What is Visual Content?
Visual content is any kind of online content that’s predominantly image-based. Examples include pictures for blog posts, diagrams and charts that illustrate key metrics, infographics, live and pre-recorded videos, screenshots, and memes.
We’ll dive deeper into a few of these visual content types later in this article to explain why they’re useful to marketing professionals and how to use them effectively.
Why You Should Use Visual Content
As a marketer, you still need text-based content to properly promote your company’s products and services. But visual content, which has exploded in popularity over the past few years, is important, too, because it will allow you to better connect with your audience.
The latest research suggests that:
- Visual content is viewed 94% more than non-visual content.
- After three days, the average person remembers 10% of the information they hear. When said information is paired with a relevant image, information retention increases to 65% after a three day period.
- The sense of a visual scene can be felt in less than 1/10 of a second.
What does this mean for your marketing efforts? That visual content is an excellent way to connect with your audience and will likely generate higher engagement levels, quicker.
5 Visual Content Types
Visual content is an important component of a modern content marketing strategy. But what type of visual content should you use? In this section, we’ll explore five popular kinds of visual content and explain how you can use them to bolster your marketing efforts.
Images are one of the easiest visual content types to use and can be posted to social media, embedded in blog posts, and emailed to audience members.
The images you choose to use can come in a variety of different styles, such as photographs, animated images, and screenshots. (We’ll talk more about screenshots in the next section.) No matter which type you use, make sure they’re high-quality and relatable.
While there are plenty of stock photo websites, original images will set your content apart from the competition and allow you to incorporate your products and services when necessary.
Pro Tip: When using images in your blog posts, try to space them out every 400 words or so — preferably under headlines and subheads. By doing so, you should be able to create an engaging and enjoyable reading experience for your audience.
Screenshots are a special kind of image that are perfect for showcasing software features, detailing complex processes, or just giving your audience a unique viewing experience.
We suggest using screenshots whenever the focus of your content is on the specific products or services that you sell. That way viewers get a direct look at them. This strategy also makes it easier to back up the claims you make in your marketing copy.
To really supercharge your screenshots, annotate them. An annotation can come in the form of an arrow or text box or something else and is designed to help clarify a point or draw attention to something specific. For example, you could annotate a screenshot of a software application with an arrow to pinpoint the location of a certain feature.
Pro Tip: Use a free tool like CloudApp to easily take screenshots and annotate them with arrows, emojis, text boxes, and more.
In case you haven’t noticed, video has taken over the internet. Why? Because it’s what audiences want. In fact, HubSpot found that 54% of people want to see more video content from marketers. It’s your job to give it to them!
Video is a fantastic type of visual content for marketing purposes because it’s highly engaging and viewers love sharing it. It’s also incredibly versatile.
You can create how-to videos, animated explainer videos, product demos, customer testimonials… The list goes on. Then, once your video content is created, you can post it to your company’s website or blog, social media channels, and YouTube.
Pro Tip: While scripted videos that have been edited to perfection can do wonders for your business, audiences also enjoy live videos that are raw and unrefined. Just make sure that any piece of video content you release is congruent with your company’s branding.
In today’s business world, data is king. Infographics are the best type of visual content for conveying dense data and metrics in easily digestible ways.
They also have the benefit of being easily shareable. You could, for example, combine all of the data points you mention in a blog post into an eye-catching infographic. Then offer the infographic as a free download in exchange for an email address.
Infographics also look great when posted on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and will likely be shared and/or retweeted at a high rate.
Pro Tip: In order for your infographic to succeed, it needs to look great. Fortunately, free tools like Canva feature an assortment of templates and make it easy to create stunning infographics that everyone will admire.
Finally, we have memes. If you’ve spent even five minutes scrolling through social media in the past few years, you’ve seen a meme, guaranteed.
Memes have become a popular way to add humor to a company’s marketing efforts. When used correctly, they can make organizations seem more friendly, relatable, and trustworthy. You know what they say, people buy from companies they know, like, and trust.
Memes can help you boost the likability and trust factors with your target audience!
If they fit your brand, try posting a meme or two on social media or including one in your next blog post. Then gauge your audiences’ reaction. If they appreciate the attempt at humor, keep using them. If not… well, just stick with the other visual content types on this list.
Pro Tip: Know your audience. A poorly timed or tone-dead meme can offend viewers and cause a lot more harm than good.
Boost Your Marketing Efforts
The strategic use of images, screenshots, videos, infographics, memes, and other visual content types will help you better connect with your audience and engage them in your marketing efforts. We suggest adding them to your blogs and social media posts ASAP.
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