Creating a certain degree of omnipresence online takes a while, a lot of hard work and some smart planning. Unless your company is already a market leader, you would have to work your way up and eventually land that coveted rank to get displayed on the first page of search engine results. There are many facets of online marketing or branding. From search engine optimization to social media management, content marketing to video marketing and more, everything plays a crucial role.
To have an optimal impact online, you need to carve out a following for your company. Unless you can portray and establish your business as a brand in a given vertical, it would struggle to get the traction that you desire.
One of the most effective ways of online branding is to use brand signals. And brand signals are better established with visual content. Let us first talk about brand signals and then we would illustrate what kind of visual content you can use to establish your company as a brand online.
What are Brand Signals?
Brand signals are also referred to as brand mentions. Any mention of a particular business or the products and services of a company can be treated as brand signals or brand mentions. However, they need to be generated by credible sources, what is unpaid and organic mention. A company can always go around trying to buy brand mentions or can plant various brand signals but that would only have a limited impact. The kind of brand mentions that really make a difference in search engine rankings or the credibility of a website would get published in reputed journals, popular publications, sites that have high quality content written by those with authority in the subjects, user generated brand mentions, viral phenomenon on social media or a staggering following across social networks. Such types of brand signals cannot be entirely self-generated by the company.
Brand signals that are most coveted are those that are simply texts, which could be the name of the company or mention of the products and services, quotes of chief executives being cited or references of the company without any links. In effect, brand signals are not back links but a stamp of endorsement, acknowledgement of a company’s presence or even criticism of a business or its products and services by a credible authority. Search engines like Google track such brand signals and flag them because these brands are treated with significance or are marked to be of interest.
Brand signals also include search engine queries, the typical keywords that people use to look for relevant solutions. Verifiable brand mentions such as detailed contact pages or about pages, listings on popular classifieds, reviews by users using brand names or citing products and services are the most credible brand signals.
The more and diverse the brand mentions are, the stronger brand signals they would be and naturally a company and its website will get the desired traction, from users and also get noticed by the search engines.
Visual Content to Facilitate Brand Signals
Let us begin with a simple fact. The human brain remembers and recognizes visuals more easily than texts. According to many studies, it has been proven that the human brain can process visuals or images sixty times faster than texts. If you put it into the context of present day when we come across innumerable contents online, it would take a second to observe an image and remember it as compared to a minute to read a few lines and to remember those. Recollecting images or visual contents is also much simpler than recollecting texts. Most people cannot quote a line or two verbatim or word by word. There is a reason why we remember faces but not names of strangers or people whom we had just met once, perhaps for just a few fleeting moments.
Brand signals can be better triggered only when those who would author the brand mentions will remember a particular business or company. That can be facilitated with visual content. A simple image of a company, the most basic of which is the logo, can go a long way in iterating the existence of the business in a person’s mind. There is a reason why logos are printed and circulated, trademarks are omnipresent and companies use their logos in every possible way to establish the connection.
Beyond the customary logo, companies should create visual content including videos, slideshows, info-graphics, should present data or facts graphically, share images with snippets of content on social media and have as much of a visual presence on all public virtual platforms. Blog posts with images, unique photo campaigns, having significant presence on image sharing sites like Instagram and Pinterest, video sites like YouTube and using all social networks with populated albums will help a company to generate more brand signals.