“Brands that can rock visual media will find themselves market leaders.” ~@eKaterina of Fast Company in 2012

Visual marketing is still one of the most compelling trends in technology and social media, and for good reason. The use of photos to increase engagement in social media is showing no signs of stopping, and the big brands are taking notice.

Last week Zillow announced it’s new app Zillow Digs, a home improvement and design app for iPad, and Instagram announced it was unleashing it’s app as a full web experience, allowing users to view their streams via the web, (not just the app) the buzz around Vine video app is still buzzing, and they all focus around social sharing. But it seems with most things these days, brands are innovating a new product or another, easing us into another distraction that may or may not have any real use to you OR your customers, but one thing it does do, is create web traffic for those that create it. This is could be hazardous to the health of your business. Why?

It’s becoming all too easy to use a photo, and provide little else. Where there is brevity in words, there is brevity in a photo. Make sure you are providing the context. 

In real estate, we can learn from big brand’s formula, and we can provide something they can’t; context. Your written word, in your voice is still the connection to creating trust in your customer. While it may be tempting to abandon or not use blogging as a web marketing tool, having a blog is still the way you can increase traffic to your website by almost 500%. Do it well, and you can increase it even more.

Seth Godin said it well

But economies are always based on scarcity (hence the term ‘economize’). There is no market for humming, for example, because everyone has unlimited humming at their disposal at all times. So, in the abundant digital world, what’s scarce? Where is the economy?

It’s in connection.

Who trusts you? Who wants to hear from you? Who will collaborate and support and engage with you?

These are things that don’t scale to infinity. These are precious resources.

That’s the analysis that informs the connection economy–is it worth interrupting this person? Is my next action going to build a relationship or take from it? Am I earning trust or burning trust?

Here are some tips to make sure you are the one standing out in the digital world like the big brands:

  • Provide amazing, compelling, delightful content on your blog or website. Use photos, with stories, in your voice. You provide the expertise and insights that surround the visual element, and stive to reach a connection.
  • If you do use Instagram or Pinterest, don’t forget to drive traffic back to your website. Don’t have a board on Pinterest called “Dream Homes” (there are too many!) Name your board, “Atlanta Dream Homes for Sale”. Each photo should drive vistors to our website. Otherwise, your use of Pinterest is called a “hobby”, not marketing.
  • Be mindful of where you spend your precious time. Hype can be confused as the newest and greatest. But is it where your time and value is best measured? Expand your reach on the web, convert your relationships into informed connections, and be brilliant, measured, focused, and strategic in your choices. That is what makes a market leader. 

If you have a story about how visual marketing is sending you business, I want to know! Let me know in your comments below =)

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