There has been a dramatic shift in the way that American brands communicate with consumers. Thanks to the advent of visual social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest, communication is moving away from words and towards visual presentations. In the midst of this shift, marketers have recognized that consumers are clamoring for brand stories to be told in images, rather than words. Club managers who can market an experience in a picturesque setting, should welcome this communication transformation. Below are three steps club managers can take to create a visual marketing strategy.
1. More is Better
There was a time when all a visual marketing strategy entailed was including a picture on every blog post. These days, one picture is not enough; rather, consumers want a captivating and extensive visual experience.
Research shows that blog and social media posts featuring images generate higher amounts of traffic and shares than those without images. With more web and social media users sharing third-party content, the presence of captivating images in posts is necessary to generate higher share rates. The more pictures present in a post, the more opportunities for viewers to share said posts.
Beyond shares, including multiple pictures in posts increases the likelihood that your club’s story is being told in the most clear and compelling way. One picture presents a snippet of an idea; multiple pictures tell a whole story. This clarity is critical, as 67-percent of consumers say that clear, detailed images carry more weight in their buying decisions than product descriptions and customer ratings.
In the club space, this means your newsletter and emails should be loaded with high quality images. Low resolution = low rent.
2. Keep it Real
Given that images play a crucial role in consumers’ buying decisions, it’s important that clubs share images conveying glimpses of real experiences enjoyed by members and guests.
The growing popularity of visual social media sites has caused consumers to demand greater visual authenticity. Perhaps no industry has better adapted to visual authenticity in the age of digital media than the fashion industry. Scrolling through fashion brands’ social media channels, one frequently encounters images taken and uploaded by real-life people.
For clubs, visual authenticity means highlighting the looks and feels of your facility on a day-to-day basis. We are not talking about the staged picture of two couples in the dining room. Try to capture the natural beauty of your club during an unexpected moment. Highlight snippets of the past occasionally, but keep members forward looking by continuously updating real-time club photos as the seasons change.
Bottom Line: You need a skilled photographer at all of your club events.
3. Know your Story…Tell your Story
A visual strategy not tethered to clear marketing goals is a visual strategy destined for failure. Before pushing visual content to current and future club members, club managers must determine what story and message they want the visual content to tell.
Every visual shared by a club should relate back to the story the club wishes to tell. When selecting and sharing images, clubs should consider tone and the message being sent by the image. While more images are better than none or one, images not relating back to a clear message cause the story to be lost altogether. Given that the human brain is capable of processing images 60,000 times faster than words, leave no room for error when it comes to conveying an accurate message with images.
What are you selling? If it is a fun, casual lifestyle for the entire family, you need to show kids laughing and families that are forming bonds together at the club. These types of images are far more powerful than the front of your clubhouse.
Given the power of images over words, what is your club waiting for when it comes to adopting a strong visual strategy? These days, club members and future members expect to be sold no longer on words alone, but captivating imagery.