Every Picture A Potential Point Of Purchase

by Jack Loechner MP Research http://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/275847/

picAccording to a new study from Curalate, visual commerce is the full-funnel approach used in making all of the images both within and outside of a brand’s control actionable at every point of the customer journey. This is accomplished by directly linking images to the products or services associated with them, resulting in traffic, conversions and revenue.

For decades, says the report, marketers have been utilizing imagery and the power of storytelling to engage their customers, to position their products, and to grow their brand. But while content marketing isn’t new, it has evolved such that digital media has proliferated the channels on which content lives. Social media has diversified the ways in which content is shared. And mobile has made all of this content available anytime, anywhere.

With 2.6 billion images shared daily across visual channels, consumer shopping behaviors have indelibly changed. Boundless access to beautiful imagery has given the present-day consumer a growing number of opportunities to discover desirable products in new places, from social sites and shopping apps to online publishers and blogs. With “buy buttons” everywhere, consumers can now turn a flash of aspiration into action, says the report. Every picture is a potential point of purchase, an opportunity to drive a sale.

As marketers continue to optimize for changing consumer behaviors, visual commerce will continue to be shaped and defined, says the report. 77% of marketers agree that there is an increasing amount of pressure to show ROI on visual content. And the need to show a return on visual marketing efforts will continue to grow.

KPIs used to determine the success of a marketing campaign are:

  • Clicks   55% of respondents
  • Conversions   54%
  • Traffic   52%
  • Revenue    46%
  • Likes   41%
  • Comments   34%
  • Impressions   28%

Key takeaways from this survey that illuminate how marketers are currently leveraging images, says the report, how success is being defined and measured, and the areas in which marketers need support to connect their visual content to commerce:

Marketers Are Feeling The Heat

  • 77% of marketers agree that there is an increasing amount of pressure to show ROI on visual content
  • Marketers cite clicks, traffic, revenue and conversions as the most important metrics when gauging campaign success
  • Many doubt or are unconfident in their ability to measure and report on conversions

Marketers Are Failing To Tailor Their Creative

  • More than half of marketers are actively publishing images in social channels (84%), email (77%) digital ads (58%), print assets (57%), ecommerce (53%), and brick- and-mortar locations (51%)
  • 86% of marketers agree that type of channel is important when selecting images to use in different marketing scenarios
  • However, 78% of marketers agree that they are currently sharing the same images across every, or most, channels on which they are activee

Visual Content Is Underperforming

  • 11% of marketers believe that their team is leveraging images “very effectively” across the entire breadth of their marketing channels
  • 7% feel that their visual content is “very successful” in supporting their overall marketing goals
  • A small portion of marketers believe that images are sufficiently being used in emails (8%), ads (11%) and within the ecommerce environment (8%)

Mobile Is Lagging

  • About one-third of marketers are currently utilizing mobile to reach consumers with visual content
  • Marketers feel that their visual content is weakest within mobile commerce environments, as well as apps

Biggest Challenges

  • 1 Developing new, creative content
  • 2 Choosing imagery that resonates
  • 3 Measuring ROI

Marketers Say That “Type Of Channel” Weighs Heavily On Which Images They Select.

Importance Of The Following Factors When Selecting Which Images To Use In Marketing
Important Factors

Degree of Importance (% of Respondents)

Not at all Not very Neutral Somewhat Very important
Type of channel (social, ecomm, email, ads)

3%

1%

10%

24%

62%

Demographic/ audience

2

5

8

29

56

Timeliness

3

7

20

40

30

Historical engagement data

4

10

31

39

16

Gut instinct

6

16

35

33

10

Based on traditional company branding

4

19

34

29

14

Source: Curalate, May 2016

In order to succeed, today’s marketers need access to better images, better insights into which images will work, and better tools to measure how images perform across every channel, says the report. According to the study, these are the biggest challenges in executing an effective visual commerce strategy.

Biggest Challenges For Visual Content Strategy
Challenge

% Of Respondents

Choosing imagery that resonates

39%

Developing new creative content

39%

Measuring ROI

37%

Budget

36%

Standing out from competition

27%

Internal workflow

24%

Communication between teams

22%

Determining and achieving KPIs

20%

Team bandwidth

12%

Source: Curalate, May 2016

Marketers say that “type of channel” weighs heavily on which images they select.

Importance Of The Following Factors When Selecting Which Images To Use In Marketing
Important Factors

Degree of Importance (% of Respondents)

Not at all Not very Neutral Somewhat Very important
Type of channel (social, ecomm, email, ads)

3%

1%

10%

24%

62%

Demographic/ audience

2

5

8

29

56

Timeliness

3

7

20

40

30

Historical engagement data

4

10

31

39

16

Gut instinct

6

16

35

33

10

Based on traditional company branding

4

19

34

29

14

Source: Curalate, May 2016

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