DeBroff: Reshaping social media through visual platforms

A new wave of influencers who express themselves entirely through visual imagery - with nary a written word in sight - has emerged. We call them "visual influencers."

Stacy DeBroff
Stacy DeBroff

A new wave of influencers who express themselves entirely through visual imagery – with nary a written word in sight – has emerged. We call them "visual influencers." By curating photos and images on their platforms of choice – often Pinterest and Instagram – not only have they found a new way to engage in storytelling, but they’ve also embarked upon a profound reshaping of the social media landscape and marketing in particular.

As visual influencers continue to rise, here are three key trends emerging on the marketing horizon:

  1. Visual content dominates: Originally outliers in a sea of social media scribes, visual influencers will continue to morph their imagery into the mainstream. Particularly among digital Millennials who’ve grown up immersed in electronics, online videos, and instantly accessible information, stories told through pictures and images appeal to their peer-connected lifestyles and will become their preferred way to communicate.
  2. Visual platforms will continue their dramatic rise: Our research on visual content revealed that consumers in the mom space have dramatically embraced visual platforms. More than 80% of consumers actively use Pinterest, with 67% using it at least once per day. We also saw significant usage rates for Instagram, with more than 70% of consumers using it actively, and 57% posting daily. Today, 81% of consumers post images of their favorite products and brands on Instagram, and nearly 40% have purchased a product online that they first found on Pinterest. As a result, visual platforms have become the go-to resource online for consumers seeking ideas, inspiration, and information.
  3. Brands struggle to master visual: As 80% of consumers follow five or more brands on Pinterest, more look to visual platforms for online engagement with brands. At the same time, consumers have become vocal about what they want from brands on Pinterest – 92% say they look for how-to guides or recipes, and 68% want new product information. Anticipate seeing brands dramatically embrace photos, videos, and images as they look for ways to connect with this new breed of influencer. We expect to see continued expansive marketing opportunities alongside ROI challenges to measure results on these platforms.

This movement toward visual content deeply resonates with consumers, as well as their communities. With a profound ability to curate and captivate, we expect visual influencers and their digital storytelling to rise to dominance.

Stacy DeBroff is founder and CEO of Mom Central Consulting. You can reach her at stacy@momcentral.com.

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