In our modern digital world, the age-old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” still rings truer than ever — especially when it comes to marketing.
Visuals connect with us, captivate us, and show us experiences we then decide we want. In fact, we make decisions like where to go, what to eat, and which brands to engage with, based on the visuals we encounter every day.
That’s why the brands that are staying relevant today are the ones that taking ahold of the power of visual content, as visual influencers.
Let’s take a look at three visual influencer brands to see how they’re using visuals to dominate their industries and attract customers.
1. Breather: Letting Your Visuals do the Talking
Breather provides a library of office spaces in the city, where teams can find spaces for off-site activities like brainstorming, strategy sessions, product sprints, and team building. They’re known off-the-record as the “Airbnb” of workspaces.
The whole experience of browsing and looking for a workspace to rent is 100% visually driven.
Breather understands that people make purchasing decisions based on what they see, so they lets their visuals do the talking. Beyond the price and the address, people click on the workspaces they think look good.
In fact, 63% of consumers say that good images are more important than product descriptions.
Spotlight: Breather’s Video Stories
Some companies write their case studies as blogs, some as whitepapers, and some as interviews.
As a visual influencer, Breather does them visually. Each case study, which they more accurately name “story,” is told in the form of a beautifully filmed, personally-narrated video.The video stories feature one entrepreneur in a different urban city, their personal journey, and how using Breather’s spaces has helped them grow their business.
2. Destination British Columbia: Curating Visual UGC as a Brand Authority
Destination BC is the official destination marketing organization (DMO) of the province of British Columbia in Canada. Their main goal is to attract tourists and promote BC as an irresistible travel destination.
There are thousands of photos being taken in British Columbia every single day, and shared to social channels like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
So Destination BC curates the cream of the crop, and showcase them on their website and social channels, to provide an authentic lens into what British Columbia can offer.
Destination BC is there to sift through the thousands of visuals to find the ones that can show what a traveler experience can look like. In this way, they’ve positioned themselves as the number one source of information travelers turn to to see the best authentic and aspirational photos of British Columbia, as a visual influencer.
Visual Marketing Spotlight: BC Explorer
52% of people use social media to plan their vacations, especially on Instagram, where it’s easy to visually explore what a location has to offer through what other travelers are doing.
A traveler can scroll through images as they would on Instagram, and anytime something catches their eye, they can find more information about that location or attraction, and add it to their trip planner.
It’s a visually-driven process that takes advantage of word-of-mouth referral from UGC and visual decision making.
3. Wealthsimple: Defining a Distinct Visual Brand to Connect with Your Target Audience
Wealthsimple is a digital investment manager — the average Joe can deposit their money with WealthSimple, who create a financial portfolio for you to grow your investment. They aptly call it “investing on autopilot”.
Traditionally when someone wanted to invest their money, they’d do it through a bank. But many banks have an austere, grandiose feel about them; so for investing newbies, they’re not the most approachable.
When Wealthsimple came into the game, they made a striking first impression, through their distinctive visual branding. Their website is modern, streamlined, and dynamic — a breath of fresh air from the typical drab corporate site. With animated graphics like rolling coins, slides, and slots, all over the screen, they present a “gamified” approach to financial investment — a topic that’s never been associated with “fun”.
Through their visuals, Wealthsimple embodies a stress-free experience that they’re offering customers.
Visual Marketing Spotlight: Wealthsimple’s Super Bowl Ad
This past February Wealthsimple dished out the money to buy a spot for a Superbowl ad in Canada. This is what they did with it:
One millennial is bombarded from all directions with financial advice that he doesn’t know how to process. He’s pictured hilariously dazed, overwhelmed, and literally starts running from his problems. By all accounts, it feels more like a comedy movie trailer than an ad.
Wealthsimple has visually recreated the situation their target audience can immediately relate to — from the confusion about finance manifested in the actor’s bewildered expression, to the feeling of wanting to run away from it all — and turned it into something anyone can laugh at. They make finance fun and approachable through their visuals.
Wealthsimple pays attention to its branding because they know that while “looks aren’t everything,” there’s money in using visual influence to connect with your target market.
Connect with your audience better as a visual influencer
In the age of visual decision making, it’s the brands that are taking advantage of visuals that are staying at the top, and continuously inspiring new customers.
Today, modern brands need to evolve into visual influencers, because the modern consumer is a visual decision maker. Speak with visuals, and you’ll be heard.
Featured image: Beyond the Hedge