And although manufacturing companies traditionally brand themselves as solid and subdued, visuals in the B2B world can be a differentiator. In fact, visuals should be looked at as a critical tactic in boosting any company’s online presence.
Science backs me up on this one. The human eye processes visuals 60,000 TIMES faster than text. Plus the rate of retention of visual data is TWICE as good. Here, this will help you remember those stats:
Infographics are “liked” and shared on social media 3X more than any other type of content
Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than posts without images; tweets with video get 10Xmore engagement than those without
54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support
People following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations
Using many different forms of visual content (videos, photos, infographics, etc.) helps your company tell stories and show your brand personality in unique and memorable ways. Today, it’s easier than ever to create and share visual content because you can shoot, upload, and edit memes, photos, and videos using just about any device.
As a manufacturer, you have more exciting visual content to share than you may realize. Put some thought into it. Better yet, get inspired by these four manufacturing visual campaign examples.
Although “Hewlett-Packard” isn’t shy about reminiscing about its decades-long history, its current brand is edgy, youthful, and smart. They don’t let a wide array of products get in the way of solid, visually impressive branding. From a bushy-haired thrasher on their About Us Page to a sinister hacker Christian Slater in their “Wolf Security” campaign videos, HP takes time to make everything look slick and engaging.
While you may not have the budget to hire a winner for Best Supporting Actor in a TV Series (wonder if he’s giving back his Golden Globes trophy), you can certainly uncover many ideas from what you’re doing and tell those stories in an intriguing way.
Even this LinkedIn video conveys a ton in just 15 seconds: convenience, innovation, high-tech, diversity, partnership, inspiration, etc.
GE does an excellent job at providing customers and prospects with a range of engaging visual content that all feels big and important. It starts right away on GE’s Home Page with aspirational photography — accompanied by some snappy copy.
Flashy content (not to be confused with Adobe Flash, RIP), particularly on their Instagram account, provides interesting, detailed views of equipment they manufacture as well as stories of emerging technology. They celebrate their long history and feature current movers and shakers, too. Of course, they make sure the human element is uplifted, especially on Twitter.
Similar to GE, 3M’s visual content shows off its products, and howthey’re used, in a variety of ways. Content always seems to tie into their tagline: “Science, Applied to Life,” which provides an additional way to share the company’s core story and its connection to science.
The 3M Instagram uses facts to support its sustainability initiatives, Twitter features brief, product-focused videos, while its YouTube channel offers a variety of videos, including testingproducts in the “Beyond Strong Challenge” (kayaking in a raging river). All are engaging and fun to read/watch.
Here’s some well-done visual content that likely doesn’t use a budget as large as the three previous manufacturer brand examples. EcoEnclose provides businesses with eco-friendly packaging: mailers, boxes, inner packaging, cushioning, etc. Their clean website feels like a B2C experience, yet has all the necessary B2B functions that businesses want — full spec sheets with sizes, features, and technical specs — products that are recycled, recyclable, or biodegradable, for instance. Their few posted videos (their strong suit) are simple, featuring staff and company philosophy.
The smart part? Their colorful LinkedIn imagery is always tied to solving business needs and meeting demands. “Need 500 mailers? How about 5 million? We've got you covered.” is great messaging that conveys EcoEnclose people aren’t tree-huggers; they know business. Instagram posts do the same: they’re eye-catching and provide business benefits.
“Cool! But how do I create a powerful online presence?”
I get it. These all look great and perform darn well, but that doesn’t really help you, right? One way to begin cranking up your online presence is to run a focused B2B social media campaign, a coordinated marketing effort focused on a specific business goal that’s run on social media to increase brand awareness, customer engagement, and brand affinity. Follow this step-by-step checklist:
Set a goal — Clearly define the campaign goal and make it SMART.
Identify your persona(s) — Who you’re targeting helps you select appropriate social platforms and craft content to specifically speak to their wants, needs, and challenges.
Create visuals for the campaign — Keep the look and feel consistent across all assets so pieces work together to deliver a cohesive, customer-centric message.
Generate leads — Make it easy for campaign viewers to become leads by providing links back to relevant information on your website.
Analyze campaign performance — During the campaign run time and after, review if messaging is resonating with targets; after the campaign, see if the campaign goal was achieved.
Hopefully these four examples and visual social media campaign ideas provide you with a bit of inspiration for different ways you can develop your own visual content. Inbound marketing requires many tactics to be successful; well-made videos and eye-grabbing visuals are just a part.
Another smart move is to repurpose content you already have shared, or parse more in-depth content into engaging visuals to get more mileage from it. Our guide on Repurposing Content will get you going.