Think back to your school days. You probably remember hearing about the various differences between visual, auditory and process-based learners. These distinctions weren’t meant to be absolute, but they did effectively separate kids into distinct camps. Teachers still devote plenty of resources to catering to the needs of each group.
If Vine and Instagram — two engaging, relatively new apps with incredible potential — are any indication, the visual learners are winning big in the “real world.” Both pieces of software have already proven their worth for business owners who need to keep their audiences engaged throughout the sales process. Both are excellent at engaging casual Web consumers, building solid sales leads, and maintaining top-of-mind connections that turn into lasting business relationships.
Under the direction of respective corporate overlords Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and Vine let users upload and share visual media using mobile devices or plugged-in external hardware. Through their social networking parents, both allow users to disseminate these uploads to extended networks of friends, family members, acquaintances, clients and business contacts.
These similarities aside, Instagram and Vine have each carved out their own niches in the often confusing digital media landscape. As Twitter’s video-sharing subsidiary, it’s only fitting that Vine caps each shared video’s length at six seconds. Meanwhile, Instagram lets users upload and digitally enhance reams of photos as well as 15-second video clips. While its capacity for longer videos would seem to give it an edge on Vine, many marketers and business owners have fallen in love with the “short and sweet” quality of Vine’s six-second clips.
Instagram and Vine have young, media-savvy, rapidly growing user bases that respond well to engaging, innovative content. These avid information consumers tend to be well-educated and financially stable. Some may own small businesses of their own and naturally gravitate towards like-minded entrepreneurs who know how to use visual media to forge client relationships. You’d be wrong to assume that these apps are just for B2C companies; they have massive B2B potential as well.
No matter what your company does, chances are good that it has plenty of appealing visual content to share with the world. If you own a sporting goods store, use Vine to broadcast quick product demonstrations for new lines of equipment. If you’re in the restaurant business, post tastefully altered shots of brand-new menu items on Instagram. As a B2B proprietor, you can use either service to make lasting visual impressions that differentiate your products from the competition. Current and prospective clients will love clips that demonstrate the superior tensile strength of your particular brand of wire or use decibel meters to indicate just how loud your customized car stereo systems can get.
These efforts can reinforce your brand’s strengths at every stage of the sales process. Catchy demonstrations like the “decibel test” might be great for catching Web users’ attention. Mouth-watering shots of your latest culinary creations could be good enough to get diners to try your place for the first time. Demonstrating the strength of your metal products might encourage interested business clients to engage with your sales staff.
Regardless of how you use them, Vine and Instagram are fabulous top-of-mind marketing tools. Make it your goal to build an extensive and ever-changing library of visual content that broadly appeals to current customers, prospects and casual Web users alike. Many folks are “secret” visual learners who are apt to remember a catchy video clip or stylized photo for far longer than a visually unappealing block of text. As you begin to see the fruits of your visual media campaign, you’ll be glad that you remembered this particular schoolhouse lesson.