You’ve heard of the term return on investment (ROI) but get ready for ROVI (return on visual investment). As the world continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic, we are all encouraged to limit our contact with others. Gone are the days that we might spend hitting the retail store dressing rooms to find that perfect outfit or picking out the new features of our new car in person. The same goes for college campus visits, homebuyers looking for the perfect house and nursing home tours.

Online sales have increased exponentially in the last several months. However, without the ability to safely tour a college campus or nursing home, try out that new car, or see how that dress really fits, how do you get people to buy your products or services virtually rather than in person?

A strong visual investment – that’s how. The human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than other forms of communication and we remember 80% of what we see. However, it’s not as simple as throwing a few images together. Every good marketing plan requires a good strategy. Here are a few considerations to help you get the best return on your visual investment.

Consider your demographics

Take the time to consider who your ideal clients are and tailor your visual strategies to appeal to them. No one image is going to appeal to everyone, and some may even be off-putting to others. Dove landed in hot water back in 2017 with its racially insensitive imagery and pulled those images completely. Be cautious in picking an image just to have one. Knowing who you want to attract will help you zero in on your best imagery, saving you time and money in visual development.

Mix up professional and organic imagery

This is a perfect time to create stunning images and videos that tell your story in a well-crafted way. This includes updated photos of your facilities and staff. While getting them professionally taken would be best, cell phone cameras have advanced a long way if you need to keep your budget in check. Also, don’t be afraid to use images shared by your staff and clients. Authenticity is important to potential clients. We like seeing people who look like us engaging with your company (which means considering a visual mix that’s diverse in race, gender and age). This helps potential clients see themselves interacting with your brand, too.

Get on board with video

With the many platforms to share video, don’t shy away from this medium. Videos are the perfect way to tell your story, help explain a product or tour a campus. If your clients can’t come to you, this is a great opportunity to go to them. Videos are something you can repurpose again and again. Have a 30-second commercial? Post it on your social media pages. Create longer or shorter versions to tell your story in a different way to appeal to more targeted audiences. For example, during the early days of the pandemic when no visitors were allowed onto the islands, the Faroe Islands offered a live, virtual tour every Wednesday afternoon. Viewers could watch a first-person tour and even control the guide – which direction he/she walked, ran or jumped.

Embrace technology but don’t jump on the bandwagon

There are so many incredible tools out there to help create exciting visual experiences. The expansion of virtual and augmented reality has helped many companies reach their customers while encouraged to stay apart. For example, Warby Parker has an app that lets potential customers try on glasses virtually with their phones.

These kinds of technologies can put your clients right in your locations, touring your campuses and trying out your products. That being said, spend some time investigating a new technology to see if it’s the right fit for your organization, what stage of development it is in, and if you’re comfortable working out unexpected issues.

Crafting a strong marketing plan takes time, research and effort. Ensure you’re getting the most bang for your buck by including strategies to incorporate strong visuals that help tell your story. This will allow you to plan ahead to capture those authentic moments, as well as plan and budget for any other imagery needs you may have. If you’re not sure where to start, Chartwell Agency can help.