Need to see it to believe it? No worries, most humans do. Turns out that we are wired to process images faster and more effectively than plain old text. The days of getting away with text-only marketing and social media strategies are long gone. With 56 percent of marketers using visuals in their content almost 100 percent of the time, it’s clear to see that creating engaging visual content has become a staple in all marketing communication efforts. However, it is important to remember to stay on brand. Visual content should be consistent in style and relate to what your audience is interested in.
As social media continues to shape the digital marketing industry, it’s essential that we understand how to effectively utilize visual content. Below are five types of visual content that should be implemented in most – if not every – communication and integrated marketing effort. Let’s just call it the visual high five.
There’s no ‘I’ in team but there is in the most popular form of visual content: infographics. No visual content marketing strategy would be complete without these powerful storytelling tools. Infographics are multimedia graphics designed to present complex information and data in a way that is engaging and easy to understand. Because infographics make complicated information more understandable in an appealing format, they are perfect for today’s social media era where visual content is crucial. In fact, studies have shown that people share infographics 3x more than any other type of content.
It’s easy to understand why everyone loves infographics. Along with their visual appeal, their straightforward and informative nature share well on blogs, social media platforms and websites. And with sites like Visme, Canva, Venngage and Piktochart, there’s no need to worry about the graphic design part of infographics! Always remember to stay consistent in design and tone and add your logo to ensure your company gets the credit it deserves.
High-quality images and photos
Relevant and eye-catching images are also a great way to increase engagement and create lasting impressions with your audience. Posts with images produce a 650 percent higher engagement rate than regular text posts. As it turns out, we are great at remembering images. If we hear information, we will only remember about 10 percent of it three days later. But, if a picture is added, we remember 65 percent of that information. With an overload of content available everywhere we look, draw your audience in with interesting, appealing photos.
From posting behind-the-scenes shots of your workplace to on-brand aesthetically pleasing images, there are many different types of photographs that can be incorporated in your content creation strategy. Don’t want to take your own pictures? No need to stress. There are plenty of sites filled with stock photos to choose from like iStock, Pexels and Unsplash.
Branded social media graphics
Although social media graphics can be placed in the images and photos category, original branded images are so important to any social media campaign that they deserve their own section. Once you share these graphics across channels, your brand gets exposure, too. In fact, 40 percent of marketers believe that original graphics perform the best and drive the most engagement.
Whether it’s sharing industry-related content or participating in social media trends like #MotivationMonday, posting branded inspirational quotes on each platform is a great way to drive up engagement and reach new audiences. This form of consumer-friendly visual content is evergreen, shareable and an easy way to increase your company’s value within your industry.
Need help thinking of other types of original branded visual content to create? We got you. Below are some ideas.
- Promoting original blog posts on social media
- Holiday-themed graphics
- Event announcements
- Company milestones
When it comes to creating original branded graphics, you don’t need to be a creative genius to have the potential to go viral. Tools like Adobe Spark, Pablo, and my personal favorite, Canva, are user-friendly and a simple way to create appealing and engaging visual content. Just remember to leave your mark on new graphics to build recognition and consistency.
Like infographics, videos are visually appealing and draw audiences in, which is why it would be unacceptable to talk about effective and engaging visual content without mentioning them. With more than seven billion videos watched every day on Facebook and YouTube, it’s evident that video content has become increasingly popular in recent years. Additionally, using videos will do wonders for your SEO because search engines view them as high-quality content. Still not convinced? What if I told you that by 2021, over 80 percent of all traffic will consist of videos? They’re easily sharable across multiple platforms, engaging and provide a great opportunity to show off your unique brand.
Whichever way you pronounce it, GIFs are a fun tool to implement in your content creation strategy. In addition to performing well on social media, GIFs enable companies to stand out against competitors. Until recently, many organizations were hesitant to use them in their blog posts or on social media. Marketers are beginning to realize the many advantages of using GIFs, including showing your followers that you are personable and understand online trends. GIFs can be used on almost all social media channels – Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram – and are a simple way to humanize your brand.
(By the way, I don’t care if Steve Wilhite, the creator of the GIF, claims that it is pronounced ‘jif’ – I will forever pronounce it with a hard G, like “gift” – not like the peanut butter brand “Jif.” And 70 percent of people agree with me.)
When it comes to marketing, visual content is king (or queen). Publishing relevant and attention-grabbing visual content is one of the most effective ways to increase engagement and get noticed in a sea of oversaturated media. No matter how effective an organization is at painting a picture with their words, a well-placed visual will always attract more views and traffic. The next time you find yourself writing a long block of text, try adding visual content to supplement your message instead—your consumers will thank you. Oh, and don’t forget to brand it!