It used to be that one of the few things a business needed to grow was many word-of-mouth referrals. Those days are long, long gone. Today, we have to reach potential customers in various ways and what people see in their first glance can make or break your success. When it comes to marketing online you have mere seconds to convince your audience it’s worth sticking with you for a minute or two. And as people process visually long before they start making cognitive choices, your front-line soldier in the fight for attention is visual content.
It’s not news that the internet is a visual medium at this point. If it is, then here’s a quick catch-up: content is king, and visual content gets seen and absorbed far more than text alone. Instagram and Pinterest have changed the social media game and your visuals matter.
High-quality visual content that tells a story significantly boosts engagement with your brand, giving you an opening to sell to them. Strong visuals establish trust, create desire, and in turn helps convert followers into customers.
Why Visual Content Matters
When it comes to effective business marketing, images and visuals can truly tell the story of 1000 words.
Images have a bigger impact than words and make that impact in a dramatically shorter amount of time. Research shows 93% of all communication is non-verbal and the brain processes visual content 60,000 times faster than text. This data alone should convince business owners everywhere to jump on board with visual content marketing.
Not convinced? Let Me Give You Numbers…
Try on these statistics for size. Every minute:
- 216,000 photos are posted on Instagram
- 3,472 images are pinned on Pinterest.
- 72 hours of new video are uploaded and shared on YouTube
These numbers alone (we’ll get to Facebook and Twitter in a moment) make a strong case as for why you should start using visual content to your business.
A recent study by on viral content Buzzsumo found even more compelling data:
- Facebook articles were shared an average of 64.9 times if they had one image versus 28 times for those without an image.
- Facebook posts with a thumbnail image were shared 56 times while post with no image were shared only 17.7 times.
- Tweets featuring a thumbnail were shared an average of 56 times while tweets without thumbnails were only shared 9.67 times on Twitter.
This confirms without a shadow of a doubt that posts accompanied by visual data perform better than those without, making putting an emphasis on visuals a no-brainer for all brands. Including visual content in your marketing strategy can only benefit your business.
So now I have you convinced, I bet you’re thinking ‘okay, but HOW?’. No worries, we’ll get to that soon.
Remember To Be Purposeful When Choosing Visual Content
Before we get down to brass tacks, you need to keep this in mind:
Visual content can change your business, but first, you have to understand how it leads to increased conversion. As much as we’d all love it, you can’t just post a great photo and see an increase in sales.
Visual content needs to engage users with attention-grabbing imagery and convey all the important information visually. You need to show the customer why they should choose you, so the visual content you use needs to be chosen with a purpose in mind.
5 Ways to Use Visual Content in your Business:
1. Use Simple Imagery to Drive Traffic
Post simple, relatable and easy-to-understand content on your social media accounts. Start with simple imagery.
Post a stunning photo of your product or service. Add a brief description. Then use a bit.ly link instead of the full url for additional information. This will ensure the extra text doesn’t detract from visual composition.
Simple imagery will increase numbers of shares and click through your business experiences.
2. Use a Variety of Visuals
Change things up and post different types of visual content. Provide various content while still maintaining a consistent brand. So how do you achieve both variety and consistency? Simple: use templates.
So how do you create a variety of templates that strategically promote your business and drive traffic?
Focus on the three main types of visual content:
- Shareable Images
- Instructional Infographics
- Showpiece images
Shareable images are the easiest template to create. Choose an image and accompany it with tips, a quote, or an inspirational message.
Instructional infographics are graphics filled with step-by-step instructions. Checklists and how-to infographics are common examples of this category.
Finally, there are the showpiece images. These are more complex and time-consuming to create. Think about imagery that makes you stop mid-scroll and return to it. They are stunning and/or highly detailed.
3. Choose Colors Wisely
Your design decisions for visual content can attract or drive away potential customers in a matter of seconds. Colors play a role in brand-recognition and conversion rates. That is because colors can be emotionally charged.
Red is energetic, aggressive and attention-grabbing. Blue is trustworthy, responsible, and dependable. Green evokes health, wealth, prestige, and serenity. Yellow represents positivity, motivation, and creativity. Orange means fun, playfulness, and vitality. Purple stands for royalty, nostalgia, and spirituality. Brown is associated with natural earth tones and is represents simplicity and durability. White is clean and soft. Black is timelessness and sophistication.
So, depending on what emotion you want to trigger you can opt for different colors and color schemes.
4. Maintain Relevancy
Keep your visual content relevant by referencing holidays, trends, events, newsbreaks, and any other happening relevant now. Paying attention to trends is especially helpful for maintaining relevancy. Also, consider tracking holidays and creating customizable templates to deliver your messages.
5. Engage With User-Generated Content
The most successful visual content is user-generated. Encourage your audience to share photos of themselves using your product and tagging your company in the photos. You can also engage with your audience by recognizing their posts. Re-post their content on your company’s social media accounts and tag them in it.
There You Have It, Now Go On And Create!
To create great visual content, you need to be a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. You need to be part designer, part psychologist, part detective, and part entrepreneur. Even if you don’t have the time to master all these skills, the above 5 tips for using visual content will start you on the right path. You’ll be well on your way to understanding how to produce visual content that increases customer engagement and change your business for the better.