Content marketing is not going anywhere, so it is in your interest to take a second look at your digital marketing strategy right now and spice it up with something that will catch the eye of your audience. Your easiest pick is visual content — it is easy to create, it is attention-grabbing, and it helps brands to stand out. Scientific research shows that we process visual content within a fraction of a second, and instantly respond to it. Visuals not only engage users much more than lumps of text but also communicate a powerful brand message. Here are 7 types of visual content you should be using in your marketing campaigns to ensure that your messages convert and resonate with consumers.
Nothing works better for your content than images. Users have short attention spans and feel discouraged when facing a large paragraph of text. Breaking it into sections and adding some visuals helps to make your content more digestible. Relevant visuals also make your point stronger.
Both images and photos should be of high quality and clearly relate to the topic of your content — decorative visuals will be simply ignored. To add a personal touch to your content, use your own images. Stock photos are only acceptable as long as they are top-notch and do not scream stock photos at you. Before publishing content with images which are not yours, double check that you are using them legally.
Marketers like statistical approaches to content creation and many like to follow a ‘image to text’ ratio that ensures higher engagement and shareability. This optimal ratio is one image per 75–100 words. Posts created in accordance with this method receive more views, likes and shares. Whether you agree or not, one thing is clear — both too few and too many images can be a bad thing. Testing the performance of your content, you will be able to optimize it and ensure that it resonates with your audience.
2. Annotated screenshots
Nothing works better for a clear instruction than annotated screenshots accompanying a step-by-step tutorial. It is a good idea to write down paragraphs of text outlining each step and then add screenshots that fully illustrate your point. This type of visual demonstration is both attractive and instructive. You can modify your screenshots by adding arrows, underlining content or placing it in squares or circles to guide user attention.
For some audiences, tutorials based exclusively on annotated images are more than enough. If the topic is complicated and you would like to ensure full clarity, add blocks of text instructions. Again, this is where you test the preferences of your audience and optimize your content to match their needs. Play with these two tutorial formats and mix them up as you please.
For presenting sets of complex data or step-by-step instructions, your best pick is the incredibly popular format of infographic. Setting up this attractive visual design, you can divide a set of data into digestible bits and pieces, and help users understand the information easily. Assemble complicated statistics into groups and you can be sure that they offer a valuable insight at one glance.
Infographics are great not only for visualizing complex data, but also for creating smart how-to guides and step-by-step instructions. This is how you can easily recycle your content — turn your tutorial into an infographic and you are bound to enjoy higher shareability once your infographic makes it to the social media. If you would like to show off your expertise and educate consumers, infographics will help you to create a user-friendly visual material that will engage a much wider audience.
4. Videos and animations
Videos are all the rage right now and more brands than ever are using them in their content marketing campaigns. Thanks to new technologies and formats, videos are light, easy to create and convenient to embed on your website, blog, or shared on social media. The web is just full of tools to help you in video creation. Most of the time, these tools allow to make professionally-looking videos and animation in no time.
You can use this format for customer testimonials, product demonstrations and how-to videos. Videos deserve your attention because consumers like them. A lot. One research study revealed that including video on a landing page increases its conversion rate by 86 percent! Another piece of research found out that social media posts which feature videos receive almost 300 percent more inbound links. It is clear that when it comes to content marketing, videos and animations are worth your time and effort.
That is right. A couple of years ago, marketers would hardly take memes seriously or consider them an appropriate medium for communicating with their audiences. But times have changed and memes have grown into powerful tools that go way beyond the juvenile style of communication they at first represented.
One thing is clear — memes send a simple and powerful message. If your brand is playful or you would like to poke fun at the industry, memes are your best pick. A simple image with a funny caption will resonate with younger audiences who appreciate good humor and a little irony.
However, do not forget that memes work for specific industries. In certain situations they might irritate your audience, so before posting one, check whether your competitors use memes in their content marketing and if so, how far they take their humor.
Another perfect technique for recycling your content and serving it to your audience in a revamped form are presentations. However, we are not talking tacky creations based on PowerPoint themes and effects. Create a professionally-looking presentation with lots of insightful content and you are guaranteed high shareability. Post it on Slideshare to extend the reach of your brand to new channels.
How to create compelling presentations? Build a consistent look that will be associated with your brand content. All fonts, colors and borders should match and tell a coherent story. You do not want to clutter the space, right? When adding text captions, make sure to check them for mistakes –your audience will read them and a typo will only question your professionalism and attention to detail. Make sure to share your data sources — they should be reputable and of high quality.
Share your presentations on Slideshare and your content might end up on the platform’s homepage as one of the Slideshares of the Day or placed in Trending in Your Network section. In both cases, you will gain extra exposure that will help you reach new audience and boost your traffic.
7. Data visualization
Infographics are one thing, but your blog posts which feature data should also include some smart data visualizations. It can be charts, diagrams and graphs — all are fantastic for making complex statistical data digestible and easy to understand. Plus, choosing attractive shapes and colors will only render your content more shareable. Users love content full of quality data, but who has the time to make sense of it on their own?
Sometimes all this information can become a bit overwhelming and that is when data visualization methods come in to make your life easier. Make the most from charts and tables to create posts that are visually attractive and easy to understand. Communicate a strong message to your target audience. Make sure to share some of your best visualizations on social media — including the new giant in the making, Pinterest.
Using visual content in your campaigns will help boost your conversion, bring in new traffic and simply resonate with your audience, guaranteeing high shareability and engagement with your brand. Visuals are your best pick if what you are after is original and attractive brand content.
Kate Bones is a social media specialist and a part of the team behind CheckDirector.co.uk, a newly-developed director check portal.
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