Visual content: it’s a trend that’s been on the rise for a few years now. And for a good reason – visual content fits perfectly with the modern consumer’s daily life. It’s easy to digest on the go, informative, and packed with a variety of useful information.
While visual content has been rising in popularity for some time, 2020 stands out as the year it will seize the digital marketing industry and start making a truly massive impact on consumers.
Here’s what you need to know to prepare:
What is Visual Content?
Visual content is precisely what it sounds like: any digital material that takes the form of a visual. This could include infographics, images, memes, videos, and more. Here’s how Copyblogger defines visual content:
Visual content marketing leverages the power of images to communicate your messages.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that’s particularly true when it comes to content marketing. The more effectively you can leverage visuals, the more compelling your marketing will be as a whole.
Why Visual Content?
With so many types of content marketing available, why turn to visual content. Is it that effective? Here’s what Neil Patel has to say about the functionality of visual content:
When you consider that 65% of people are visual learners, 90% of information that comes to the brain is visual, and presentations with visual aides are 43% more persuasive, it makes sense to use content types which people have an innate psychological resonance with.
Today, people can understand the meaning of a visual asset in just 13 milliseconds. The processing speed is indispensable and means your visual content will make an impact on your readers much more quickly than your written material.
What are the Different Types of Visual Content? 6 Popular Mediums
Visual content is flexible and varied. Here are six of the most common types:
Images are the old standby of visual content. Today, articles with images get 94% more views than those without images. While images are compelling, not all photos are created equal.
In the world of digital marketing, it’s smart to use original, high-quality images rather than stock photos, which look and feel like – well – stock photos. If you’re not a photographer or graphic designer, or you don’t have one on your team, look toward resources like Canva, which can help you create unique images for free.
Videos are an exciting form of visual content, and they’re widely used among brands today because of it. Here are a few things customers and brands alike love about video content:
- Videos are great at showcasing problems and demonstrating the way a given product can solve those problems or offer solutions
- While video isn’t inexpensive, high-quality, well-produced video indicates that a company is prepared to go above and beyond to deliver quality
- Video can increase conversions massively. One study showed that only including a video on a landing page can increase conversions by 86%.
- Video content is flexible, and there are many different types your brand can use. How-to videos, animated explainer videos, demonstrations, and customer testimonials are just a few examples.
Infographics combine the power of text and visual into one convenient and digestible package. An excellent tool for presenting complex data and offering it in a compelling, easy-to-interact with visual display, infographics are highly attractive to customers. In fact, HubSpot has reported that Infographics can increase web traffic by up to 12%.
One fantastic element of infographics is that they’re easy to share and have a high potential for virality. If you promote your infographic effectively, it’s likely to be shared on social and across various industry blogs. These shares drive more traffic back to your brand page and can help you earn and convert more customers.
To take full advantage of this process, be sure to include a thumbnail image of your infographic every time you share it, along with a hyperlink to your site, which should host the full picture.
Memes are a simple image accompanied by a witty or funny caption. Easy to create, memes are also viral and customer-friendly. Here’s a great example:
In addition to being viral, memes are also easy to share and can go a long way toward entertaining your customers and ensuring you stand out as a company in their minds.
Right now, research suggests that presentations using visual aids are 43% more effective than presenters without visual aids. These visually-enhanced presentations are better at persuading viewers to take a desired course of action.
Because of this, tools like SlideShare have emerged as major players in the visual content revolution and will continue to be essential for years to come.
Last but not least, there are screenshots. Created from the comfort of your computer, screenshots are a great way to illustrate a topic or show a customer how to do something. They’re also a great way to back up claims made in a piece of written content and are common in tutorial text.
5 Ways to Improve Your Visual Content
Improve your visual content with the help of these five tips:
1. Use the Right Tools
Use a high-quality tool that suits your brands’ priorities and mission. While there are dozens of tools out there, not all of them are right for or applicable to every brand. With this in mind, be discerning about the tools you choose. Not only will this save you money and help keep your marketing budget healthy, but it’ll guarantee better visual content at the end of your production process.
2. Organize Your Assets
Keep your graphic content organized, so it’s as searchable as possible. This makes it easy to pull out and reuse later. Some teams prefer to organize their data in something like a Google Doc, while others use a CMS to keep their visuals at hand.
3. Use Graphics to Display Data
Instead of writing another statistic-dense blog post, use graphics to display that data. Not only are graphics-based pieces of data easier to remember, but they have a high potential for virality and will be easier to share via social platforms. Plus, they’re more useful to your customers.
According to HubSpot, “people following directions with text and illustrations do 323% better than people following directions without illustrations.”
4. Design Your Content so you can Reuse it
As you create visual content, think of ways you can re-use it. For example, a visual presentation can become a SlideShare asset down the road while a video can be uploaded to YouTube and shared via social. Infographics, finally, can be broken into multiple stat graphics.
5. Create Emotional Connections
Be mindful of the emotional messages your content is sending your consumers. For example, are your images representative of your audience base? If not, adjust your images, so they’re more meaningful for your customers.
The Toolbox (Pro-Quality Tools for When Design Resources are Scarce)
Not sure which tools are right for you? Try these top choices:
- Adobe Capture CC. This popular tool allows you to convert photos to vector on iOS or Android.
- Flipping Typical. Flipping Typical is an accessible typography and design tool, which allows you to display and compare fonts easily.
- Canva. Canva is an oldie but a goodie – use it to become your own graphic designer with easy-to-use templates, drag-and-drop building, and more.
- Font Squirrel. Font Squirrel is where the internet goes to access high-quality, beautiful fonts for free.
- The H Hub. The H Hub is the place to hire professional, freelance photographers on any budget.
- Font Pair. Font Pair helps you pair Google Fonts for a beautiful, professional presentation.
- Visme. Visme is a powerful tool for creating free presentations and professional-quality infographics.
- Palettable. Palettable is a library of color palettes designers can use to create a beautiful visual presentation.
- The Noun Project. The Noun Project advertises “free icons for everything,” and they’re not lying. Try it today to customize your own visual assets.
Better Visual Content Starts Here
Visual content is the way of the future, and you can’t afford to gamble yours. Fortunately, you don’t have to. By using this toolkit, you can create beautiful visual content in-house, quickly and easily.