The Future of Visual Search & Pay Per Call

Visual content such as videos and rich images are increasingly valuable to any marketing campaign, including Pay Per Call strategies. Visual content improves the information retention of customers, enabling better brand recall and recognition hours or days after interacting with an ad. In fact, consumers remember only 10% of marketing information three days later when it is auditory. Visuals such as video or image improve recall, with 65% of the information retained three days later when it is visual.

The fastest growing segment of search marketing is visual search. Google, Pinterest, and Bing have all recently announced improvements to visual search on their respective platforms. As it continues to grow, it’s important to get a grasp of visual search as it is today, how it will evolve in the future, and how it can impact your Pay Per Call strategies.

What is Visual Search?

Visual search is an extremely complex sector for marketers to understand. Everyone engages in a form of visual search each day. Consider seeking out car keys in the house in the morning before work. The brain processes a variety of images in the landscape to target one specific item. In computers, visual search is more difficult. Today’s visual search (or image search) uses a customer’s text-based query to find the most relevant visual content (video or image) to showcase in search results.

How Visual Search Impacts Digital Marketing

Visual search is impacting digital marketing, both from the professional side as marketers react and the consumer side as smartphone users alter the nature of online interactions. Regarding the latter, the continued saturation of smartphones in the market means consumers are taking selfies, sharing moments, and showcasing their own fashions. With more images shared online, visual search has become increasingly important.

Marketers and brands are taking notice, now posting more visual content of products, services, and even sharing customer micro-moments. Search engines and algorithms are adapting to take these images and correlate them with user queries and requests.

How Visual Search is Likely to Evolve

While current image searches and video searches use text-based queries to deliver the most relevant visual content, visual searches are set to evolve in the coming years. The end goal for major search engines like Google and Bing is to enable users to effectively search in reverse. This means consumers will actually be able to use their own images to search for similar, relevant visual content rather than using text-based searches.

Pros & Cons of Visual Search

As with everything in the digital world, there are pros and cons to the growth and proliferation of visual search. Here are some of the pros for visual’s growth:

  • Social spread potential: visual content is much more likely to go viral, with consumers more likely to share content they’ve seen and found interesting.
  • Efficient: visual content is far more efficient in sharing a brand message than text-based content.
  • Attracts attention: when visual content, whether an image or a video, is included in marketing content it is more likely to attract a viewer’s attention and generate interaction.

Since nothing is perfect, there are cons to consider as well. The following are some of visual’s cons:

  • Limited flexibility: visual content is hard to remove, edit, and repost without hurting search results
  • Time consuming: generating the initial visual content for visual searches can be time consuming to produce.

Impact on Pay Per Call

The greatest impact visual search will have on Pay Per Call focuses on keywords. As visual search evolves, search engines will begin to rely more on the visual content and less on the text-based keywords consumers use to search with. Pay Per Call marketing must evolve as well to integrate visual content (video and images) that capitalizes on this trend. This will prove particularly important for products as consumers use images to search for products rather than text.

Read More: How to Incorporate Video Content into Pay Per Call Campaigns

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