Have you noticed the emphasis on visual content marketing these days?

Visual Content for Your Visual Fans

We are predominantly visual creatures. We are wired that way.

“…our being visual is reflected in the large amount of brain tissue that is dedicated to the analysis of images and in the importance of seeing in daily life.”

(The Cognitive Neurosciences, Michael S. Gazzaniga, page 1108)

Early in life, many of us may have started with doodles using whatever “writing instrument” we can grab with our tiny hands. Then, we grow up. Tools change and become complex (and, expensive) but we are invariably the same when it comes to appreciation of images.

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A child’s doodle reminding me that we are visual regardless of age. Taken in UC Berkeley by @photographybyruby.com

Visual Content Tops FB Posts

Squintly studied types of content that are posted on Facebook from January of last year to this year (see below). It appears that many of us have made Facebook (and other social media sites) as our virtual “show and tell” platform. That, tacitly indicates that we, social media and content marketers, may need to include images in our content strategy to show and tell our fans/followers our message.

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Before, writing a quality blog is just fine; now, marketers are underscoring the need to not just only write quality content but also to include high quality, attention grabbing images – and for many good reasons.

7 Reasons Why Visual Content is Important for You

1. Visual content grabs attention.
Images are the means to lead readers in & click your blog, ad or post. Therefore, use images wisely!

2. Data on Twitter shows that photos get more engagement.
Twitter’s data scientist culled millions of tweets early this year. Here is the result.

twitter-retweet-engagement

3. It can be your content’s “conversation piece.”
Fans/followers skimming through their news feed would, sometimes, just comment about the image.

4. Consumers are more likely to click on your business if a visual appeared in search results.
Make sure that the images you are using are optimized correctly for search engine. Maximize your online presence with not just an optimized text but also optimized images. I wrote an article on how to optimize images for SEO if you need to brush up your knowledge on that.

5. You can express your message in more characters than a social media platform, like Twitter, would allow.
Consider visual content as an extension of your message.

6. An image in context reinforces your content.
It should serve as “visual aid” of what you are trying to say. Therefore it should not be misleading and confusing. Use an image that adds value and would help your fans/followers understand the information you are trying to convey.

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7. Lastly, because we are amazingly visual.
Our brain has this amazing capacity to process visuals and store information.

90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text.

(Source: 3M Corporation and Zabisco)

17 Mostly Free Visual Content Sources

There is a plethora of many cool tools and resources out there that you can use for visual content marketing. Here are some:

  • Penultimate – handwriting app for iPad
  • Skitch – I use this when I need to watermark or annotate an image
  • Your own smartphone camera
  • Recitethis.com – quote
  • Quozio – quote
  • Kwote – quote
  • Piktochart – infographic
  • Wideo – ideos
  • Stupeflix – videos
  • Infogram –infographic
  • unsplash.com – free images (limited)
  • dollarphotoclub.com – $1/image
  • Canva – some free; some not
  • Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Microsoft Word
  • Hubspot gave away a bunch of free images last year that you can edit, or use as is.

Note: The first image above is from a mobile device. Then the visuals with data were created using Microsoft’s Word and Powerpoint. The image below is from one of the 26 social media post templates I am giving away.

When using visual content for your blog or your social media post, know the best practices out there. Don’t just grab them or use them because they are in the internet.

Whether your content is an image or text or both, make sure that the information is useful; meaning that it answers a question or solves a problem.

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What visual content tool or application do use for your business?