There’s no substitute for high-quality writing. But good visuals also have a big part to play in reaching your content marketing goals.
That’s because the visuals you use have a significant impact on grabbing readers’ attention and keeping them engaged.
Given the importance of visual content today, we’ve decided to put together this resources that help marketers understand the importance of visuals, the types of visual content and when to use them, as well as some helpful tools and inspiring examples.
Let’s jump in…
The Importance of Visual Content
Many are reluctant to produce a lot of visual content because it can take a lot of time and resources. But visuals can be extremely effective at drawing readers in. One study, which analyzed over 30,000 Facebook pages, showed that 87% of user interactions occurred in posts that contained photos. Likewise, on Twitter, tweets that contain pictures or other images get re-tweeted 150% more often than text-only tweets.
Visuals work at increasing engagement online. The reason behind this effectiveness lies in the fact that our brains are better wired to process visual information quickly. But if you’re still not convinced, here are a few more fundamental reasons why you need to create more visual content.
1. Creates Stronger Connections
Visual content allows you to showcase your brand identity more effectively. They can tell the more emotive aspects of your brand’s story like the team behind your product, your offices or your events. And if you can connect with your audience on a more emotional level, they will be much more likely to become loyal customers.
2. Get Shoppers Closer to Buying
Visual content, especially in the form of videos, can be a powerful way to allow shoppers to envision how they can get value from your product and inspire them to buy. Studies show that customers are 85% more likely to purchase after viewing a video on a product.
3. Boost Visibility
Simple changes, like converting lists into infographics, can result in considerable increases in engagement. Having at least one image in your social media posts can result in more than double the number of shares. Your images and videos don’t have to be silly or even funny – a moving or inspirational visual can create just as much engagement.
4. Grab Short Attention Spans
The human eye loves color, so adding it to your posts can be the eye-grabbing hook you need to get users reading more of your content. Visual content can also force you to be more creative and precise when communicating your message so readers will be more likely to read it.
5. Different Strokes for Different Folks
Taking the content, you already have and repurposing it into a series of infographics, charts, graphs, and tables will instantly make your channels more appealing to a broader audience.
Visual content is one of the most potent tools in content marketing. Whether it’s photos, infographics or videos, they’ll help grab readers’ attention and get your message across. If you want to improve your brand stand out in a world of content overload, visuals are your best bet.
So we can agree that visual content matters. But what types of visual content work well, and when?
8 Types of Visual Content That Work
Unsurprisingly, there are many different kinds of visual content. It’s not just stock photos and basic videos we’re talking about here. Infographics, data-driven visuals, quote cards, magazines, how-to videos, live videos, webinars, product demonstrations and many other types of visual content are all worthy of consideration.
These different types of visual content don’t just look different, but they serve different purposes. Let’s look at just a few types of visual content and how their purposes differ.
- 360-Degree Video
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Tools for Creating Great Visual Content
Given the importance of using visuals, you might be wondering, how can I create and use visuals on my site? Fortunately, there are enough free tools out around that virtually anyone can create stunning visual content.
For starters, create a style guide that includes your company colors and logos. Having a style guide will ensure `you have a consistent design format, and will help people recognize content from your brand.
From there, you can use image-creation tools to produce funny, engaging and quirk visual content. If you aren’t familiar with many visual creation tools, here are some tools worth checking out:
Visual Content Mistakes to Avoid
Visual content is a keystone of modern content marketing because images, slideshows, infographics, and videos tend to grab people’s attention more readily than plain text alone. However, you could be making a few visual content mistakes that are undermining your efforts. Therefore, I’ve put together a few things to avoid when publishing visual content.
1. Not Having a Strategy
Without defining goals and having a solid strategy to reach them, it’s impossible to be successful. Visual content is more than just a way to collect shares and likes – it should support your brand’s identity and fit into your company’s overall strategic marketing goals.
2. Taking A “One-Size-Fits-All” Approach
Don’t automatically post a piece of visual content to every platform. Each social platform has its nuances that need to be considered. For example:
- Pinterest is inspirational and aspirational. Images should provide ideas and motivate users to make or buy things.
- Facebook is a place to connect with friends and family. For content marketers, the goal is usually to entertain.
- Instagram is all about capturing moments in a manner that tells your brand’s story.
Keep in mind that the ideal image sizes for each platform may be different as well.
3. Generic Stock Photos
There are too many awesome, high-quality alternatives to be still using generic stock photos.
Hashtags are an integral part of social media marketing, but a little restraint can be a good thing. Don’t #createhashtagsthatarewaytoolong and limit your hashtags to only those that are most relevant. Adding too many can distract readers and dilutes the effectiveness of each tag. According to one study, engagement dropped by 17% when more than two hashtags were used.
5. Reposting Without Permission
One of the trickier points of social-media etiquette is the art of reposting and sharing. If a user posts a photo on Instagram and tags your brand, are they implicitly allowing you to use that photo or do you need to ask permission first?
Shoe retailer Crocs got themselves into trouble recently after a woman posted a photo of her daughter on Instagram and used the hashtag #crocs. Crocs added the photo to a gallery on their website without consent, which left the mom feeling that her privacy had been invaded. So, don’t take chances – it’s always best to ask for permission before sharing your fan’s content.
Creating Visual Content is Only Half the Battle
Visuals are a critical part of successful content, but they are only one aspect of the larger content marketing battle. Targeting, copywriting, distribution, and many other factors all play a role in the success of your content.
Do you need unique content for your business? Constant Content connects you with thousands of professional writers able to create articles, ebooks, product descriptions, and other assets to tell your brand story, drive SEO and win sales.
Good luck with your visual content 😉