Good morning, readers! Today, we’ll explain why it’s so important to include relevant visuals along with your content, will tell you how to avoid creeping out your customers, talk why it’s so important that your sales and marketing teams collaborate across the customer journey, will explain what Facebook’s Q3 earnings mean for marketers and martech and will give B2B marketers a few ideas for helping get into the holiday spirit.

Visual content pays dividends

Certainly, it’s a little more difficult (and potentially expensive) to find the perfect image to accompany your Facebook post or to develop an infographic to get your point across. But the payoff is worth the hard work, according to Sanjay Sarathy in Martech Series. In his piece, Sanjay asserts that visual content has moved from the “nice-to-have” column squarely into the “mission-critical” arena, quoting research that proves higher customer engagement, shares and retention of visual content over written content.

Does that mean we should slap a photo onto every Facebook post and call it a day? No way. Sanjay suggests allowing your images to help tell your story, and focusing on the positive aspects in particular. Memes are a particularly good way to quickly inject meaning (and a bit of humor) into a big block of text, so don’t shy away from using them. And if you can’t find a meme that works for your situation, don’t be afraid to make your own meme based on a current or classic meme. Check out all of Sanjay’s tips for making the most of your visual content.

Don’t be creepy

Creepy. It’s one of those things that can be hard to define up front, but we all definitely know it when we see it–and when it comes to personalization, we DEFINITELY want to avoid it. And with the use of artificial intelligence and the availability of massive amounts of consumer data at an all-time high, the risk of brands and marketers moving from “caring” to “creepy” is a real one. But according to Robin Kurzer covering the InMoments 2018 CX Trends Report for MarTech, there are a few things that we can to do stay on the right side of personalization.

For one thing, avoid using information that a consumer didn’t provide you directly or that involves other people in their social networks. And if your AI knows that the customer’s husband made a purchase with the company a month ago, it’s in your best interest to keep that information under wraps, as that would increase the creepiness factor exponentially. Read all of Robin’s insights for not creeping out your customers.

What Facebook’s earnings mean for martech

Facebook just released its third-quarter earnings reports, bringing in a cool $13.7 billion. But what’s more interesting for those of us in the martech space is what Mark Zuckerberg talked about during his investor update; specifically, according to Kimberly Collins in ClickZ, Zuckerberg discussed Facebook’s shift away from the News Feed and toward Stories and messaging, as he sees Stories and private conversations as the platform’s future.

What does this mean for the marketers and advertisers who are responsible for almost all of that $13.7 billion in revenue? For one thing, it means figuring out new ad platforms. People now share more than 1 billion stories a day, and the way you effectively reach them within a story is completely different than the way you connect with them in a News Feed. The marketers who will do well during this transition time will be those who can capitalize on a way to connect with consumers during private, personal interactions. Check out what else Kimberly had to say about the topic.

B2B promotion and the holidays

There’s no doubt that when it comes to the holidays, B2C marketers have A LOT more leeway than our B2B counterparts; after all, there are certain industries (we’re looking at you, financial services and health care) that are expected to maintain a “professional” tone in their marketing at all times, regardless of the season. But according to Kara Widdison in Business2Community, there is a way for some B2B companies to strike the appropriate balance, tying into the spirit of a holiday to create an emotional connection with your customers.

For example, Kara shares a ZoomInfo infographic titled “Six Things to be Thankful For — Marketing Edition.” While the infographic stats cover relevant marketing topics, like the fact that “video on social media generates 1,200% more shares than text and images combined,” the visuals for the piece are definitely Thanksgiving-themed with turkeys, autumn colors and fall leaves throughout. Clearly, with a little creative thinking, your B2B business may be able to come up with a similarly clever promotion? Check out all of Kara’s examples for inspiration.