September 19, 2016
Collectively, humans seem to be constantly short on time and attention. We scramble from one task to the other and split our attention many different ways in misguided attempts to multitask throughout our days. Then, when our workloads become overwhelming, it’s often tempting to give things the least amount of attention possible while trying to gain the maximum benefits for our efforts. Long story short, many of us find it difficult to concentrate and juggle multiple tasks at once.
As a marketer, there’s a lot of competition for that little bit of attention people have to spare. In a sea where new content is published all the time, you have to come up with new ways to create eye-catching content that will both grab and hold the audience’s attention. Incorporating more visuals in your content is a great way to snag eyeballs and keep people interested in what you have to say.
Here are seven ways you can boost your visual content marketing efforts to reach and retain that core audience:
1. Make Your Announcements and Launches More Memorable
Got something special to announce to your social followers or e-mail subscribers? If you want your followers to take notice of an upcoming event, product launch, or promotion, then your best bet is to include a striking, attention-grabbing photo in the announcement.
This is a psychologically-proven method because when people hear or read information, they usually retain just 10 percent of it after a few days. However, research has shown that a highly-relevant image accompanying the information can boost memory retention up to 65 percent of what people see after three days.
2. Stop Using Stock Images
It’s not always easy sourcing Creative Commons or royalty-free images for content, especially if you’re looking for images that are highly relevant to a specific segment of your textual content. On the flip side, many marketers don’t want to blow their budget on professional photos, so they leave out images altogether or use dull, uninspiring stock photos for their posts.
Rather than falling into the boring stock photo trap, instead focus your efforts on investing in quality, relevant photos that support your content. Studies have shown that content containing relevant images can get up to 94 percent more views than content with missing or ill-matching images.
3. Use Video to Close the Deal
When you’re building content out for your sales funnel, remain faithful to your call-to-action and process. However, you can still improve certain aspects of it with video that will encourage your customers make more-informed decisions.
Adding video to your visual content marketing campaigns is a must, since customers who view video during the sales process are nearly twice as likely to make purchases than those who only experience text pitches.
Use video at the sticking point of your sales funnel, and video can also support your value proposition on landing pages. You can even insert video into eBooks to make your content more engaging.
4. Boost E-mail Engagement with Video
If you already use e-mail marketing to nurture lead relationships and promote offers to existing customers, then this is yet another great opportunity to start using video. It provides a different experience from the endless stream of text-based e-mails, and sending out video can even improve open and click-through rates.
Just by using the word “video” in the subject line and adding an embedded video to the e-mail, you can improve open rates by as much as 19 percent and click-through rates by up to 65 percent.
5. Say It With an Infographic
Despite the popularity and results achieved with infographics, there are still many marketers and businesses that don’t leverage them for their own sites. Infographics are a terrific way to provide substantial value and educate an audience relatively quickly. It’s like a giant set of visual bullet points that is jam-packed with value and designed with a distracted audience in mind.
If you want to boost your visual content marketing efforts, then make it your new goal to produce informative infographics for your audience every so often. All you need to do is collect statistics, data, or factoids that your audience might find useful and then turn them into eye-catching infographics.
You won’t be disappointed by the results. Infographics typically see three times the engagement of other types of posts on social media.
6. Provide Visual Instruction
Every business has a problem with churn. Customers come and shop with you once and never return, never upgrade beyond a free account, or cancel after a short period. The losses that sting the most are customers who never made it through the onboarding process or failed to stick around long enough to experience the benefits of your product or service.
A great way to reduce churn is to improve the onboarding process with visual engagement. Use visual progress indicators and illustrations or video to provide clear, step-by-step instructions that continue highlighting the benefits and value proposition.
This can be a highly effective approach, as one study showed that people who are instructed with visual aids do more than 300 percent better on a task than those who only use text-based instructions.
7. Pack Content to the Gills with Images
It wasn’t that long ago that marketers routinely pushed out 300-500 words articles without images and showered the Web with walls of text to increase search visibility and build links. Thankfully, we’ve evolved to recognize the value in longer, high-value content.
It’s important to keep up engagement with visuals; otherwise, you just have a long wall of text that very few people will want to slog through. The key is inserting highly-relevant images about every 100 words or so. This practice, when studied, has been shown to double the number of social shares over articles with fewer or less relevant images.
If that’s not enough to convince you to add more images, then keep in mind that more than 70 percent of marketers are starting to use more visual assets in their content. If you skimp on imagery, you’ll find it far more challenging to stand out from your competition.
How are you currently using images and video to improve your content marketing efforts? Share your tips with me in the comments below.
Aaron Agius, CEO of worldwide digital agency Louder Online is, according to Forbes, among the world's leading digital marketers. Working with clients such as Salesforce, Coca-Cola, IBM, Intel, and scores of stellar brands, Aaron is a growth marketer - a fusion between search, content, social, and PR. Find him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or on the Louder Online blog.