As the digital realm gets overcrowded, marketing experts are always on the lookout to find the best way to market businesses. And one trend that proved to be immensely effective among the audience is visual content. About 40% of marketers maintain that 51-80% of businesses will rely on visual content in 2021 (source: Stratgrow). 

If you are yet to leverage visual search marketing, we are here to explore more about it. From Google to Pinterest and Amazon – the industry leaders are using it for enhanced outcomes. Before getting to the strategies, let us quickly find out what visual search is and why do the experts of digital marketing services hold it in great esteem. 

What is Visual Search? 

Visual search is an AI technology that enables users to search with images, instead of words. This is different from image search where the user types a text-based query into the search bar and clicks on the Images tab. Then they scroll through the pictures to find the best match.

On the contrary, a visual search starts with an image. The users can take an image of the product they want to look for. Then search with this image to find similar results.

The Use of Visual Search Works 

Visual search has a specific type. Not all types of searches are ideal for visual search. For instance, the best business consultancy to seek help from, nearest medicine shop, right vocational course to enrol in – these types of searches are better saved for traditional type-based searches. However, you can capture the image of a product that your friend has, take a screenshot of a picture of a luxury resort you found on Facebook, and search online for similar results. These are ideal for visual searches. 

Google has a visual search capability called Google Lens. Pinterest also has a visual search feature which is no brainstormer since it is a visual-only platform. Leading eCommerce websites like Amazon also has a similar feature that enables people to find out products with a simple visual search. In fact, these days, reputed eCommerce website development companies suggest integrating visual search into an online store in order to enhance the shoppers’ convenience.  

Visual Search in Marketing 

Visual search has brought a transformation in digital experience. Accenture finds that about 69% of the young shoppers prefer to shop on the basis of visual-oriented searches. Not only shopping, but technology has also caused a stir among the millennials in every sphere. 

Here’s how you can leverage the power of visual search in marketing. 

  • Impact on SEO 

The advent of visual search has been received with great enthusiasm by the experts of SEO services. Visual search helps marketers make the most of their efforts. 

The technology works on the principle of deep tagging – an image-to-text feature that tags an image automatically and makes them more interpretable for the search engines. It creates rich tags for an image within seconds. 

Earlier, search engines couldn’t decipher what appeared in an image and relied on people to create tags for each image. With it, a problem occurred since different people can write different tags for a specific image. Further, the time and effort in manual tagging often overwhelmed some marketers and they ended up tagging the important ones while discarding the ones that need an elaborate tag. 

Thanks to the power of visual search, the images are SEO-ready and can be interpreted by the search engines. It helps in crawling the images and indexing them for the customers to find them out easily. 

  • Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is an ‘in’ thing these days. People believe their favourite influencers over the reviews you publish on your online portal. 

Visual search can greatly impact how you market your product through influencers. Usually, the influencers post a specific item they are using and ask the users to buy that item from the retailer. With visual search, they can ask the users to buy more items from the retailers. 

Visual search will allow people to find similar options and open a wider scope for buying. Suppose, the influencer you have hired for promoting your apparel store is wearing blue jeans. With visual search marketing, you may feature multiple jeans of different colours and styles available in your store. 

Going Beyond the Text 

Marketing is all about expanding the opportunities for a business to reach more people and alluring them to convert. Visual search marketing allows the marketers to reach the audience with yet another revenue. 

The marketing effort is no longer limited to text-based search and extends to image-based search. While this saves time for the user, it brings them closer to the conversion funnel. Let us tell you how. 

Suppose a user has seen a specific type of chair somewhere and wants the same for his home. As he searches with the phrase “chair”, lots of results will appear and he may feel overwhelmed. He will have to scroll through the list, as long as he has the patience. There are three possibilities: 

  1. I) He will find the specific chair and shop
  2. II) He will not find it and settle for a different type of chair

III) He will not purchase a chair if he fails to come across that specific type of chair

Visual search gives a break from all these and streamlines a process. The user can simply capture a picture of the chair and look for it. The websites, that have optimized their images for visual search, will appear in the results and prompt them to buy the one instantly. 

How to Optimize Images for Visual Search 

  • Name the images and optimize them with alt-tags

While visual search technology relies on deep tagging, it’s important to get your SEO fundamentals right. Pay attention to using the target keyword in the image. 

  • Submit the images to XML image sitemaps

It will ensure that the search engine crawlers can access the images and feature them on the search results. Make sure that the images are clutter-free and clearly displayed so as to allow the visual search AI to process them. 

Way Forward

Visual search will produce a great impact on marketing and the future holds a wide opportunity for it to expand. From a greater range of similar results suggestions to enhanced accessibility – visual search is facilitating a transformation in the digital realm. 

Got a thought? We will be happy to hear.