We’ve been living the content marketing trend for a long time now. You have heard over and over how "content is king" and if you’re not investing time in content marketing, you’re really not doing enough to market your business. Well, let’s just take it a notch higher, shall we? If you are going to produce good content, you'd better make sure it’s visual content.
Visual content IS content marketing now. Move over, white papers; YouTube is where it’s at. From images to infographics, how-to videos to Instagram loops, seeing is believing.
Visual Content: Why Is It Important?
So what is the big deal about visual content and why should you pay so much attention to it for your marketing campaigns? There are reasons aplenty.
If there’s anyone who loves visuals more than the average Internet user, it’s the marketer. Quality imagery, interesting infographics and interactive videos have taken customer engagement rates through the roof. Internet users (you and me included) no longer have the time or patience for long-form text content—give us a meme over a five-line status update and we’ll happily Like your post. Engagement gets brands the attention they want, so naturally visual content is a marketer’s dream come true.
How many infographics have you seen in the past year? Probably too many to keep track of. Every time you see a good one, though, you enjoy the information and you probably pass it along to someone else who might be interested. If you write a blog, you link to it, just as I have done here by sharing this amazing infographic by M Booth with you.
See the rest of this infographic on the M Booth site.
Lots of quality links makes for good SEO, and producing quality visual content seems to be the most popular way to get those backlinks for SEO rolling in.
Posts with photos on Facebook get more likes and comments—but you already knew that. Did you also know that Pinterest was responsible for generating more referral traffic to sites than Google Plus, LinkedIn and YouTube combined? Visual content does well on social media.
When there’s more engagement, more links and more socializing with your content, the traffic to your site is bound to jump up. If I see a good YouTube video, I will click through on the link to see who produced it. Infographics too are making their fair share of contribution towards traffic. According to Anson Alex, “publishers that feature infographics grow traffic 12% faster than publishers that don't feature infographics.”
We’re consuming more and more content on our mobile devices versus our computers, so we’re even less inclined to consume content that’s hard on the eyes. We prefer images, infographics and, of course, videos. Twenty-five million smartphone users stream four hours of mobile video per month. If you’re not producing videos, you may not be reaching a large chunk of your customer base.
Finally, when you put all the traffic, links and social signals together, you’re hoping it leads to one thing: more conversions. And it does. A well-designed company website is more likely to create a good impression and drive sales. Also, it’s common knowledge now that videos boost conversion and time on site by 9%, and according to KISSmetrics, viewers of product videos are 64–85% more likely to make a purchase.
Optimizing for Visual Content Marketing
So it’s been established—visual content marketing is a thing. It’s a powerful online marketing trend and you should be optimizing your campaigns before your competitors take over. Don’t get overwhelmed—including more visuals in your campaigns is hardly difficult. Here are some tips:
The easiest way to get started is to make sure you’re sharing more images via social media, on your blog and even via email marketing. Quality, relevant images will make your audience stop and take a second to look over your content. Grab their attention with fun, interesting and/or educational images.
Get active on Instagram and Pinterest and start to actively post content your audience would likely be interested in.
We’re all guilty of spending way too much time on YouTube, but are you making the most of YouTube marketing yet? Your customers are online and watching videos—reach them by setting yourself up and producing engaging and interactive videos that your audience will enjoy.
Unsure about producing videos? Start off with Vine or even Instagram video. You don’t have to be a pro—as long as you’re providing interesting, engaging content, your audience will enjoy it.
Hire a Designer
If your budget allows for it, hire a web designer and start developing some branded marketing collateral. You could start by getting your website redesigned to make sure it has an edgy, 21st-century feel to it.
Following this, if you’re in a data-driven industry and have plenty of stats in your pocket, consider producing infographics that you think your audience might find interesting and even pass along to others. If infographics aren’t a go, you could always start off with developing branded imagery such as weekly tips, quotes, product reviews and much more.
Think outside the box. Imagine what content you would like to see from brands and try to create and share visual content accordingly.
We’re visual beings, us humans. We like to see things, especially pretty pictures, brightly colored infographics, quick-moving gifs and interesting videos. It’s really no surprise that visual content marketing is such a big trend.
Just a quick word of advice: Don’t just do content marketing for the sake of it—do it to provide value to your audience. Customers are quickly growing tired of the deluge of content thrown their way by marketers, and if you don't provide something they're looking for, you'll get ignored.
Have you invested time and resources updating your marketing campaign with visuals? If yes, what sort of results have you seen? If no, why not? Do share.