedia content on a daily basis to fulfill a variety of educational and emotional needs. Given the enormous presence of visuals in our personal lives, the importance of organizations producing this type of content to garner higher visibility, spark interaction, generate leads, and build loyalty among target audiences is unquestionable, but still a challenge for many. Marketing and communications experts from leading organizations will be tackling this subject at PR Newswire’s “Employing Visual Content for Compelling Storytelling” forum tomorrow in Washington, D.C., but offered a few words of advice before the event on how visual content developers can strengthen their efforts.
Balance creativity with your business strategy
Peter LaMotte, senior vice president and digital communications chair at Levick, describes the balance between creativity and business strategy as two separate but supportive halves of every visual content strategy. “We tend to focus a lot on the creativity aspect,” he says, “but if there is no connection to the business strategy or marketing strategy, it’s going to fall flat.”
Some marketers make the mistake of creating content that is culturally popular but not necessarily suited for their clients or business goals, which can be confusing for the demographic they are trying to reach. “If your content becomes viral and highly shareable in a group that can have no influence on your business, then you’ve wasted a lot of time, money and effort,” asserts LaMotte, “however, if a fraction of that size of individuals are engaged yet its dead in the right of who you want to reach, then it can be worth every penny spent.”
Balance your efforts by aiming for high levels of engagement with all of your content using a call-to-action. It can be as simple as an implied way of thinking to build awareness of certain campaigns, or directing viewers to a website, form, or social media page. Engagement is what will get your audience to pay attention to your messages.
Create easy access to your content
One of the ways that the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety helps make cars and highways safer is by producing high quality visuals such as slow-motion footage of crash tests that are compelling for the media and supplies them with the elements they need to tell their story. According to the organization’s Senior Vice President of Communications, Russ Rader, not making your visual content readily accessible for the media is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
“It’s often a challenge for the media to get the content that they want and need to tell their story,” Rader says, “when we send out releases, we include all of the visual material in easy-to-access links so media can download hi-res images and video. I often hear from reporters that they have to contact PR people to get what they need and then the response comes way too late for them to use what was sent.” Through syndication, your content can reach a wider audience, generate awareness, and earns timely media for your organization.
Determine what metrics matter the most for your brand
“The web allows a variety of ways to measure the impact of content. Downloads, page views, branded search trends, and social sentiment analysis are just a few,” says Ryan Smedstad, director of creative services at Penske Truck Leasing, “but, there’s not one single method for measurement. Ultimately, you have to decide what metrics matter most for your brand.”
LaMotte’s advice is to measure your content based on the KPI’s and calls-to-action of your organization’s larger marketing strategy. “For a campaign that has a very clear CTA, it makes it very easy to see what the impact of that content is. For content that is more about brand awareness or issue, then it’s going to require a smarter strategy around measurement,” he explains, “at the end of day, it’s about those KPI’s that you have already established in the marketing strategy or in the onset of a campaign that you have to stick with because that’s what is going drive creating the content to begin with and that’s how you have to measure the content in the end.”
If you are in the Washington, D.C. area and would like to attend the event, there’s still time! Follow the link to register for “Employing Visual Content for Compelling story” now: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/employing-visual-content-for-compelling-storytelling-dc-registration-10071302537