When you want to get information across, we often begin with thinking about the right words to use. We draft and write (guilty, yes), but there are so many more ways to get your message out there. Itâ€™s not just about what you say – your brand needs visuals too.
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Why visual content marketing works?
The rise of visual content was not just a smart orchestrated plan by photographers and designers in need of work. We need visuals for two reasons: to draw attention to our messages, and to make the information more easily digestible.
Thanks to the oversaturation of digital content, we have shortened our attention spans. Reading a full document on why your product is better than the competitors? Ainâ€™t nobody got time for that.
If you see a big chunk of text on your timeline or in an ad, youâ€™d probably run in the opposite direction, or scroll past it like itâ€™s your neighbors daily political rant. But if you see a pretty picture, you might come closer, be intrigued, and want to know more. You might even click it.
How important is visual content?
Information in visuals goes down smoother and faster than chunks of text. We donâ€™t have all day, so if you want to say it, spit it out. Or even better: show it. To compare: Our brain needs just 1/10 of a second to understand an image, whereas reading 200-250 words takes an average of 60 seconds. And more importantly, it sticks: we remember visually presented information 6x better than the information we read or hear.
But before your audience even allows you to give them some sort of information, before they even click your ad or post, you have to lure them in. You need to be more than just seen, you want to be noticed in a way that makes them interested to find out more.
The power of pictures
Okay, weâ€™re not just talking pictures here. Visuals nowadays are much more versatile than static photographs. Think videoâ€™s, think GIFs, think interactive content. But it just sounded better for a heading. So why are visuals a vital part of any social media marketing plan?
Because content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images. Even on a text-focused platform like Twitter: tweets with images get 150% more retweets than tweets without them. The same goes for LinkedIn and Facebook. Do we even need to mention the success of Instagram and Snapchat, where visuals dominate, and text is merely optional?
And even in your content that is not on socials – like blogs – visuals are a great aid. Split up text with some relevant and high-quality images, and people will be more inclined to read on, to find out what comes after that image. Let me demonstrate that.
How to use visual content for your campaign?
Itâ€™s likely youâ€™re already using visual content for your campaigns, whether offline or online. If you want to upgrade your skills or are looking for some inspiration, weâ€™d be happy to share them. Hereâ€™s some general advice and 4 ideas to incorporate more and better visuals in your campaigns.
Where to find visual content?
Original images or pictures that were taken by you add a personal touch to your campaign and make your branding even stronger. Avoid using predictable pictures. Donâ€™t overbrand your visual content and keep it shareable.
Donâ€™t have any pictures at hand and donâ€™t want to resort to stock photos? Use user-generated content! This also improves the shareability and likeability of your campaign, because it feels less like an ad by you, but more like a personal experience from a fellow consumer.
If you want to make visuals, for instance, posts with quotes or banners for Facebook, try free resources such as Canva. Their simplistic drag-and-drop system makes it easy and quick to create captivating content, even for those who still use Microsoft Paint.
4 types of visual content that increase views
Now, the benefits of infographics can work both ways. Maybe you really donâ€™t like writing yet another article or blog post. Or you havenâ€™t even written one, ever. Infographics allow you to pack your message in an image â€” if the subject is suitable for that, but we encourage you to get creative!
Okay, thereâ€™s no (free) tool out there that can make infographics as good as an actual designer could. But donâ€™t let that hold you back. You can find infographic templates everywhere, and there are many other tools like Visme or Piktochart that allow you to experiment with making infographics for free.Â But youâ€™re not supposed to make infographics just because you want to get off easy. Youâ€™re doing this for your audience, of course. 65% of people are visual learners. Your message will come across way better for a lot of people. What are the other benefits of infographics? Hereâ€™s an infographic on it.
2. Interactive content
Instead of pushing knowledge and facts onto your audience with your content, engage them like a teacher would in a classroom. Yes, quiz them! This way you can still put the focus on the information you want to share, without making it feel like a lecture.
Itâ€™s super easy to create your own quiz, and there are some good reasons to do it. Not only do you make your content more fun and noticeable, but you also make it more shareable. Thereâ€™s a reason you see everyone sharing what kind of potato they are or other Buzzfeed results. Quizzes are much more likely to be shared on social media, boosting your views and campaign tremendously.
When 9gag started, not many people would have envisioned that memes would one day play a big part in marketing. They also wouldnâ€™t have guessed how much memes would change and how weird they would get, but letâ€™s not get into that.
If you are new to the internet and somehow still ended up on this blog: a meme (pronounced as “meem” – not “may may” or “mee mee”) is an image, video or a tweet, humorous in nature, that is copied and shared rapidly by (young) Internet users, often with slight variations. Now, brands using memes in campaigns is a tricky thing, whereas it can be quite simple. Creating their own memes often backfires for companies – especially if they use a format wrong or are just simply not funny. This can still give you a lot of views, but you might want to relate to your audience instead of just being seen – and mocked.
Last but not least, GIFs: thereâ€™s probably no easier way to use popular visuals in your content than this.
See what we just did there? This format is immensely popular amongst young people and millennials and the best thing is: you donâ€™t have to make them. Just go to Tenor or Giphy and find whatever makes you chuckle, et voilÃ : you are now cool.
What type of visual content will you implement in your content strategy? Experiment and test to see what works best for your target group, and good luck.
Featured image source: Freepik