Visual Concept Photo via Shutterstock
It’s time to reevaluate your content marketing game-plan. If you’re still pumping out articles and blog posts that consist of no more than a catchy title, some bulleted lists and a few bold headlines, you’re going to need to step it up. It’s a visual world, and those that want to establish an effective online presence need to keep up with the latest in the online content arena. Consider visuals and visual content marketing your new content marketing frontier.
The fact is, there’s just too much text out there. People don’t have the time to read about all of the things they want (or need) to learn about over the Internet. Cutting corners by condensing lengthy text content and spacing out short paragraphs to maintain readers’ attention can only do so much. Online text can be extremely well-written and engaging, but users are still going to rapidly scan through content, quickly moving on to the next shiny article that catches their eye.
If you want your content to flourish, you’ve got to start incorporating a variety of visuals throughout your text. Of course, the quality of your textual content still remains important; however, search engines and the general public are after more than just words. Visuals rank highly. On top of that they’re also highly sharable: Think about it, it’s way easier to share an image, video or comic on social media and other venues than it is to share a standard 500-2500 word article.
Furthermore, if you do share the latter, people aren’t going to get the main idea simply by glancing at it. With visuals it’s a different story–subject matter can be absorbed through just a glance, unlike a slew of paragraphs.
Just Remember This About Your Visual Content
One rule that should be stated before we go any further is that it is extremely important that you supply original visual content. The same rules that apply to textual content marketing apply to visual content marketing: Don’t copy someone else’s idea or design. Be creative or your content won’t make it on the public’s radar (or Google’s for that matter).
If you find that someone else’s visual is just too perfect not to use in your content marketing, at least give credit to the source you got it from.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s move on to some examples that will get your creative juices flowing. Below are some ideas for visual content marketing that will popularize your content.
Visual Content Marketing
Data driven content is is key to pleasing both readers and search engines. Infographics are a great way to combine facts like stats and percentages with helpful visuals that drive the point home. They’re also a great way to teach a process or set of facts that is hard to conceptualize.
An infographic explains a popular topic in an engaging, visual way and is much more effective than an article on the content marketing process. Readers are more likely to give more of their time to something that’s visual in nature.
Graphic visual representations are worth many words, and they can convey things that would take way too much text to get the point across. What’s more: Like most other visuals, they’re easily sharable.
Memes are a tough racket, but they’re a hot ticket. Basically, a meme is a humorous visual that spreads rapidly through Internet-based sharing platforms like blogs, e-mail, video sharing sites and social media. If you don’t have the slightly awkward, effortlessly witty, ironic touch that meme generators tend to have, then you might not ever come up with a hilarious or genius meme that will get proliferated over the Web.
However, you’ll never know until you try.
Graphs and Charts
Charts and graphs are another way to drive a fact or a point home with data-purposed content. People love statistics, but they especially love looking at the numbers when they’re actually looking at the numbers.
Don’t just splat statistics out on the page, visualize them with a color-coded bar graph or an innovative piechart
Cartoons and Comics
There’s a reason people turn to the comics first in the newspaper: They’re way more fun to read than the text that they are sandwiched between.
Try using comics or cartoons to engage your readers and keep them interested in what you’re trying to say. As users are scrolling through your posts or articles, a comic can stop them in their tracks. The effect of cartoons and comics helps readers absorb a decent amount of what an article’s purpose is because those visual cues keep readers going.
Maps are great visuals for informational content, and if you can color-code your map and add more visuals to make it more interesting, that’s even better. Many times a map can be a great indicator of data driven content. A map is really just a type of infographic that conveys the purpose of a topic with very little text; however, they’re extremely effective.
For example, a map of Chicago detailing the high-risk crime areas can be color coded to get the point across with virtually no text. By just looking at the map for a moment users can see information in an instant that would take a few paragraphs to explain.
Of course, videos are also a great visual tool to use throughout your articles, and search engines love them. They’re also highly sharable. You just have to remember to keep it original and professional.
If you’re going to go to the trouble to produce a unique video, you might as well do it right. Hire a team of experts to plan, shoot and edit your video. Think about adding some original music, even. A well-done video will get you respect in your industry, and it will impress your customer base.
Again, as with any content marketing, what you produce should be original. If you don’t have the experienced personal to publish unique content of your own, like infographics, comics, charts, and maps; hire a graphic designer. It’s a small investment for what could be a big opportunity in your content marketing campaign.
Visual content marketing should now be your main objective if you’re out to better your online presence. Inputing visual aids into your content is also proven to get your site ranked higher in the nations top search engines. So if your content marketing objective is SEO, then visual content marketing should be number one on your to do list.
Know that if you really want make a point–or an impression–on the world wide Web, you’d better immediately start using a variety of visual techniques in your content marketing that capture an audience’s attention, inviting them to share your imagery with the click of a mouse.
If you play your cards right–you could even go viral.