If there’s one thing we’ve learned this fall, it’s that marketers are feeling the heat when it comes to visual marketing.

In a study we released this September with the Internet Marketing Association, we found that roughly half of marketers aren’t just relying on likes and comments to gauge their success on visual channels. They also want to see their efforts reflected in clicks, conversions, traffic and revenue.

Here’s the challenge – 54% of marketers doubt or are unconfident in their ability to measure or report on conversions.


Matt Langie, CMO of Curalate, shared these findings and more in a webinar we conducted with the IMA last month. He noted that the inability to measure or report on conversions is keeping marketers from effectively leveraging images across the entire breadth of their marketing channels. “Just 11% of marketers believe that their team is doing so ‘very effectively.'”

The Grommet is a great example of a brand mastering the art of reporting on clicks and conversions to inform them of the best images to use in ads, emails, social channels and ecommerce pages. Tori Tait, Director of Content & Community at The Grommet, joined Curalate and the IMA on the webinar to share how her team does it. You can view the presentation in its entirety here, but if you’re pressed for time, check out the takeaways below.

A Holistic Marketing Strategy Centered Around Images

Tori explained that visual marketing is the uniting factor in all of The Grommet’s marketing efforts. “From display advertising to developing strong email campaigns to anything we do in social – we rely on data and analytics from our images to influence each of these areas,” she said.


When developing creative for ads, The Grommet team utilizes data from the Curalate platform to determine which photos people are clicking on most within Pinterest. “It’s a signal that people will click on an image, so why not use that image in advertising? Our hypothesis is that these images would perform well in ads, and it’s always proven to be true in our A/B testing. We’ve seen that socially-driven ads result in a 50% higher click-through rate,” Tori said.


The brand is applying the same technique to their Pinterest advertising strategy as they continue to ramp up their spend on the platform. “Why waste money testing ads when we can see exactly what’s popular on Pinterest and use those images first?”


Tori noted that The Grommet’s current email strategy has been in place for some time now due to the success her team has seen with it: “We regularly show images in emails, and reference the fact that it’s the most trending image across social, or the top-shared image from our site. It’s a way to put a spotlight on what everyone else is digging.”


As far as how many images to include in an email, Tori reported that length is not a factor. “As long as we are messaging about interesting products, our subscribers will engage with the email – even if it’s on the longer side.”


In addition to Pinterest, The Grommet also relies on Instagram to gauge the types of photos that are resonating with their audience. In the past, they would just post to Instagram with zero idea of what would compel someone to go from the platform to the site. After integrating Curalate Like2Buy, they’ve started to identify particular themes within their images.


“For example, when we look at our Like2Buy analytics, we can see that when hands are in a photo, it does particularly well vs. a face or a photo of the product itself,” Tori shared.


Visual marketing insights and analytics also work to inform The Grommet’s merchandising team on product decisions. “The data allows us to become more in-tune with what products our customers are interested in at any given time. … We have a clear look at what images are resonating, which then influence our editorial merchandising decisions,” Tori said.


For example, this season, the team is pulling top images from social and using them in their upcoming holiday catalog in addition to re-featuring those products on their gift guide online.

Overcome Challenges in Visual Marketing

The visual marketers of today are facing several barriers to success. The first step to overcoming these roadblocks is understanding the challenges. Download our free market study, “The State of Visual Commerce,” to get started.