Visual Marketing

Visual Marketing Techniques That’ll Stick Around In 2016

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The New Year has already started. Are you excited? We sure are. While everyone is mulling over what 2016 holds for the design industry, we have a few ideas to pitch in too. Visual marketing will be “in” – no brainer there – but what perhaps you don’t know exactly is which visual content marketing techniques will stick around in 2016.

We are predicting the following visual techniques will only increase in the near future. Use them and stay ahead in the race.

Animated Storytelling

Storytelling has already been a big hit among people in ancient times, and it has gained much popularity over the recent years in branding and marketing. In 2015, it has become talk of the town on social media platforms, and my guess is 2016 will be no different. Three kinds of stories will be conveyed: brand oriented, humanizing and themed.

Brands are increasingly making stories with captivating plots, appealing characters and spot-on 3D or 2D animation. The way to go in the coming year is to keep adding ‘human element’ in marketing because at the end of the day, it’s all about the people. Many brands, such as John Lewis or Sainsbury’s added human element in their well-known advertisements such as Man on the Moon and Mog’s Christmas Calamity, respectively. Such stories leave audiences touched, connected and inspired. Businesses should know how to tell a story for marketing.

This technique won’t stop for the good.

Visualizing Data

People want to ‘see’ data ‘not read’ it. Yes, you got that right. Human brain responds to visuals 90% more than plain words, phrases or numbers. Thus, businesses are progressively employing data visualization techniques to engage their audiences. Now you can disseminate any type of information via infographics presentations, projections etc. This practice has become widespread online in the recent years, and it will only escalate since it’s become a highly cherished way to market businesses in the 21st century.

The target for 2016 is big data and the challenge to represent it visually will keep designers and marketers busy. The accomplishment for the year would be to tackle sets of complex and large data for easy interpretation, storage, searching, and sharing.

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Guerrilla Marketing

For startups, small businesses and large enterprises – guerrilla marketing will remain an interesting unconventional strategy to awe-inspire audiences. This visual technique creates long-lasting interaction and impression.

Each time you go to work using the same route, you will keep using the mirror on a bus stop that makes you look slim. You would also not hesitate, during summers, to grab a soda can entrapped in a melting ice sculpture. Marketers use such techniques to lure customers, and it works.

In 2016, guerrilla marketing will transcend from physical streets to your portable digital screens, such as smart phones. The virtual world will be connected to the real world.

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Themed Microsites

In 2015, responsive web design was the thing; but now this idea has become just another necessity to be honest. Instead, the focus of web designers will steer towards niche marketing, which is to create themed microsites. Fun examples are: the Elf Yourself microsite, and Google’s Santa Tracker. These impactful digital experiences can be enjoyed individually or with family.

This visual technique is an engaging option for companies to market their promotional offers, or to generate leads without being too intrusive. There are countless benefits and we expect it will evolve to become even more sophisticated.


Although rebranding is often frowned upon because there are risks involved in it — changing your identity means that perceptions about you also alter. Brands like Facebook, Lenovo, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks use rebranding as a visual marketing technique to stay in the limelight and rejuvenate their brand identities.

Another way to remain in the news is by transforming your brand identity to befit a theme. For example, many brands will be using Valentine’s Day to rebrand themselves temporarily for publicity.

We’ve got a whole new year with loads of special holidays, universal days, and a lot more coming up. As a startup you could benefit from using this visual technique to boost your brand.



Share a Coke is a perfect example for this. A Coca-Cola bottle with the customer’s name on it. What a brilliant idea to personalize product packaging. Such a visual marketing technique helps businesses outshine from the rest.

The year 2016 is all about customization. You transform your branding stationery and marketing material to individuals’ likings, and you’ll be good to go. Giving priority to people gives you leverage over those brands which only brag about themselves. Personalizing visual marketing on the internet is in fact useful since you can easily use programs like Google Analytics and social media insights to garner data about customers and their viewership patterns.


Visual Tutorials

I am a huge fan of watching tutorials on You Tube. If you are too then, you’ll be happy to know that video viewing platforms have gained much popularity over the years, and the trend will only increase.

People are constantly searching for DIYs, and online videos to learn different mundane tasks or even specialized courses on platforms like DailyMotion, Vimeo, Lynda, and Khan Academy etc.

Seeing the constant rise in new businesses, video tutorials are useful for them in many ways. Also many YouTubers in fact now get paid or are delivered free samples to promote products via tutorials.

This technique will definitely stay. If a product tutorial video receives over 1 million views and thousands of likes then not bad, yeah?


GIFs are all over social media and websites like Vine and Snapchat. This is an interactive way to visually market your business. Marketers use clips from famous movies or other viral videos and attach it to their posts on social media. A very common trick that’s only increasing.

Other than this, multimedia is used as physical installations on buildings and billboards. Ever been to Times Square? It is the place to see multimedia marketing in action. This is a good option for outdoor marketing and will be used even more.

Image Source: Pexels/Jose Francisco Fernandez Saura
Is there anything missing in this list? Share with us.

A visual design blogger passionate about interactive, experiential and captivating techniques designers, marketers and brands use to accentuate messages, tell stories, and spread awareness. I’m a visual addict like Alice, who finds books (or anything) without pictures boring! My writings focus on graphic and web design, branding, and visual marketing. My hobbies are to write poems, draw zentangles, read mysteries, and watch YouTube videos.

2 thoughts on “Visual Marketing Techniques That’ll Stick Around In 2016

  1. I’ve definitely noticed the customization trend grow in 2016. Recently I’ve been hearing about emojis on Pepsi’s bottles, and now characters on Dr. Pepper products. I can only imagine that customization will continue to dominate 2016, and open new doors to marketing. Thanks for sharing these.

    1. Hi Rachel! Yes, customization is the thing these days! Emojis are really setting the trend. Airlines and hotels are using it too, to attract millennial travelers. On the other hand, brands are using custom illustrations like that of Steven Harrington’s characters on Coca Cola cans. I agree with you. Customization is the key.

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