In her new book, The Visual Marketing Revolution: 26 Rules to Help Social Media Marketers Connect the Dots, author Stephanie Diamond provides an essential guidebook to the myriad of ways in which visual thinking can enhance your marketing and social media efforts. This book is a masterpiece of ideas and actionable advice that you can put to work immediately to help grow your online reputation and your business.
Lately, a number of online marketing experts have been talking up the idea of adding more visual elements to our communication with customers and other people whom we want to influence. In today’s post-modern world, where we’re all exposed to a fire hose of information every day, it makes sense to use visuals to communicate faster and in a more compelling way than words alone can do. But no one has captured the breadth and potential of this Brave New World as clearly as Stephanie Diamond has in this new book.
To do this topic of visual marketing justice, Diamond must cover an incredible amount of territory. But she does so with great clarity and an intense focus on the essential information you need to know about each visual technique. She then helps to capitalize on what you have learned by recommending action steps to put it into use immediately to enhance your marketing and your brand.
All of this information is presented in a highly digestible format that not only makes for a great read, but also enables you to use it as a resource guide on an ongoing basis. You’ll want to keep The Visual Marketing Revolution within arm’s reach to use as a guidebook as you develop your strategies for communicating with customers and other important stakeholders.
Please click on the mind map above to see an expanded version – including all of the topics covered within each section of the book.
The Visual Marketing Revolution is divided into 4 sections:
Part 1: Rules for social media marketers – This section of the book outlines a set of rules that social media marketers need to be aware of. Diamond points out that visual content isn’t just about communication, but also persuasion. Our content needs to help our customers “to find patterns and make associations with things it already knows,” she explains. Our role as marketers is to “help your audience make (these) connections more quickly” and to help them “‘navigate’ from one idea to another” more effectively. Visuals are key to helping us understand what motivates customers (via detailed personas) and how they approach the online buying process (in non-linear fashion).
In this section of the book, Diamond helps us to develop a broader understanding of content. Most marketers think it consists of discrete elements like e-mail messages, white papers or case histories we create to persuade prospects to buy. She reframes content as essential information elements that help support customers along each step of their process of identifying their needs, selecting and purchasing a product or service – as well as any post-sale support needs. Also, in today’s social era, Diamond points out that content includes not only the artifacts we create to help tell our stories but also what our customers say about us through reviews, ratings and comments.
The bottom line is that content is a key part of your business and mine. “It’s imperative that customers have access to the best content to support them at every phase of the process. If a quick-start guide or diagram isn’t easy to use, the business hears about it. If a business doesn’t offer adequate support on multiple channels, it loses customers to companies that do.”
Part 2: Tools to help you create your visual marketing – This section of The Visual Marketing Revolution is focused on the tools you can use to create great visual content. In it, she discussions essential visual thinking tools such as mind maps and diagrams. It includes a detailed discussion of mind maps and how they can be used to enhance online marketing.
She also explains how to make ideas tangible and understandable via “artifacts” – symbols, pictures, colors, shapes and sizes of elements that help convey the meaning we intend to our target audiences. For example, colors can convey a mood or the importance of an element in a visual diagram. A larger object appears to be more important and worthy of attention than a smaller one. Section 2 also covers using diagrams and presentations to make complex information more understandable to customers.
Part 3: Content to get customer attention – The third section of The Visual Marketing Revolution explains how to add new life to your e-mail campaigns by adding attention-getting visuals such as images to them. Diamond also explores the popularity of infographics, explaining why they are so appealing and some tips to consider before you attempt to create one or commission a graphic artist to create one for you.
In addition, part 3 contains a detailed discussion on how to create effective case histories that contain visual elements. Case histories walk readers through an actual customer’s journey – from the challenges they faced, to the product or service they selected to solve it and the results they were able to achieve. “One of the reasons for creating (them) is to show your target audience that you have the solution they are looking for and the knowledge to accomplish it,” Diamond explains.
This section of the book also talks about how to add the visual elements to your brand advertising to ensure that your company and its products are more memorable to prospective customers.
Part 4: Tactics for social media platforms – In part four of The Visual Marketing Revolution, the author recommends visually-focused approaches you can employ with each of the major media channels, including Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Google+, YouTube and developing mobile apps to enhance communication with your customers.
In closing, The Visual Marketing Revolution is a must-read. Stephanie Diamond has done a masterful job of explaining how to communicate more clearly and compellingly with key stakeholders using visual methods. Kudos to her for cataloging all of these wonderful tools, techniques and strategies in one convenient book.
One caution: Don’t dismiss this as just another marketing book, because it has the word marketing in the title. The Visual Marketing Revolution is for anyone who wants to do a more effective job of sharing ideas visually with the people who they are trying to persuade. If your job is is focused on sales, strategy development or innovation, you too can benefit from this excellent book. Or if you’re simply interested in learning more about the many varieties of visual thinking that can be applied in a business setting, this is a valuable guide.