Why Exceptional Visual Social Content Wins Every Time

As a marketer, I’ve always appreciated great design. The kind that captures my attention and pulls me in to discover more. From a consumer standpoint, the story remains the same. Great design wins every time. In fact, studies suggest that we don’t just admire great visuals, we engage with it more positively too.

So what makes ‘great visuals’ and how do we leverage them in a way that makes others want to engage and share them? Read on, as that is precisely what this post is all about!


65% of senior marketing executives believe that visual assets (photos, video, illustrations infographics, and more) are at the core to how their brand story is both perceived and communicated today.

Infographics for example are still a winning recipe for conveying a lot of information in a concise, visually pleasing package. But next time you find yourself lazily asking “can we put it this in an infographic?” consider the alternatives that are quicker to digest, and easier to share.

SlideShare for example has quickly become one of the the leading platform for discovering and publishing slide show decks; hosting your slide shows on SlideShare helps your content gain visibility, while keeping them super simple to consume and embed on platforms, especially LinkedIn.

Have a great video clip? YouTube is great, but Giphy makes it even easier to share on social. GIFs (which aren’t just for funny cats by the way) they’re also great for creating simple animations that illustrate changes over time.


OK so maybe Cat videos are funny…

One more alternative to the standard visual elements, are using real people, or better yet, personas with a strong online reach within your intended audience. Reaching out to the right individuals adds a human element to your brand marketing tactics.


As a general rule, It’s always preferable to use original images or ones taken by you, as we do here at BIGINTRO. This adds a much more desired personal touch to your brand. High-quality attractive images can tend to be expensive to purchase. Fortunately, with resources such as Canva, you can create unique, captivating images for free, or just a few dollars, using a simplistic drag-and-drop interface.

There are other alternatives that offer royalty free images on photo-sharing sites such as Flickr, Pixaby and Morguefile, but the free images you will find online tend to be very generic. That being said, due to the vast number of photos on these sites, it’s unlikely that other businesses within your niche will have used them already so it’s worth saving a few stand out images you discover online. Just make sure they fit with your overall brand and theme.

If I had to point towards one royalty free image provider it would have to be unsplash.com.

The featured photos on Unsplash (10 every 10 days) are chosen by notable creatives. Since the curators are from varied backgrounds, it brings a wide range of photographs and different styles to the featured photos. The free images are captivating and thought provoking to say the least.


Gureilla marketing has been all the rage over the past few years, but more recently, the rise of millennials & mobile content consumption has caused a perfect storm from a marketing stand point. The traditional rules of selling have given away to attracting, capturing and retaining your audience in a much more creative way, bound only by your creative imagination.

Millennials have been forced to become keen discriminators because of the thousands of ads that they are bombarded with every day. In order to make an impression on Millennials, marketers need to appeal to their unique values and interests, which requires identifying the target audiences and refining their messages to match them.

The upside to this challenge is that millennials are equally willing to share a brand’s content—especially visual content—with their friends when they find something they like, generating organic (free) exposure.experience-2

Online consumers today, especially millennials are looking for marketing with a message that appeals to their ideals, sense of justice, social interests, humor, etc. This makes visual social content the perfect weapon in your marketing arsenal. Unless, of course leaving money on the table is your sort of thing.


  • Colored visuals increase people’s desire to read content by 80%.
  • Content with images increases a view rate by 94%.
  • Visuals generate more backlinks than any other form of content.
  • Posts with images produce 180% more engagement.
  • People are 85% more likely to buy your product after watching a video about it.


Of course, there are many other types of visual content that you can produce for your blog, site or social channels to add a bit of variety into the mix, some that will work better for your niche than others. Consider this post as spark towards moving your creative marketing needle. I hope it serves as a bit of food for thought when planning future posts.

Need to give your marketing strategy a serious upgrade? Contact us, today. We’d love to talk.

Cold Truth: PR is Dead, Visual Content Is The New King

It’s nothing personal. It doesn’t  mean your news isn’t interesting. In fact, I’m sure it is. It’s just that most people don’t care enough to even notice your PR announcement.

For the vast majority of early-stage companies, working with a PR firm should constitute only a small component of a sensible marketing plan. In other words; If you’re in the early stages of building your brand, hiring a traditional PR firm may very well be a complete waste waste of your limited resources.

This doesn’t mean that the PR industry is going anywhere, but it does mean that if you are an early-stage company without a major story to share, or any significant milestone, you’re going to have to get a whole lot smarter, and much more interesting with your outreach strategy.


How do people consume content? We scan through it. We prioritize. We note what’s trending. We skim through social networks, and read what our friends are sharing.

People stir the content soup in myriad ways and, in doing so, your PR story gets lost in the content abyss.

Of course, knowing the right editor and reporter at TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, Institutional Investor, Bloomberg, and other traditional media never hurts, but a good media mention will still only take care of one day out of the year. You still have 364 more days to worry about!


46% of marketers say photography is critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategies. This is in part due to the value and impact of visual content.

At it’s very core, visual content is about human emotions, in the same sense, marketing done right strikes an emotional chord, it gains attention, emotion and ultimately the trust of your audience. With time becoming an ever increasing valuable asset, visuals are essential because of the speed at which they are consumed, shared and elicit a response.

There are dozens of ways to create visual content for our audience.

You can read about some of the best tools available today:

3 Killer Visual Content Creation Platforms

5 Ways to Make your Visual Social Content Explode 

Putting the tools aside, the first thing any serious brand needs to do, is acquire a solid understanding for how the press talks about your industry.

Step 1 Head over to Google, run a visual search for your brand’s keywords, your competitors, your service or product. Spend time getting a good grasp of what people are talking about in your space. What are the big questions, controversies or trends? How do different publications approach these topics? What are people getting wrong? What are they missing? How can you help them visualize your offering?

Step 2
Identify what information you can leverage to help your brand stand out. Share visual info, tips, or trends within your industry to connect with your followers. One solid piece of visual content gets shared 40x more than textual content.


Knowing that you need a visual content strategy is not enough. Defining your visual style, gathering your content and executing your strategy are all essential steps towards your success.

54% of B2B marketers and 50% of B2C marketers cite creating enough content for their marketing efforts as a top priority for their marketing initiatives. Don’t fall for the trap of thinking that having a social media presence is enough. Especially if you’re counting on Facebook likes. Those are worth close to ZERO, but I’ll get into that in a future post.

in the meantime, If you’re looking for more resources check out our previous posts on visual content marketing.

Need to give your visual content strategy a serious upgrade? Contact us, today. We’d love to talk.

5 Ways to Make your Visual Social Content Explode

According to recent statistics, people remember;

10 percent of what they hear,

20 percent of what they read,

and 80 percent of what they see and do.

If your business relies on customer acquisition, consider this post your wake up call. Don’t let your budget go to waste with ineffective (and expensive) marketing campaigns, instead of perfectly edited photo content.

In the previous posts I wrote about how to use platforms to create visual content like a pro, and measure the success of your visual content marketing.

With this post, I intended to give you an ‘unfair advantage’ with 5 fresh ideas and tips to make your visual social content blow up!


As I mentioned above, people remember 80% of what they see. A really cool way to make your visual content pop is to overlay text on an image is by posting statistics that resonates with your audience.

Try using statistics from your own research, or finding some that are relevant to your message. Need a great resource for current statistics? Look no fuhrer than Statista.com – One of the leading statistics companies on the internet.



The vast majority of Instagram users, or any social media marketers for that matter, simply spend their time creating content and publishing it out there into the great abyss hoping it gets discovered. Very rarely do you see marketers posting on other people’s content as it’s often seen as a waste of time. This in sharp contrast to the saying ‘Social Media is a Two Way Street’.

The best way to get others to share your content is to establish meaningful relationships with others in social media and participate in reciprocal behavior. You can’t expect others to always share and promote your content if you’re not returning the favor.

Sharing the work of others or simply commenting on their feed shows that you understand the social element of social media and respect other people’s work.

Because guess what, it isn’t just all about you.


Instagram has been a huge part of our daily lives. There are tons of great photographers out there who post stunning images that are sure to get you hooked, but what I find more amazing is the fact that some people out there have managed to use Instagram for their purposes in a way that goes beyond just photos of daily life.


Brands, influencers, and the everyday Instagrammer are stepping outside the 1080px by 1080px square box and pushing the boundaries on creativity. If you really want your account to stand out, you need to think creatively and learn from the best.

A few of my personal favorites includes:

AWWSAM, An Industrial Designer, Stylist & Donut Aficionado

Tal Spiegel, Loves shoes and pastries

Betsey Johnson The Official Instagram for all things girly

Vertu Handcrafted luxury mobile phones made in England

The list goes on. Find the feeds that inspire you the most within your industry and analyze what they’re doing right.

Pablo Picasso is widely quoted as having said that “Good artists borrow, great artists steal.” If it worked for Picaso, who are we to think otherwise?


Too many Instagram users lack focus — jumping from food pics to photos of cars to inspiring quotes with no apparent purpose. That could work for your personal account. But if you want to build a strong following on Instagram as a business, you need to define your mission & stick with it.


If you stick to certain styles of photos, your followers will come to expect that & return to see what you post on Instagram.


While the goal of Instagram is to create and post your own content, things don’t have to stop there. ASOS has a really cool approach: They repost Instagram content from their individual stylists, who function as brand lifestyle ambassadors with accounts specifically associated with ASOS, like @asos_megan and @asos_isabella.

Another beautiful example of this is the #SAMSUNGS7 hashtag which highlights the creativity of Samsung S7 owners, in a way that Samsung could never achieve on their own.

Samsung S7.PNG

Create the right hashtags for your brand and ask your fans to use them, so you can track their images and share their work.

Showing your fans a little respect goes a long way!


At the onset of any content marketing initiative, it is absolutely essential to determine your overall goals. Need a little assistance with your KPIs? Give our previous post a read: Measure Your Visual Content Marketing Like a Pro, to discover high level goals and analytics services to dive deeper into your social feed.

So there you have it, 5 ways to make your visual social content explode, and more importantly all you need to make it happen is patience and creativity.

Make sure you stay up-to-date on breaking Social Content information by joining the BIGINTRO Facebook page.

Enjoyed the read? Share it with others and let them know!

Need to give your visual content strategy a serious upgrade? Contact us, today. We’d love to talk.

Instagram Stories for Business: Your How-to Guide

On August 2nd Instagram added a feature called Stories. If you haven’t tried it yet, the idea is that instead of posting carefully chosen photos, Stories lets you post a bunch of photos throughout the day. And at the end of that day, those photos disappear. Stories are temporary videos or photos that are strung together to form a gallery that, well, tells a story.

Yes, I know, sounds very familiar to SnapChat. But being baked into the Instagram platform has a huge advantage for those who’ve already built up a significant follower base.

Instagram by the Numbers

  • Instagram has more than 500 million active users.
  • More than 300 million Instagram users use it on a daily basis.
  • More than 80% of Instagram users live outside the United States.
  • Selena Gomez is the most followed person on Instagram with 91.7 million followers.

Create your first Instagram Story.

Creating your first story is super simple.


  • Tap on the plus button found on the top left-hand side of your home screen or swipe left in your Feed. You can also quickly launch Stories by swiping right from the main screen.
  • Tap the circle button at the bottom of the screen to take photos or tap and hold to record a video.
  • Edit the photos or videos with text or add a drawing as you normally would. If you hit the pen icon, there are three types of pens. The third one makes your sketch look like a neon sign.
  • Tap Done to save your Story.
  • Tap the check mark button to share to your Story.

Who’s Using Instagram Stories

As I mentioned earlier, since Stories is baked into Instagram, celebreties are obviously the first to start pushing more content out there. Some of my personal favorites are:  Serena Williams – @serenawilliams, Reese Witherspoon – @reesewitherspoon, and John Legend – @johnlegend just to name a few.


There are also more ‘serious’ publishers already publishing fresh content using Instagram Stories, such as The New York Times, National Geographic and Sports Illustrated.

Patrick Witty, National Geographic deputy director of photography shared with niemanlab.org how Stories helps National Geographic (The most followed brand on Instagram) expand their reach.


‘One of the interesting things about Stories as well is that photographers are able to tell stories beyond just one picture. It gets deeper and behind the scenes of what it’s like to be a National Geographic photographer. With David, we post one or two pictures on the Nat Geo feed that are still photographs, but he was able to expand his storytelling into videos and interviews and portraiture. More than he could do with a single picture on the feed.”

Beyond the Story

Instagram Stories have a few hidden gems that offer a slight twist on SnapChat

  • Your story is featured on the home feed tab on the Instagram app, and on the profile page of a user when you tap their profile photo.
  • New stories in the home feed are organized by who you interact with most, and not by the time the story’s been updated (like Snapchat), which means your stories are prioritized by who you would like to see first. Theoretically, at least.
  • Unlike Snapchat, you don’t have to be following someone in order to see their Instagram story, unless they are a private account. This means you can browse stories before you commit to following someone.
  • You can hide your story from certain users, like your boss if you’re getting rowdy on a Tuesday night before work.
  • You can seamlessly integrate more behind-the-scenes content and video into your Instagram content strategy and focus on building one audience, rather than splitting your reach between Instagram and Snapchat.

Instagram Stories for Your Business

Think about it this way. Instagram posts allow you to share one perfectly captured frame to tell a story, while Instagram Stories allow you to show a beginning, middle and end for each new story you create.

Still not sure how to maximize Instagram stories for your business? Here are few ideas to get your sparks flying.

Challenges and contests

If you would like to reward your most active and engaged Instagram users, you can have a quick game or contest for them through your Instagram Story. Who doesn’t love social media games and giveaways? They are a perfect way to keep your followers interested and make them want to come back for more.



Special promotions

Another great way to make your most active Instagram followers feel special is by offering them a discount code or coupon that they can only see if they opened your Snapchat Story. The urge of knowing that the promotion ends in only 24 hours might be the thing that will encourage them to buy. This is a brilliant way to build brand loyalty and increase sales.

Build anticipation

Tease the release of a new product or service by sharing a couple of photos and videos that will do their job to create some buzz around it.

Distinguish engaging content

Instagram lets you see which portions of your Stories generate the most views. If you notice that a specific content from your story is engaging more than the others, you can post it in your Instagram feed for all your followers to see.

Drive more engagement

If you would like to increase your audience’s interaction with your brand on Instagram, now you can encourage them to send you a message directly under your Stories.

Event Coverage

If your business attends many industry events and you have noticed that the engagement on your Instagram content during events is lower than usual, Instagram stories are the perfect place to share that content in. You can now announce your attendance at an event with a single post on your regular Instagram feed, and encourage your audience to open your Instagram Stories for more live updates.

Visual Storytelling

It is all about storytelling. What could be more engaging than sharing an interesting story about your brand, product or staff through fun photos and videos?


Instagram has always been a place for people to share their passions and connect. And now with Instagram Stores you can do so in even more creative ways—sharing highlights and everything in between, too.

Head over to the BIGINTRO Instagram feed and follow us up, we’ll be sharing fun ideas through our stories you won’t want to miss!


It’s no secret that Instagram is king in the visual social media marketing world. It is a platform with one focus- visuals. Everything else, like links, calls to action and other classic forms of content marketing are hidden within Instagram.  With such a strong emphasis on visuals, some industries especially in the fashion, design and creative spaces can leverage Instagram to tell a unique story.

With Instagram, the fashion industry has found its social media soulmate.  Through the visual-only platform, promoting an iconic look or evoking unique forms of expression is a cinch.

So the fashion industry has found its perfect match on Instagram.

What about the less sexy industries? Can the less product focused industries use the visual-based social media platform? Are there any lessons to learn from the way in which the fashion industry uses Instagram?

The answer to all of these questions, yes! There’s room for all brands on Instagram.  I’ve even seen carpet cleaning services use the platform.

While many fashion brands are focusing on Instagram for its strong visual storytelling value, they are not selling directly through the platform. Well, sort of. Why are they not pushing their product? Because the platform isn’t built for that direct form of transaction. It’s a place for visuals, for value, and for expression. Like all social media platforms, Instagram isn’t meant to sell. It’s meant to inspire, to engage, to create interest. Selling on social media doesn’t work.

Fashion is, and has always been, defined by its ability to allow the designer to creatively design products. It’s an industry that is constantly changing and dynamic. Social media is also. Yesterday’s Facebook is today’s Snapchat. Does that mean there isn’t room for both? No. Just means that there are trends in how companies market and engage with their community.

Regardless of the size of the fashion company, Instagram can be an ideal way to tell a unique visual story. From bespoke men’s clothing designer to global jeans. Instagram offers something for every designer and for every company.

Many companies are still treading in the deep waters of social media. They remain unsure of its value and question its overall potential, the fashion industry is strutting its Instagram success down the proverbial runway of marketing.


Instagram is everywhere.  To date, over 500 million users are on Instagram globally, 75% of them logging in at least once per day. Clearly, the fact that Instagram is part of the Facebook family can’t hurt. It also enables the visual platform to leverage a robust media and advertising platform.


All in all that’s impressive exposure.

In fact, a recent study has discovered that Instagram is among the the most rapidly growing social network in the world. That makes a strong case for why Instagram should be integrated into a holistic digital marketing strategy.

With all the good about Instagram, over the past few weeks studies have shown that Instagram engagement rates have declined significantly over the past few months. Most of the articles attribute the decline to the rate that brands are choosing to post, more posts per brand means a clogged feed. In addition to the growth of content being produced by brands, Instagram is also pushing its ad platform more which means that sponsored posts are favored over native, organic content.

While the recent decline is important to note, Instagram’s visual platform is still favored by many companies, especially those that rely on pictures to inspire and to engage, like the fashion industry. Think that Instagram is only for B2C companies? Here are some b2bcompanies crushing Instagram and maximizing the visual platform to highlight their industry’s strengths.

What can the fashion industry teach other companies about Instagram and visual storytelling?


Rule number 1 of successful social media marketing- be true to your brand.  All images  shared on Instagram should be consistent with the brand voice. A holistic digital strategy does exactly this. It enables users to engage with a brand across all digital touchpoints with a consistent messaging that is woven together. The message is also respectful of the platform’s strength. (putting links in Instagram posts, not in the bio, don’t do much since there is no hyperlinking option).

Pro tip: Consistency of brand voice across all digital and traditional media is critical. If it’s not, then there are bigger issues that need to be discussed.

The most successful brands are conscious of consistency at all time.

Size of brand isn’t the issue. The main focus should be a strong voice with quality images.  Even the smallest of brands can use visuals to tell a great story or highlight their brand position.  I’ve had the unique opportunity to meet the person behind a custom clothing company, who is slowly understanding that visual marketing can only enhance the company’s growth.

The company knows their persona and understands their value proposition in full detail. Now they are integrating that into an Instagram strategy to enable the pictures to sell. Quality without cutting any corners. It speaks to their legacy with a tip of the hat to the startup and entrepreneurial mindset.


Every business is unique. Each brand has great story of how it was founded. The narrative of every company, brand, organization, or startup is unique. Something that distinguishes them from their competition. Instagram is a great platform to share that creativity. It’s a creative expression for brands to encourage user generated content. Let the audience show off how their using the product. Let the consumers share some of their passion.


Every brand has some behind the scenes work. The fashion industry literally invented the backstage access. Going backstage gives customers and fans a sneak peak of what to expect. It’s a build up to the main stage.


Despite the recent decrease, I still believe that Instagram engagement rates are impressive.  Why? Partially because it’s so visual which makes users interested quickly.  Partially because of the simple user interface. On Instagram, like every other digital marketing platform, building community starts,  with knowing your customers.  That should be the easy part. Like Twitter, hashtags make the platform searchable to other  users.


Hashtags let other users search content from other accounts on Instagram. Relevant hashtags, like keywords, yield more impressions since searching hashtags bring more brand attention. While hashtags may be confusing, the reach potential and relevance makes it a very important component to growing an online community.  With hashtags the key is relevance.

Please don’t overdo it.  Hashtagging can easily lead to spamming. That’s a brand killer. See what others are doing and what key # they are using. To learn more about the skill behind creating great hashtags, here’s a post from Buffer on Instagram.

A few tips on quality hashtags:

Branded hashtags – A brands can leverage a unique hashtag for promotion.  It’s like a stamp. Branded hashtags should be used consistently across online and offline platforms to ensure that consumers are seeing it.

Idea hashtags – Here, the hashtags add meaning behind a certain campaign or contest. Specific hashtags – These are the keywords that describe the space or industry. Generic terms like #fashion #mensfashion would fall under this category.

Build the community around the keywords. The investment will pay off.


Why spend all the time trying to generate content? If a product is so good, the user should be sharing and telling the story. User Generated Content (UGC) really can serve two different purposes. Not only does UGC bridge the divide between customers and brands. With strong visuals, the UGC makes the product relatable and consumable. Inspiration is the other side of UGC. We’ve all had that moment where we see something and want it. FOMO?  UGC taps into that psychology.


The most famous question of all digital marketing. The consumer is eager, they want to buy. But on Instagram? Where is the ROI of all the tweeting, posting, and engaging? Some social media marketers have figured it out, despite the limited nature of call to action on Instagram.

Once again, the fashion industry has figured it out.

A few companies are leading the social to sales space including Michael Kors with Like2Buy, allowing users to like products and order directly from Instagram. With a tap of the heart button on Instagram, the product is in your shopping cart.  Finally, an e-commerce solution that makes sense! Another solution is Matches Fashion, which is able to create sales codes based on a users geolocation. Looking to handle revenue on Instagram? Go with Soldsie. The payment processor responds when a customer comments on a picture. With the word Sold, the user can complete a purchase via Instagram.

So there, Instagram is now a sales funnel.

Above all, Instagram is a very powerful tool for brands to deliver a compelling visual story. Like all digital platforms, success depends not only on creativity but consistency. No brand, can see instant success. Invest the time to do Instagram right.