It is a fact that humans are visual creatures, with statistics showing that people are able to recall up to 65 percent of the visual content they see almost three days later. This should be a wake-up call to marketers and brands everywhere that visuals are incredibly important to digital marketing, especially for visual search. 

Visual search is imperative to almost every phase of the customer journey, especially during the product and brand discovery phases, when consumers are learning about your brand and whether or not they want to interact with you. When you are creating a digital marketing strategy keeping this in mind is important. Below we look at how visual search will change the way you market to your consumers. 

 

Expectations Are Raised

 

We have already spoken about how to optimise for visual search, but today we will be discussing what this means for your marketing. Visual search often means that digital expectations are raised, especially in terms of the experiences that consumers have with your brand.

 A memorable experience is now expected from brands, and optimising for visual search is a part of this. Website visitors expect to be able to find your product using images, and many consumers prefer to make purchases based on visual-oriented searches. This allows consumers to find what they are looking for much faster than text-based searches. For online retailers, this means that having product images is a necessity, not an option. 

 

Spot New Trends

 

Visual search is not only beneficial for consumers but for brands as well. You can perform social listening, which is the process of monitoring social media platforms to find out what consumers are saying about your brand. In terms of visual search, you can search social media feeds for images of your brand logos. 

You can use this information to understand moments of consumption, or the sentiments of those who are using your products. For example, Starbucks performed visual social listening on Instagram and found numerous images of dogs enjoying “puppucinos”, or dog-friendly whipped-cream filled cups from their outlets. This led to a new trend and a new digital marketing strategy for the brand. 

 

Always Adding Alt-Text

 

Visual search is about more than having beautiful images on your product pages or websites. You also need to take SEO (search engine optimisation) and site readers into account. This means that all images on your website and products pages need to have alt-text tags, or clear and relevant descriptions. 

You may have to manually input these alt-text tags or you could implement a simpler process of entering this data when uploading product images. Whichever way you choose to add this information, it will need to be done in order for your site to be visual search ready. Your images will be optimised, increasing your SEO ranking and boosting your online visibility. You will also be optimised for site readers, which is becoming a necessity in today’s world. 

 

Personalised Recommendations

 

It is a well-known fact by now that consumers expect personalisation from brands, and visual search can help when it comes to recommendations and suggestions for online shoppers. When people are searching for products that they want, it is often easier to search via matching images than by text search alone. 

Using data and combining this with visual search, retailers can now personalise recommendations based off of the pattern a consumer chooses the most, the colours they prefer, and even the brands they purchase the most. This personalisation will help to drive more sales and could even encourage once-off buyers to become return customers. 

 

Get Appy

 

Almost every consumer enjoys a new and exciting app, and you can use this to your advantage while also making the most of the popularity of visual search. One platform that has implemented his with huge success is Pinterest. 

This popular image-sharing platform has recently released an app that allows consumers to “use the camera in your Pinterest app to discover ideas inspired by objects you see out in the real world” Essentially, users can search via image, without the need to type in any text into the search bar. More brands will need to innovate like this in order to reach their consumers and provide them with a positive experience. 

 

Visualise The Future

 

Visual search is not simply a passing phase but is the next step in search capabilities. It will change the way many businesses and brands marketing, especially if you are an online retailer or have an e-commerce website.

Expectations will be raised and new trends will emerge, as well as new technologies to enhance visual search. If you are interested in an innovative marketing strategy to keep you ahead of the competition, contact NetMechanic today to find out how we can help you.