What are some examples of visual communication

Best practice examples for visual communication

Upcycling used oil, selling smoothies in glass bottles, earning money with pictures and quotes or making science understandable? All of these business ideas and the companies behind them have one thing in common: strong visual communication. So why do some visual languages ​​work and some don't?

Visual communication is not limited to the publication of different visual elements. It can also include a uniform corporate design or a clear product design in combination with cheeky puns.

In the first part of this series of articles I showed why visual communication on the social web is worthwhile. The second part is about what makes the following best practices so special and what can be learned from their visual communication.

Visual communication in the business-to-business area: This is how upcycling used oil catches the eye

Successfully implementing visual communication in the business-to-business area is difficult. Because you often have to deal with complex topics that are not so easy to visualize.

For some, the B2B area seems too uniform, as many companies use the same business stock photos - at least I sometimes have the feeling.

But you can already stand out from the competition with your corporate design, attract attention and at the same time communicate positively and visually.

The area of ​​re-refining used oil and oil-containing liquids as well as the production of oils and lubricants is a challenge for every communicator. After all, the topic repeatedly causes negative headlines in the media and anger among the population.

On the other hand, only constant public awareness work and transparency about what is happening in the company can help. This is exactly what Avista Oil AG in Uetze manages - which is partly due to the visual communication.

The corporate design of Avista Oil AG not only includes the company logo, but also the uniform design of all visual components of the company. The company has thus created an unmistakable appearance that runs through all communication channels and connects all content in the context of visual communication like a red thread.


Avista Oil AG uses the following communication channels for its visual communication:

  • Corporate website: The corporate website of Avista Oil AG is clearly and simply structured - both in the desktop and in the version for mobile devices. The navigation and its navigation points can be found quickly. On the home page you can immediately see what the company is doing and what industry it is. Both the clear visual language and the short teaser texts contribute to this. The specialty of the company - a "cycle concept for the recycling of lubricants" - is explained with the help of a simple animated graphic. By clicking on one of the icons, the reader arrives at a subpage with further information. The choice of color and structure are based on the company's blue and square logo.
  • Newsroom: One area that I particularly like is the pressing area. It is just as clear, simple and clearly structured as the rest of the corporate website. Press contacts and their contact addresses can be found quickly. In addition to an area with the latest news and event announcements, there are links to all social profiles of Avista Oil AG. One content that journalists in particular should be pleased about is the digital press kit, which can be downloaded as a PDF with one click. This contains facts and statements from Avista Oil AG and its managing directors. The use of visual elements in the form of infographics predominates. These are prepared in an appealing way that matches the corporate design and are easy to consume. This makes the corporation stand out from its competition, which relies on old-fashioned press kits with a large amount of text.
  • Social media channels: Both the Facebook page and the Twitter, Xing and LinkedIn profiles implement the corporate design of Avista Oil AG one to one. On the Twitter channel, the company not only shares the latest press releases, but also other topics relating to refining and used oils. The team also documents visits to various events. Avista uses the same content strategy on its Facebook page. In addition, however, loosened up with one or the other competition. On the Xing and LinkedIn profiles, the communicators mainly share business-relevant content.

Avista Oil AG does not shy away from trying out newer visual elements such as videos, applications or a virtual reality tour through the refinery.

The consistent corporate design has several advantages for Avista Oil:

  • With a uniform corporate design, you create targeted brand communication that makes offers credible.
  • The corporate design makes it easier to achieve the desired corporate image. Awareness and increase in value are also supported.
  • Due to its corporate design, Avista Oil has a strong recognition value compared to its competition.
  • The corporate design on which Avista Oil developed communication elements can reduce costs. Because there are no new drafts and time-consuming approval processes are superfluous.

Visual communication in the business-to-consumer area: the visual peculiarities of a juice shop

Provocation runs like a red thread through all communication channels and the product design of True Fruits. Hardly any other company uses targeted provocation like the company from Bonn.

Whether with the hashtag #einhornkotze or #ohnemett: Various bottles of True Fruits triggered viral waves on social media.

Provocative posts and content are the most important part of communication in social networks: the content attracts attention and often a positive response from your own target group - but often also incomprehension among the rest of the public.

But who cares if it works out and you can generate the desired attention with your communication strategy?

In the context of visual communication, True Fruits not only creates visual content for social networks, but also for the real world in the form of poster advertising.

Visual content on the social web

True Fruits is most active on Instagram and Facebook. There they respond publicly and individually to questions and comments from users. They also use the channels with new products, adapted product bottles depending on the season or holiday, original upcycling ideas from the community and, as usual, provoke with cheeky advertising speech.

You don't knit woolly hats like Innocent, but contrast the annoying image of we're all friends of the core target group. Collateral damage is acceptable. The main thing: interaction. “You can't buy them,” says Lecloux. (in an interview with Creditreform magazine)

The fact that you can recognize postings from True Fruits immediately is also due to the product design: Instead of plastic, the company relies on prestigious glass. A product that immediately stands out alongside the plastic alternatives of the competition.

Visual content in the form of billboard advertising

True Fruits grew up with social media marketing. But the company dared to step into real life very quickly. Two new juices with chia seeds were introduced through a Germany-wide poster campaign. With this, true fruits brought its unconventional communication and eye-catching product design from the social web to the streets.

As part of the campaign, up to four campaign motifs adorned billboards in twelve German cities. True Fruits not only relied on the two previous marketing focuses, funny texts on the back of bottles and proactive social media work, but also on puns on posters.

We thought about whether this type of communication is suitable for the public, thought for a moment and realized that we don't care. (Interview with Nicolas Lecloux at Horizon online)

The posters with “sperm congestion”, “oral consumption” and “sperm donor” caused one or the other outcry in the media.

Visual communication from start-ups: Be in the picture and earn money with it

Sayings on pictures: Behind the visual communication of Benedikt Böckenförde, founder and co-managing director of Visual Statements, and his team there is not only a good communication strategy, but a sophisticated business model.

Now come the ones with the sayings on pictures # visualstatements # Beef4Brandspic.twitter.com/xtyeFnWyqQ

- Simone Wieland (@SimoneWieland) May 31, 2017

The company can boast organic reach of over 20 million users in social networks every month. The Viral Brand Network includes brands such as “Wordporn”, “I only hear MiMiMi”, “Favorite person”, “Full-time princess” and many more.

With a rounded 1.8 million fans on their official Facebook page and the 665,000 fans on Instagram, Visual Statements counts between three and five million interactions per month per channel and thus has the most important asset in social media.

In order to continue to guarantee this high interaction rate, first-class content is required. In content production, Visual Statements focuses on authentic content, shareable content, valuable content, engaging content and transferable content.

#Visuals became a #ecommerce shop. And that's the process behind it. ?? # VisualStatements # BEEF4BRANDS # Vollzeitprinzessin # mimimimipic.twitter.com / 5Vlce6zumG

- Julia Thienel (@JuliaThienel) May 31, 2017

Böckenförde and his team soon turned the mere content production model into more: Statement images became statement articles. Visual Statements E-Commerce was born. In order to present and sell relevant articles, the company developed the following process:

  • The brands around visual statements are used to play out different visual formats.
  • For this purpose, constant content and trend research is carried out to identify new content. Relevant visuals are selected and then produced.
  • The finished designs are distributed on the company's own channels. The range and target group control are kept in mind.
  • Suitable content is selected for products and translated into a product design. The finished assortment is placed in the own shop.
  • The products are distributed and advertised via various online and offline distribution channels. The product launch will be communicated on social networks. Additional marketing will be booked if required.

Visual statements in the form of native advertising make the greatest profit with their visual communication. Even if the logos of companies are prominent and clearly recognizable on the pictures, Visual Statements and their cooperation partners achieve great success.

The native advertising strategy works especially when the partners use their core messages in the pictures (meaningfully).

Visual communication in science: With images, knowledge is power

Not only companies from the economy make use of visual storytelling and moving images for their own visual communication. Scientific institutes and associations also deal with the visualization and sharpening of their brand image - above all the Stiftverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft.

As an association, it represents the interests of science vis-à-vis the state and collects money for research and teaching. In order to draw attention to the numerous funding programs and prizes that the association has launched, the association developed a number of formats.

The association uses a wide variety of media to place these on a number of channels. In this way, the topics of the Stifterverband are communicated in an appealing and contemporary manner.

A small selection of media gives an overview of the association's visual communication strategy:

  • Online magazine "Merton": Thematically, Merton is about researchers, teachers, science managers and founders. One explores the question of what constitutes good science and how innovations arise from ideas. The association reaches a broad target group with the online magazine. Visual elements such as photo series, audio and video content complement the editorial offer, which readers can individually adapt for a very personal storytelling format. The Stifterverband combines the usual structure of an online magazine with user-friendly elements.
  • Youtube channel: The Stifterverband publishes interviews on topics from science, society, education and politics on the YouTube channel. The videos are arranged in playlists with related content. The YouTube user can distinguish between topics visually and in terms of content due to the different design. The Stifterverband also consistently uses its corporate design for its YouTube channel and for a uniform video design. This guarantees recognition value and user-friendliness. However, the video material does not remain in just one channel. The employees adapt it to the requirements of other social networks and play it out there.
  • Infographics: The Stifterverband is also represented on Pinterest. Infographics are created for this channel, which are also shared on other channels. This enables the association to present complex content in a graphically appealing manner. The original size of the infographic is stored on Pinterest. Partial aspects are animated as gifs and published on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Different target groups are encouraged to explore the content of the post on other platforms. Due to the versatile application methods, infographics can address different target groups and consumer behavior.
  • 360-degree videos and photos: 360-degree videos and photos are also used by the Stifterverband. The association uses the material obtained in this way to present locations and events, to prepare facts in an appealing way and to convey visual impressions in a different, more modern form. Due to its entertainment value and coolness factor - if it is produced in a high quality - 360-degree content convey dry facts or content in an attractive manner. Popular formats can also serve as an enter or edutainment approach.

Implementation of visual communication: The example companies pay attention to these aspects

Why do visual and multimedia content work so well - also in communication? Because humans are visual beings. Moving images and images attract more attention than pure text contributions. This mundane insight is the basis for visual communication.

All of the above best practices adhere to the following tips when implementing your visual communication:

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  • You have an answer to the "why": Why do you want to communicate visually? What results are expected from using this type of communication?
  • You know your target group: Who do you address your content to? Who do you want to reach with moving images and / or images? What action should the target group take?
  • You introduce formats correctly: The introduction of moving images and images should not be rushed. Studies and data provide information about user behavior and preferences of the respective target group. But the special features of the individual social networks also require attention. Employees who are in direct contact with customers provide information on the consumer behavior of customers.
  • You define suitable topics for the visual preparation: Interviews, reports, infographics or animations: which formats can be developed from (already) existing material?
  • They know how to produce their formats: How can the formats be produced? What quality standards should be used? Where should the formats be published?

Anyone who uses visual communication should use it properly

The best practices already show it: moving images and images are becoming increasingly important not only in social networks. Hardly any company will be able to do without it.

If you want reach and visibility for your content and messages, you have to think about the strategic use and targeted production of visual content.

A well thought-out concept, an individual style and a red thread in terms of content are aspects that should be defined before production begins.

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