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Visual Content Tools: Using Images Effectively

Image courtesy of (KROMKRATHOG)/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Content isn’t a passing trend – it’s an effective way of connecting with a target market in a way that provides actionable, relevant information on an ongoing basis. Because of its effectiveness, it’s probably a large part of your marketing strategy. It helps your brand focus and connect with potential clients, customers and online followers in a way that just wasn’t possible before.

However, content alone – text-based content that is – might not be enough. Recently, companies have seen an increase in engagement and activity based on visual content and have started to add it to their content marketing strategies. While visual content may take on a variety of forms, it’s more than just slapping any picture onto a blog post and calling it a day; at least, it should be if results are of any concern.

Why Visual Content Matters

The use – and therefore need – of visual content and image-based marketing has become more widespread and apparent than ever before. Not sure if you’d agree? Check out these statistics that prove the need for visual content marketing:

  • Almost two-thirds of social media posts are comprised of images, 63% to be exact according to a study released earlier this year.
  • Online users interact with visual content in a way that makes them more likely to share it than standard text-based content. In fact, almost half of Internet users have reposted a photo or video that they found somewhere online or on social media. Furthermore, over half have posted photos or videos that they created on their own.
  • When content is combined with images, it receives 94% more views – on average – than text-based content alone. More views mean more traffic, higher SEO rankings and more potential for conversions.
  • Social media content receives more attention and engagement based upon whether images are present or not. For example, a tweet with an image is 150% more likely to be retweeted than a standard post.

We live in a visual society. This means that your target customers are more likely to be attracted to information when presented in a visual format. Think of the rise in memes, infographs and other “new” post structures, it’s happening for a reason.

The draw is there, but, is there more? Are their visual content tools that could help you use images more effectively? The simple answer is yes. Keep reading to learn more.

Content Types

The term “visual content” means more than a standard image. However, far too often, that’s where it stops for marketers who are busy creating content. The “okay, the post is done, let me find a stock photo to compliment it” thought is far too common and, more importantly, ineffective.

Visual content, as discussed in this article, could refer to a standard stock image, but, it could also refer to:

  • Customized photography – taken on your own
  • Visualized data – graphs and other charts that sum up complicated ideas or numbers
  • Infographics – taking complex ideas and making them easy to follow and digest
  • Video – think of the rise in YouTube views over the last year
  • Screenshots – effective for how-to posts and visual demonstrations
  • Memes and Comics – why not use a little humor? – and more

The scope of “visual content” is expanding daily; is your marketing strategy evolving with it?

Tips and Tools for Visual Content Success

With a deeper understanding of the potential of visual content and the many forms it can take on, it’s important to recognize that there are ways to enhance your content even further.

Grids and Frames

Grids and frames are easy to come by and add a touch of professionalism to any photo. By layering multiple photos of different sizes with an overlay of text, you can take a boring image to the next level.

Multiple photos can enhance the idea behind the post and give a deeper, more full sense of understanding while increasing the overall appeal. Tools like Pic Collage can be downloaded for free, making collages easier than ever to create.

Filters

Gone are the days of depending upon natural light or a keen sense of design. Anyone can become an artist, that includes any marketer looking to add a little pizzazz to a photo or other visual tool. By playing with the lighting, a photo can reach different emotions. Even better, when a brand uses the same filter consistently, it can become a part of the branding process, increasing recognition when an image is shared on social media or elsewhere.

Tools that are easy to use and effective in adding a little depth to images include Instagram, Litely and Snapseed.

Consistency

Just like any other aspect of branding, visual content is a science that relies upon consistency. When a brand is not consistent, the overall appeal and recognition begins to diminish. Consistency doesn’t just mean using the same two colors, it also applies to:

  • Messaging and use of brand-specific writing styles
  • Logo usage and positioning
  • Texts and fonts used online and on hard-copy collaterals
  • Display of the URL (i.e.: http://www.SAMPLE.com, www.SAMPLE.com or SAMPLE.com)
  • Filters, as mentioned above
  • Social media activities – regular posting schedules, information shared, formatting and so on, and so much more

Consistency is critical for visual content – and general branding – success.

Visual content is a critical aspect of any content marketing plan. It is an effective way to increase engagement, to drive interaction and to promote your brand online. However, it’s not something to do lightly or without a plan. Consider the guide above when getting started and think about ways to take your current marketing plan further.

About the author

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Adrienne Erin

Adrienne Erin writes twice weekly for SiteProNews about online marketing strategies that help businesses like American Piezo succeed. Follow @adrienneerin on Twitter to see more of her work or get in touch.

28 Comments

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  • Images are very important in a visual world, it had been however a constant battle up until recently keeping your images your own, many having been taken from my own website and posted up on others. Blatant copyright theft.
    Google have addressed this of late and its possible now to report stolen image content and have it dealt with meaning efforts put into adding nice, informative images and other content aren’t being wasted by others taking the credit and/or profiting from your work.

  • I strongly agree with this article. As human is a usual creature, he/she loves content in combination with images.

    I have developed so many websites and the websites with more graphics had success over less image websites.

  • a picture is worth 1000 words, u have to be Quite smart in choosing and using Images as well as videos(sometimes) as Visual content atracts visitors more than just TExt, no one have time to read long paragraph now a days a Supersonic fast life πŸ˜›

  • Agreed. Visual content show good effect in increasing traffic. Thanks for the share.

  • The use of virtual-based content also has its own rules and ways and also the right consistency to be able to show the best

  • Hello Adrienne Erin,

    Hope you are doing good. This is such a nice and informative post regarding content strategy. I am doing same for my current website(Online Shopping Coupon Code India) content planning. As per my knowledge length of content is playing important role in ranking. Basically less than 1000 word content is not able to attend top 10 position in ranking. Love to see if you will write something on this topic also.

    Thanks and Regards
    Manish Kumar

  • You’re just right. Visual content indeed improves viewers understanding about our blog. I’ll try this at my Ideal Wedding blog and see the difference.

  • That’s true, Images posts get more traffic than text posts. If images which shows information on how to… will get more shares and hits.

    Great Article Erin, Keep Posting πŸ™‚

  • I know many people that search images to buy stuff;
    for instance, how my neighbor bought his new phone.

    I am embedding a targeted term for my website (http://www.coupondadi.in) into an image that i want to push through HTML code. πŸ™‚

  • Yes, I agree. Posts with Images will get more traffic than text. Good post. Please keep posting.

  • I appreciate your effort on this post. I agree with you. content marketing is the most important in the Search engine optimization. Thank you for these three points.
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  • Exceptional post but I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thanks!

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