The picture marketing is a strong trend that can be seen in social media for several years. Indeed, whether personally or for companies and brands, the image is essential content because it is quickly identifiable by Internet users and is easily shared. In a digital environment saturated with information, it is therefore essential today more than ever to think about an image strategy during any social media process, this is why I offer this focus on picture marketing …

How to define picture marketing?

Picture marketing can be defined as a set of image promotion on social media, aimed at promoting a product, service, company or brand, in order to meet many marketing objectives such as generating commitment to the brand, promoting content sharing or developing e-reputation.

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Picture marketing can also prove to be strategic vis-à-vis brand ambassadors. Indeed, as brands succeed in detecting their ambassadors, it is possible to take advantage of the weight of their social influence to relay visual content specially designed for the web, or in a collaborative and participative logic, to offer the community all whole to take a picture of the products or to design them.

This underlying trend is developing on two levels on the web :

The image at the heart of the strategies of the main current social networks

Facebook: the realm of photos

social networks

To restore the context and key dates, during the “Facebook f8 Conference” on September 22, 2011 in San Francisco, Mark Zuckerberg presented the new format of profiles and pages (the Timeline). This new type of profile, made available on March 30, 2012 on the company pages, proposed to highlight the photos more like a biography. Well everyone has noticed, this is not transcendent information. At the end of July 2012, Facebook announced the imminent implementation of a modernization of the “Photos” space for a mosaic layout. The findings are clear, Facebook has understood the value of sharing photos and continues to make a lot of efforts at this level to improve the user experience on its web and mobile platforms. But the most striking example of Facebook’s interest in the image took place on April 9, 2012 when it bought Instagram for a billion dollars.

  • 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day

Google+ and Twitter: challengers who remain in the race

As a late entrant into the social media market and after the failure of Google Buzz, Google+, has been available to the public since September 20, 2011. It is now the second French social network with nearly 6 million users since the end of 2013. Since its inception, Google+ has been offering a very pleasant and visual look & feel, the photos clearly take precedence over the text, evidenced by the popularity of sharing memes on this social network.

  • 215 million photos are uploaded every day on Google+

On the side of Twitter, to demonstrate the importance that the image is now taking in its development strategy, Twitter integrated in the summer of 2012 content extracts (text and visual) when sharing blog articles on its website. social network: Twitters Cards. As proof of the effectiveness on the brand side, a recent study by the agency Schift showed that tweets containing an image were 5 times more engaging than tweets containing only text.

Pinterest: an outsider trying to get by

Pinterest is the social network for image sharing that made a lot of noise on the web in 2012. Launched in 2010 by Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp and Ben Silbermann, it quickly met with great success in the United States since was ranked among the top 50 best websites of 2011 according to Time magazine, but remained unknown in Europe until the beginning of the first quarter of 2012. Some brands had fun using Pinterest subtly in the context of communication operations digital, I am thinking for example of the Peugeot Panama operation in 2012, where the alignment of the tables made it possible to build the lion brand cars.

Specialized community applications are on the rise

First of all Instagram (mobile app launched in October 2010 on Iphone) which allows you to add filters to give yourself a genre (admit it …) amateur professional photographer and share all this with the community.

But more recently other social platforms doing picture marketing have also been very successful, as evidenced by the media buzz around Snapchat (founded in 2011). The ephemeral photo and video sharing application (10 seconds maximum per shot) founded by Evan Spiegel would be nad Facebook today, especially among teenagers (12-17 years old) who would share more photos on Snapchat (50 to 80 per day according to FFTélécoms) than on Facebook.

  • 400 million photos are shared every day on Snapchat

A picture is worth a thousand words Said Confucius, this expression takes on its full meaning on social media. Indeed, as the web brews astronomical amounts of data and as brands seek to differentiate themselves and capture the attention of their audience, the image is more engaging than plain text.

Sharing photos is an engaging act for users of social networks…

le-picture-marketing If users are fond of images, it is above all for the speed of understanding and memorization in the visual messages delivered, unlike raw text messages. This phenomenon is not new, this is also why the 4 × 3 display is still used by brands in their media strategy. The photo fascinates, attracts attention and thanks to social networks, it takes turns easily.

To demonstrate user engagement on Facebook, a Graph Insider study conducted in 2012 revealed that the image is 2.5 times more engaging than status updates and more recent figures from an Edgerank Checker study confirm that photo sharing remains more engaging (0.25%) than other types of Facebook posts. Proof again that the photo plays a central role for the Mountain View company.

… And is also a source of value for businesses

When a company or a brand decides to launch itself on the web, with a site and on social media, it is important to think beforehand about a picture marketing strategy coherent with that of the other communication channels. Indeed, picture marketing can create value for companies and meet many objectives when it is well integrated into the brand content strategy, such as:

  • create brand engagement and affinity;
  • create sharing and vitality;
  • develop notoriety, e-reputation;
  • do storytelling, tell a story around the brand.

For example, computer graphics are a perfect ally in the context of a picture marketing strategy.

How do we see the future?

At the start of 2014 (already well underway), the image is still at the heart of all attention. As well among internet users / mobile users who always share more photos every day on social media, more widely on the web or on mobile applications, than among brands that continue their quest for the production of original and quality content.

With the emergence of smartphones since 2007 (arrival of the iPhone on the market), the technological prowess of photo sensors integrated into smartphones (the 41 megapixels of the Nokia Lumia 1020 are impressive) and the 3-digit growth of mobile social applications, there is very little chance that the curve of the number of photo sharing on the internet will reverse one day.

Prospects for the future therefore seem to go in this direction, with photo (and video) content increasingly present in our daily lives and an increasing acceptance of the uses that are made of it, because the phenomenon has become more democratic. .

However, there are still recurring questions on subjects that concern users as well as brands and which are linked to the rights to use and share content that does not belong to us. This is why, here are the sources of the images for this article => Quka / Shutterstock.com

And you, what do you think of picture marketing? Can we go towards a saturation of photo sharing?