When we hear the term “content,” we usually think words. But content marketing is much more than that. Visual content, in fact, is one of the most powerful tools for increasing engagement, shares, responses, and more.
What are some easy ways to incorporate visual content into your marketing efforts?
Here are five types of visual content marketing that go beyond simple text!
You know the old saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Well, it’s true, especially in the world of content. Statistics show that 93 percent of communication is nonverbal and that people process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. That’s why it makes sense to use pictures in your content marketing strategy. From clip art to photography to illustrations to screenshots, attractive images add punch and power to your content.
When it comes to using images in your content marketing, here are the top tips to follow:
- DO invest in high-quality, professional images.
- DO use images that illustrate and enhance your message.
- DON’T pick overly-flashy images that distract readers from your main point.
- DO use images to break up text.
- DON’T forget to include an “alt” attribute in the image properties — this helps search engines recognize your images, too.
- DO consider watermarking your original photos to protect your proprietary images as they spread across the web.
Video marketing lets you reach visitors in a quick, easy-to-understand way, especially when you create how-to videos or tutorials that prove your expertise. Videos capture audience attention and increase reader engagement; not to mention they give you a way to stand out and show what makes your brand unique.
Consider posting Q&A videos, interviews, demonstrations, animations, or original stories that let you reveal more of your personality and style (the Q&A video below, from FoodLovesWriting.com, is a great example of this). Moreover, since Google owns YouTube, videos uploaded to YouTube do well in search results and can boost your online rankings.
food loves writing Q & A from Shanna Mallon on Vimeo.
What should you keep in mind when using videos? Glad you asked! Here are a few guidelines:
- DO think about the types of content that work well in video format, like product demonstrations, unique or humorous presentations, personal stories, live interviews, tutorials, etc.
- DO use video to establish and express your brand’s personality and style.
- DO use videos to differentiate yourself from the competition.
- DON’T skimp on professional-caliber editing — quality matters as much with video as it does with any other content (perhaps even more).
- DON’T forget to provide some quick summary copy with the video post, so users who aren’t able to watch the video can still understand what’s going on. This copy will also help search engines index and rank your videos for keywords that are important to your brand.
3. Slideshows and PowerPoint
Long considered the classic content marketing strategy for office meetings and sales presentations, slideshows and PowerPoint presentations help you communicate a great deal of info in an eye-catching way. What’s more, these visual presentations aren’t limited to the boardroom: Use them across your content platforms to teach, inform, and communicate with your followers.
For some inspiration, take a look at the many creative PowerPoint presentations at NoteandPoint.com (including one from Baer Paint, shown below).
A few tips for using slideshows and presentations:
- DON’T forget about design — it makes your content look professional.
- DO be consistent with typefaces, font sizes, and color schemes across all of your branded efforts.
- DO be consistent in how you use borders around text or images.
- DO align graphics properly with text and other images.
- DON’T overwhelm slides with too much text or text in small type.
- DON’T forget to double-check for spelling or grammar mistakes.
- DON’T forget to incorporate images in your presentations to really drive your messages home!
As the fastest-growing content format in B2B marketing, the infographic is a perfect example of written content turned visual (as depicted in the example below, from JeffBullas.com). Instead of just telling your audience about statistics that are relevant to your business, infographics make it possible to bring data to life and put them in context. Plus, they have really taken off in popularity, thanks to social networks like Pinterest, which means they can make your content more shareable.
Remember the keys to using infographics well:
- DO use images that help your audience visualize the data, and how it applies to your message.
- DON’T make your infographic all text; use creative images.
- DO go beyond a spreadsheet or chart.
- DON’T use cool fonts as a crutch; focus on visualization with images.
- DO think outside the box — nothing’s worse than copying the format of an infographic that someone else has done better.
In terms of social media, a meme is something that gets reproduced over and over again in different ways, spreading virally on the internet. A meme could be a photo or a video or a familiar image constantly paired with different captions and text — think the Ryan Gosling’s “hey girl” photos.
For your brand, it could be getting your clients to do an Irish jig (like McDonald’s did with its “shamrocking” campaign), or getting fans to pose like your brand mascot (Captain Morgan and its “pose-off”). With a meme, some aspect of the original stays the same, while everything else can be altered slightly in hundreds of imaginative ways.
How can you use memes to build your brand?
- DO think about your target audience and whether or not memes appeal to them.
- DON’T try memes if your audience isn’t internet-savvy.
- DO promote your meme as a contest, with awards and prizes for the best ideas and executions from your participants.
- DO utilize various social media channels, like Tumblr, to post and promote your meme.
- DON’T be naïve. Anticipate ways a meme could backfire, and be prepared with ways to counteract any unintentional damage done to your brand reputation.
Want more ideas for using visual content to make a splash with your brand fans? Read CMI’s Content Marketing Playbook.
Top image via Shutterstock.com