Visual content is just as important for your business as Dr. Watson is for the Sherlock Holmes story. Can Sherlock cope without Watson? For sure. Would the story without John be funny and engaging? Not so much.
Images and videos are the most direct, cost effective and simple way to engage an audience. Statistics show that adding an image to a Facebook post results in 2.3 times more engagement. Furthermore, as many as 74 percent of marketers use visual content in their social media marketing.
Visuals can help your brand catch the user’s attention when they are scrolling through their news feeds. They can also set a tone and atmosphere for an article about a product or a website. And without a doubt, the images you choose define the visual style of your brand. Consider the fact that 65 percent of senior marketing executives believe that visual content, such as photos, video, illustrations and infographics are a core asset for their brand story.
At Depositphotos, we deal with millions of files every day; helping our clients find photos, vectors and videos that will ‘click’ with their target audience. A systematic approach to a visual content strategy will help you elevate your user engagement to a whole new level. Let’s talk about the five types of visual content that will help you engage users and optimize conversion rates.
This is the most obvious type of visual content, and also the most efficient one. Photos can be funny, provocative, sarcastic or sad. They evoke emotions, drive attention to the content and set up a specific mood. We are social creatures and respond to faces with emotional expressions — that’s why most of the ads we see feature portraits of people.
There are several important rules you should follow in order to win over clients with photography:
- Be consistent in your choice of photos in terms of style, colors and main subjects or objects. Notice how big brands deliberately choose visuals for their social media accounts.
- Always pay attention to the quality of the visuals. Choose photos with natural lightning, proper composition and an authentic vibe that will make them relatable.
- Follow the latest trends in visual culture. The knowledge of what’s trending now will help you choose relatable visuals for you audience.
- Don’t forget about user generated content (UGC). Many companies turn to users’ photos as a source of authenticity and credibility. 63 percent of users trust UG photography more than traditional brand images.
Video will dominate social media, corporate sites and digital advertising this year. According to Syndacast, 74 percent of all internet traffic will be video content in 2017. How should you use video to engage your target audience? Use trending formats such as 360 degree, 4K and aerial video. Try a live stream from your office or one showcasing the use of your product.
If producing video is something you are not planning to do, try using high quality stock videos. Choose ones with emotions and movement, close-to-life scenes and natural lightning.
If there can’t be a video, there should at least be a GIF. Most social networks have embedded GIF formats into their interfaces and we see GIFs being used by high-end media outlets more and more often. This format has become one of the most quick and fun ways of translating news (remember how fast hundreds of GIFs appeared after the inauguration of Donald Trump).
For brands and companies, this format could be a great way of connecting with customers and entertaining them. A GIF will also make your brand stand out from the crowd on social media. Here is how your brand can benefit from including more GIFs:
- Add popular GIFs to your social media posts, articles or even emails. There are millions of options on Giphy and ReactionGifs, just type in the emotion or action you are looking for.
- Turn a video or several images about your product into a GIF. You can use it to showcase something or use it as a small instruction or a fun way to present a new feature.
We love to look at and share infographics, since it is one of the most comprehensive formats for delivering educational content. Provide your potential clients with a valuable infographic, and you could reach these three goals:
- Get viral content with your logo on it
- Establish your company as an expert in your industry
- Earn trust and appreciation from your target audience
For ideas, search Pinterest or simply turn some of the content you are already producing (such as blogs and how-to guides) into an infographic. Remember to include statistics, comparisons and content sources.
Icons are one more type of graphic content that will help put content in order, make it more accessible and visually attractive. Consider using icons when there is a limited amount of space and several main points that you would like to translate to your readers. A good example would be in an email or on the main page of your site.
Although they sometimes seem to be redundant, quizzes and polls are perfect formats for engaging an audience. The reason most marketers abandon this type of content is that often times they don’t know how to apply them to their niche. The truth is, you just need to know what to ask your users.
Come up with a catchy name for your quizz, like “Which of these magical marketing beasts are you?” and spark some curiosity in your potential leads. Ask your audience about their struggles and needs, and apart from interactive content you will also gain insights. Try out this format by including a small quizz into a blog post, an article or a social network post. Also, don’t forget to make quizzes shareable on social media — it’s a great type of viral content.
Whichever content type you choose, try to be consistent in your visual content strategy and make visuals compliment your text.
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