Twitter’s launch of video sharing service Vine offers an opportunity for B2B marketers to create visually appealing content that can be posted on Twitter and Facebook. In a similar way that Instagram operates for photos, Vine provides a platform for creating and sharing animated GIFs.
However, for a services organisation the use of photo sharing sites can sometimes be a bit of a stretch. Yes we’ve all heard the mantra to “show” not “tell” people about our products and services, but the truth is, this can be difficult in a services environment. Whilst we churn out a lot of printed material, little of it is visually engaging and packaging it in such a way that it can be easily published and shared on social sites can prove difficult.
So what are the options?
If you consider that a post that includes an album or picture receives 120-180% more engagement from fans than a text-based post, the challenge is finding ways to repurpose hefty thought leadership tomes, reports and surveys into a visual snapshot that catches the eye of our target audience and is intriguing enough to make them want to find out more, or inspiring enough they want to share with their own social networks.
Our time-pressed lives, combined with the rise of tablets and smartphones, has led to people becoming increasingly receptive to visual social media.
Infographics have been a great way to break up the data in these reports to present it in a visual, easily digestible and compelling manner. A well designed infographic distils the data into a number of key insights with pictures that tell a story and key quotes abstracted to support the data points. And the added bonus is how easy they are to share. The difficulty is finding people with the talent to produce quality infographics.
I believe animated GIFs can serve a similar purpose in the content marketing arsenal of B2B companies and the launch of Vine supports their creation and promotion.
For marketing purposes I can see them being used:
- To animate the cover images of thought leadership reports, surveys, etc. to promote the full document
- To extract and animate data/charts/images from within reports/surveys/etc. again to promote the full document
- To create quick video clips from events.
- To create teasers for webcasts / thought leadership reports.
- To make staid press releases stand out from the crowd.
- To engage with graduates for recruitment purposes by encouraging user-generated content.
David Rosen has also written about some great ways animated GIFs can be used for corporate communications and Hubspot have covered some uses for marketing. I particularly like the idea of using them as a call-to-action prompt.
Does anyone else have examples/ideas of how these can be used for B2B marketing and communications?