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Considering 90% of the information that comes into our brains is visual, it stands to reason that your marketing strategy should reflect that. But what’s the best way to up your reach with visual content marketing? Let’s take a look…
When you’re pulling together a blog post or other marketing material, it's often hard to know how to best illustrate it. Should you stick with stock images, create infographics, source videos, or get some custom illustrations?
Visual marketing — though confusing at times — is essential. Not only do images attract more attention, but studies have found that people are far more likely to retain information three days after reading it if it is paired with a relevant image.
Text-based content will always have its place, but 65% of people are visual learners, and 90% of information that comes to our brain is visual, so it makes sense to have a strong visual content marketing strategy.
What is visual content marketing?
Visual content marketing, in its broadest sense, is anything that appeals to the eye, in support of selling a product, service, or experience.
Things that come under the umbrella of visual marketing include but aren’t limited to: images, video, GIFs, infographics, charts, graphs, screenshots, pull-out quotes, animation, illustration, and embedded presentations.
Why is visual content marketing so important for businesses?
Living in the digital era, it’s more important than ever to make your content pop, as it's competing to be heard over so many others. Being strategic about your visual marketing can give you an extra edge in the online space.
You don’t have to cram every single possible form of visual content into your work, but it’s helpful to be aware of all the different things you can integrate where it fits with your brand’s voice.
How to use visual content marketing to boost your reach
Let’s take a closer look at some of the key types of visual content you should get familiar with.
You’re probably already using images in your strategy — using compelling photos to break up a wall of text will make readers much more likely to continue reading until the end. Thanks to social media and mobile phones, our attention spans are shorter than ever.
So long as the images are contextually relevant and high quality, it’s been reported that articles with images get 94% more views than those without.
Create your images on Canva, or use sites like Unsplash and Pexels for royalty-free photos.
Infographics are a great way to present data in a way that doesn’t seem overwhelming or — let’s face it — boring. To make it effective, you need to ensure you’re using the right fonts and colours that correlate with your brand and your messaging.
You can make small infographics with bite-sized information, or longer ones that can be downloaded by your audience for future reference. This checklist we made of a content marketing strategy is a great example (if we do say so ourselves) of how to include a lot of information without it feeling overwhelming.
Infographics can also double up as Pinterest graphics, which in turn can help grow your audience and bring in new users.
We’ve been hearing it for years: video is the future of visual marketing. Mobile video consumption has increased 17 fold in the last seven years.
There are many different styles of videos you can use to enhance your business: how-to videos, animated explainers, customer testimonials, or even user-generated content from your followers.
As with images, it’s important to make sure the videos you’re creating have a consistent style and tone that matches your voice and online presence.
If you’re writing a tutorial blog post, breaking up the process with screenshots can be a super-helpful visual aid for your audience.
They also serve as an insight into the inner workings of your product or service; you’re really showing people what to expect from you. You can even annotate your screenshots with notes or arrows to draw attention to certain aspects of your service. Or, if you want to make it even easier to explain something to your reader, you could try a video messaging tool like Loom.
You could also include screenshots of customer reviews and testimonials to build trust with the reader. Screenshots sound like a pretty mundane form of visual content, but we promise that they can have a really big impact!
Check out these two blog posts we’ve illustrated with screenshots for inspiration.
Presentations are no longer just for the boardroom –– nowadays you can embed one into any webpage. Using a platform like SlideShare, you can build an eye-catching presentation loaded with information for your consumers.
Similar to infographics, presentations are all about delivering information to your audience in a digestible and aesthetic way. You can incorporate your brand’s colours and fonts, and being able to dedicate each slide to a different topic gives you a lot of free reign.
A well-crafted presentation can be extremely effective at keeping people engaged with your content.
GIFs are just animated photos, so with this one, the options are endless. While your mind might immediately jump to reaction GIFs that are prevalent on Twitter and Facebook, you can actually use GIFs in a professional context as well.
Animated infographics are super easy to make, and a good way to take your visual content up a level. It can be as simple as an animated arrow pointing to your most important info, or cute little moving illustrations to captivate your readers.
A recent study found that posts with featured animated graphics tend to get more social media shares than the ones with no animated visuals, so take this as your sign to jump on board with GIFs!
Pull out quotes
You might be used to seeing pull quotes in magazines and newspapers, but they’re also an effective visual content strategy for blog posts and social graphics.
Most blog platforms allow you to enlarge important quotes that you want your audience to notice, which is a great way to highlight the take-away message for any skim readers out there. You could also make your own images on Canva or Photoshop with your pull quote over a stock photo or solid colour background.
Again, pull-out quotes are an effective way to break up a text-heavy article without having to find relevant images –– which isn’t always easy!
More and more brands are paying influencers to create user-generated content for them, as a way to build trust and grow their audience. As well as reposting your UGCon social media, you can also reuse the content by embedding posts on your website and in newsletters.
By design, these influencer posts are visually appealing and will do a lot more for making your brand seem accessible than any content you create as a faceless company.
Influencers come with a built-in following who already have an established trusting relationship. They’re a valuable resource to tap into as part of your social marketing strategy –– and once you’ve created content together, you can use it across all your mediums.
Need to go back to basics? We’ve built an ultimate guide to help you build your entire content marketing plan, where you can implement all of the visual content ideas we’ve gone through here. Get in touch to see how we can help you build a perfect strategy for your brand or business.