Picture marketing is a strong trend that has been seen on social media for several years. Indeed, whether on a personal basis or for companies and brands, the image is essential content because it is quickly identifiable by Internet users and is easily shareable. In a digital environment saturated with information, it is therefore essential today more than ever to think about an image strategy during any social media approach, which is why I propose this focus on picture marketing …

How to define the marketing picture?

Picture marketing can be defined as a set of image promotion techniques on social media, aimed at highlighting a product, a service, a company or a brand, in order to meet many marketing objectives such as Generate brand engagement, promote content sharing or develop e-reputation.

Picture marketing can also be strategic vis-a-vis the ambassadors of a brand. Indeed, as brands manage to detect their ambassadors, it is possible to take advantage of the weight of their social influence to relay visual content specially designed for the web, or in a collaborative and participative logic, to offer the community to take a picture of the products or to design them.

This trend is developing at two levels on the web:

On the one hand, the integration and valuation of increasingly strong in recent years of the image in the giants of social networks such as FacebookTwitterGoogle+ or Linkedin. This seems logical to the extent that the majority of the studies conducted in 2018 converge and claim that images are the content that is best shared on these platforms.

On the other hand, the emergence of social networks specialized in sharing images such as InstagramPinterestTumblr or Snapchat, which communicate on vertiginous numbers (number of users, content sharing by millions, etc.).

The image at the heart of the strategies of the main current social networks


To provide context and key dates, Mark Zuckerberg presented the new format of profiles and pages (the Timeline) at the Facebook f8 Conference in San Francisco on September 22, 2011. This new type of profile made available on March 30, 2012, on corporate pages, proposed to put more pictures in the manner of a biography. well everyone noticed, it’s not transcendent information. At the end of July 2012, Facebook announced the imminent implementation of a modernization of the “Photos” space for a mosaic layout. the report is clear, Facebook has understood the value of sharing photos and continues to make great efforts at this level to improve the user experience on its web and mobile platforms. But the most striking example of Facebook’s interest in the image was on April 9, 2012, when he bought Instagram for a small billion.

350 million photos are uploaded every day on Facebook 

Google+ and Twitter: Challengers remaining in the race

As a late entry into the social media market and after the failure of Google Buzz, Google+, is available to the public since September 20, 2011. Since its inception, Google+ has a look and feel very nice and visual, the photos clearly take precedence over the text, as evidenced by the popularity of sharing the same on this social network.

215 million photos are uploaded every day on Google+

 On the Twitter side, to demonstrate the importance that the image now has in its development strategy, Twitter integrated into the summer of 2012 content extracts (text and visual) when sharing blog articles on its website social network: Twitters Cards.

As proof of the effectiveness of the brands, a recent study showed that tweets containing an image were 5 times more engaging than tweets containing only text.

Pinterest: An Outsider who tries to come out

Pinterest is the social network sharing images that made a lot of people talk about it on the web in 2012. Launched in 2010 by Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp, and Ben Silbermann, he soon met with great success in the United States, was ranked among the top 50 best websites of 2011 according to Time magazine, but remained unknown in Europe until the beginning of the first quarter of 2012. Some brands had fun using Pinterest subtly as part of a communication operation digitalis.

Specialized community applications booming

First, there is Instagram (mobile app launched in October 2010 on iPhone) that allows you to add filters to give a genre (confess it …) amateur professional photographer and share it all to the community.

55 million photos are shared every day on Instagram

 But more recently other social platforms making picture marketing are also a great success, as evidenced by the media buzz about Snapchat (founded in 2011). The application for sharing photos and ephemeral videos (10 seconds maximum per shot) founded by Evan Spiegel, would cheesy Facebook today, especially with teenagers (12-17 years) who share more photos on Snapchat (50 to 80 per day according to a study) than on Facebook.

400 million photos are shared every day on Snapchat

 “A picture is worth a thousand words,” said Confucius, this expression makes sense on social media. Indeed, as the web bursts, astronomical amounts of date, and brands seek to differentiate and capture the attention of their audience, the image is more engaging than plain text.

Sharing photos is a committing act for users of social networks ...

If users are fond of images, it is above all for the speed of understanding and memorization in the visual messages delivered, unlike raw text messages. This phenomenon is not new, that’s why the 4 x 3 display is still used by brands in their media strategy. The photo fascinates, attracts attention and thanks to social networks, it relays easily.

 To demonstrate user engagement on Facebook, a Graph Insider survey conducted in 2012 found that the image is 2.5 times more engaging than the status updates and more recent figures from an Edgerank Checker study confirm that photo sharing is more engaging (0.25%) than other types of Facebook posts. Proof again that photography plays a central role for the Mountain View firm.

And is also a source of value for companies

When a company or brand decides to get started on the web, with a site and social media, it is important to think ahead of a picture marketing strategy consistent with that of other communication channels. Indeed, picture marketing can create value for companies and meet many objectives when it is well integrated into the brand content strategy, for example:

  • create commitment and affinity for the brand
  • create sharing and vitality
  • to develop notoriety, e-reputation

For example, the info-graphic is a perfect match for a picture marketing strategy.

How to consider the futur?

In this early 2020 (already well underway) the image is still the heart of all attention. Both among Internet users / mobile users who share more photos every day on social media, more broadly on the web or on mobile applications, than brands that continue their quest to produce original and quality content.

With the emergence of smartphones since 2007 (arrival of the iPhone on the market), the technological prowess of photosensors integrated into smartphones are impressive and the growth in 3-digit mobile social applications, there is very little chance that the curve of the number of photos sharing on the internet will ever be reversed.

 The future outlook seems to go in this direction, with photo content (and videos) increasingly present in our daily lives and an increasing acceptance of the uses that are made of it, because the phenomenon is democratized.

And you, what do you think of picture marketing? Can we go towards a saturation of photo sharing?