Big glass buildings don’t buy software, people do.
-SAP CMO, Jonathan Becher
Savvy B2B tech marketers know that in marketing to companies, you are marketing to individuals. As we’ve said before, visual content is a powerful tool that marketers can use to connect with their audiences, engage the senses, and drive action. CMI’s Victor Gamez writes about how marketers can leverage “glitch aesthetic” (emulating the look and feel of user-generated content) to build trust.
You might find yourself wondering if glitch aesthetic is just a shiny new tool reserved for the cool kids in B2C marketing. We say – absolutely not! The B2B tech marketing world desperately needs more authentic, resonant imagery that captures the experiences, challenges and desires of its audience. Evolved Media thinks using glitch aesthetic, or assuming the visual perspective of that audience, is a great way to do it.
Read on for the full post.
As user-generated content floods the web, more and more brands are cultivating the so-called “glitch aesthetic” as a way to ditch the polish and build trust.
Few would dispute the importance of visual content to brands. But is it possible for a brand to choose images that – by virtue of feeling more authentic – build trust?
One answer lies in user-generated content (UGC). A recent study by Nielsen found that 84% of consumers say they trust people they know over direct advertising, which explains the huge surge in interest among brands in building user-generated content as well as working with influencers who can publish on behalf of brands.
But let’s take it a step further: What if the images your company publishes emulate the look and feel of user-generated content? How would that work and what would it accomplish?
Look and feel of UGC
If there’s a center of gravity for visual UGC, it’s shifting closer and closer to Instagram and Snapchat. These visual platforms surged in popularity three years ago, according to Mary Meeker’s 2014 Internet Trends report.
Instagram has enjoyed faster growth rates than FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest between 2012 and 2014, and has become the most important and most-used social network for U.S. teens, according to the Pew Research Center.
Snapchat is also a powerhouse with an average 100 million daily users, according to Meeker. It has the youngest user base — 45% of Snapchat’s adult users are between the ages of 18 and 24 — of any social channel, as comScore reports.
And yet, too many brands trying to build followings on Instagram and Snapchat forget the aesthetic of these channels. Far from perfectly posed images or elaborate sets, the types of images that work on Instagram and Snapchat feel spontaneous, imperfect, even quirky.
The types of images popular on sites like Instagram often emulate (whether intentionally or not) a style of visual art called glitch art. Guy Merrill, senior art director at Getty Images, describes the glitch aesthetic as being defined by image errors – oversaturated colors, overexposure, lens flares, pixelation, and the like – that are either intentionally made or added in post-production. These images would have been rejected by art directors a decade ago.
Merrill characterizes the aesthetic as a way to bring authenticity to your brand, explaining that errors and imperfections help you stand out in an environment filled with picture-perfect content. “In our increasingly curated world, there’s a pull toward an aesthetic that feels messy and unexpected,” Merrill says.
Master glitch aesthetic and other content creation tactics.