What do Jamie Oliver and Barrack Obama’s marketing have in common?

They both understand the power of imagery.

I’ll admit it, the similarities probably don’t run much deeper than that, but they’ve both rather successfully used powerful imagery to engage with their fans and followers online.

We’ve talked about Obama’s marketing skills in a previous post, but he clearly ‘gets it’ (or at least his marketing team do). To break news of his re-election as US President, they tweeted a (now famous) image of him hugging his wife with the words ‘Four more years’. Within 12 hours of the image being posted, it had been retweeted nearly 700,000 times!

Jamie Oliver, the “celebrity chef”, also ‘gets it’. With over 412,000 followers on Instagram, according to marketer Jeff Bullas, he ‘doesn’t miss the on-going opportunities to market his personal brand, cooking shows and publications with visual online sharing’.

We’ve all heard the saying a picture paints a thousand words and it seems that the saying is no less true in the internet era than it was when it was first coined.

The growth of sites and services like Pinterest and Vine that rely on the more visual aspect of our senses has been exponential – Pinterest recently celebrated hitting 48 million users, and infant in comparison Vine, now boasts 1 million registered users.

Need more convincing?

A recent survey by ROI Research found that 44 per cent of respondents were more likely to engage with brands if they used pictures – more than any other means of connection. This is an immensely powerful stat that marketers should consider when crafting campaigns.

In addition, according to a study by Science Blogs, the difference between memory for pictures and words is that ‘pictures are correctly recalled about 1.5 times as often as printed words’. Again, potentially very powerful for marketers.

Such statistics clearly point to the fact that marketers should be investing in powerful imagery in their social media marketing.

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