In an increasingly image-driven world, visual content strategies are the secret to providing superior user engagement and brand recognition.
Efficient communication is the core of marketing.
Consumer attention spans are dropping fast, and marketers are getting fewer chances to engage their audience before they’re scooped up by a competitor. Though the lack of consumer attention is a growing concern in the marketing world, content creators have a powerful tool at their disposal that has shown consistent growth and engagement across a variety of mediums—visual content!
Why Go Visual?
It’s hard to keep market trends straight in a complex digital landscape. Fortunately, modern marketers have a simple way to assess digital trends in the online world: social media.
Social media is the perfect barometer to assess consumer trends—Pinterest, Instagram, and Vine are all popular social channels that rely almost exclusively on visual content. Even text-focused platforms are affected by visual preferences—data gathered by Gizmodo via Zephyr Internet Marketing Solutions found that there are over 300 million Facebook photo uploads per day, and research on Twitter engagement by SocialBakers found that though tweets with photos made up only 10 percent of the million tweets surveyed, they provided nearly 50 percent of all total engagement.
The percentage of Twitter interactions based on the type of tweet, as found by SocialBakers.
Data surveyed by tech advisory firm Software Advice and Adobe assessed the importance of various methods of social media outreach, including using visuals, CTAs, and targeted demographics. Their research showed that image use was the most effective social media tactic for optimizing content. Given that social media is all the rage these days, marketers must leverage these trends and find some visual content value of their own.
Your Visual Content Strategy
A visual strategy is essential to your social media success as well as your marketing efforts as a whole. Keep the following tips in mind when designing your visual content:
Start with a relevant and informational featured image to catch reader attention. First impressions are critical for engagement, and a value-driving infographic or chart will give your readers a taste of what they can expect to find in your content.
Implement photos in your blog to optimize your visual design. This involves making sure white space is balanced and content is distributed across the page for maximum readability. Images strategically dispersed throughout the text gives your viewers a break from all the reading and helps illustrate concepts.
In the interest of better communication and creating a recognizable brand, create a distinct visual style for the content you create. Incorporate a brand logo in every image your produce to increase corporate visibility and give your readers something easily identifiable.
The more diverse your visual outreach, the more viewers you’ll be able to engage. Include data-driven infographics, custom graphics, and screenshots of complex concepts. This helps keep things interesting while ensuring that your visual content is as inclusive as possible.
Just like your text, your images can contribute to your overall SEO value. Alt tags are your friend here. Include relevant descriptions for each image’s alt tag for better search engine indexing and to help users find your content.
A breakdown of the types of content, and where people like to view them, as found by the Content Marketing Institute.
Mobile optimization presents a whole new set of challenges for visual content. While the efficiency of visual data transmission is great for mobile, there are platform-specific challenges that must be addressed:
- Responsive web design, or ensuring that your content is adaptable across multiple screen sizes and mobile devices.
- Proper orientation and adjustment of content when switching from landscape to portrait.
- A well-balanced screen size that is large enough to be easily seen, doesn’t require zooming, and makes touch-based applications easy to implement.
A survey of mobile users by the Content Marketing Institute found that consumers prioritize simplicity when viewing mobile content and prefer to read material in bite-sized pieces. This is consistent with our visual content goals—efficiency of communication is the name of the game.
However, you don’t need to completely rework your content library when adapting to mobile—existing content can be reworked by synthesizing the key points removing any bits that are too wordy or cluttered for convenient mobile viewing. Condense your content into the most pertinent information to maximize screen real estate.
Visualizing Your Content
Visual content is king when it comes to user engagement, efficiency of communication, and information transfer. Not just any visual content will do, though—make sure you have a plan in mind when designing your visual strategy. Consider the layout of your site, the information you have to provide, and the audience you’re serving. Visual content is powerful…see for yourself.
Visual content strategies can be diverse—what other ways have you implemented visuals to meet your marketing goals? Let us know in the comments below!