9 Visual Content Predictions from Marketers for 2017

"37% of marketers said visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business, second only to blogging (38%)" (Source). With so many mediums, it can be difficult to know how to choose the type of visual content for different situations. We asked 9 top marketers in their space to give us their predictions on what visual content strategies will be successful in 2017. Here’s what we learned.

Kara Banosian | Director, CES Corporate Marketing - LogMeIn

"Whenever you talk about content development – the key to success, is first defining what success looks like for your organization. At LogMeIn we define success of our content as not only being able to grab attention of our audience, but also to get them to engage with us. Breaking through the noise is one of the most challenging aspects for content development so understanding your audience, knowing the content that will resonate / create an emotional response, and delivering that content in a way that aligns with how your audience consumes information is the best way to ensure it doesn’t get lost in the chatter.

We are also starting to shift our focus to develop content that can be used multiple times across a variety of channels. For example, a traditional customer write-up can be cut up and featured in social ads, blog posts, infographics and animated videos pulling out key messages, creating more snackable content, and increasing the odds that it is being seen by our target audience across channels.

Ultimately, though, there is no, one right way to reach customers. The content they want to see and how they want to consume it is always changing, so we are taking the approach of figuring out how one asset can have a greater reach and not only hit our target audience, but get them to engage."

Mike Proulx | Chief Digital Officer - Hill Holliday

"Most content today is (or should be) visual content, especially in mobile/social media spaces where "feed proofing" by capturing attention, visually, is a necessity at this point. The next frontier in 2017 is actually audio. Two-thirds of Snapchat users have their sound on by default and Facebook is currently testing videos with audio automatically playing (versus click-to-play). This means that sound becomes yet another tool to combat the speed of your audiences thumbs to simply click or scroll past your content, unnoticed. So, then, how will you design your content for both a mobile visual AND audio-centric audience?"

Paul Casinelli | Senior Director, Product Marketing - Brightcove

"Content is king, and video is the preferred type of content. In 2017, marketers should expect to extend their video strategies to all the new places their audiences are watching. Many have been able to get by with a few website videos alone, but in 2017 video strategies should include video in much richer website experiences, mobile applications, social networks and connected TVs. Get your audience the content they want in all the places they are consuming it."

Gannon O'Reilly | Head of Regional Marketing - FARO Technologies

“Creating compelling and digestible content, that your audience actually wants to consume, is challenging. It becomes much easier if you focus on creating content that tells your story in the most visually effective way possible. There are many different tactics to execute this – but you need to ensure it is part of your strategic plan. In today’s crowded and noisy market, you must relentlessly fight to keep the attention of your audience.”

Samantha Madden | Account Based Marketing Manager - Crimson Hexagon

"In 2017 I think we'll see further proliferation of combining core visual content types with interactivity and personalization. Buyers are inundated with content making it a challenge to attract and keep their attention. To solve this, us marketers need to create personalized visuals that capture their attention and add a layer of interactivity in order to keep them engaged."

Heidi Gilmore | Senior Director, Marketing Communications - CloudBees

"I think the visual content strategies that will be important in 2017 and beyond are those that entertain, inform and engage. It's no longer enough to have a catchy slogan with your logo slapped on a banner ad. Buyers today get hit from all angles. To cut through all the noise, you need content that attracts in either a humorous or visually elegant way. Once you have their attention, make sure you have a clear, simple message and a way for them to learn more."

Taylor Loren | Content Marketing Manager - Later (LinkedIn Top Voice 2016)

"Instagram Stories is going to be a huge success for brands in 2017, as their active user base is rapidly growing and shifting focus from Snapchat back to Instagram. Brands can be more creative and authentic on Instagram Stories, and it will be an effective marketing tool for brand awareness and customer retention this year."

Kate Talbot | Contributor, Author, Speaker - Social Media Examiner

"The visual content strategies that will succeed in 2017 will focus on authentic, ephemeral videos. As platforms such as Snapchat, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Messenger Day are based on daily stories with disappearing content, brand strategies should focus on videos and images that highlight their products, thought leadership and brand awareness all through in-the-moment storytelling."

Sarah Bricker | Communications Specialist, Social Media Manager - Starkey Hearing Technologies

"For some brands, Instagram Story Ads will open a whole new realm for content designed to reach both younger audiences and those who are transitioning out from Facebook. For others, Facebook video is going to be key. Video content consumption is rising quickly, and as consumer attention spans shorten, and loyalty becomes harder to earn and keep, marketers will have to step up their game. And for some that means tackling 360 and VR formats, but for most, I believe it's going to be more about making fast, emotive, easy-to-consume, highly original content.

The brand who does this first before his or her competitors, is going to have the upper hand in the marketplace. In short, no matter the industry, video content is what 2017 is going to be all about. And the challenge for everyone is simple - making videos people actually want to watch for more than 3 seconds."

We would like to thank everyone that contributed to this blog post. Each marketer shared valuable information that shows us how important visual content is in a successful content strategy. 2017 is off to a quick start. It will be exciting to see which companies break through the noise and make an impact with their content.

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