Billions of content pieces are published everyday. It’s pretty hard to wrap your head around this fact. With the growing popularity of social media channels, the online realm is getting overloaded with Big Data. So how can someone cut through the noise? With captivating ‘Visual Content’. Visual content creation helps you speak louder and stand out in the crowd.
Visuals and graphics are an integral part of the entire gamut of content marketing, and are critical in drawing an audience. With regards to websites, too, most web pages are viewed a maximum of 10-20 seconds before users abandon the site. With strong and impactful visual content on your homepage, you can hold the audience a little longer. And the longer your audience stays on your website, the higher is the chance of your conversion. This is one of the most vital importance of visual content.
Adding visuals to your brand message is also a great way to tell your story holistically and spread your message across all social media channels. It goes without saying that you are in constant competition with your peers and competitors, making it even more vital for you to make a difference.
The human attention span has reduced to such an extent, that now it is no good than goldfish. And this has been the prime challenge for marketers and brands, to hook their audience. To deal with this critical situation, one has to increase the engagement factor of their content.
As per the stats, content that have relevant supporting visuals are 94% shared more than their textual counterparts. Visual content are 40% more likely to be shared across social media platforms. For e.g., LinkedIn posts that have images and graphics have a 98% higher comment range. Facebook posts with visuals get more likes and comments than those without. And Twitter has seen the recent surge in visual content, generating engagement to almost 3X.
And in general terms, the human eyes tend to remember information 65% more if it has an image or an engaging visual. Therefore, the goal for a successful online marketer would be to have a perfect mix of visual content across the social media handles preferred by their target audience.
However, the beginners might find it a bit overwhelming while scoping out for brand visual content creation, and think of quitting midway. But creating impactful brand visuals that drive traffic, boost conversion and increase sales, is not so arduous as it seems. By adhering to some tried and tested visual content creation tips and putting a little earnest effort, you can certainly spruce up your content marketing strategy. Keep scrolling!
1. Align your Visual Content with your Social Media and Content Marketing Strategy
All companies have a well-defined brand identity and a brand language. Leverage that brand language into creating your visuals for your social media or content marketing strategy. A well-thought and focused visual marketing strategy starts with aligning your visuals with your social media handles, since that is the place where your target audience will mostly follow your brand.
The first tip to creating visual content for social media is to strike a perfect balance with the themes of the targeted social media channel. You cannot generalize the brand language of your visuals for every platform; instead, you need to think deeper and consider the preferences of your target audience. Also, reflect on the peak times to post the visuals. Planning these factors beforehand helps a lot in developing great visuals and an equally robust visual content strategy.
2. Conduct thorough Research and Development on your Target Audience!
Another great tip of developing head-turning visual content production and brand visuals is to know what kind of content experience your audience desires for. In order to get this insight, know your audience thoroughly. Conducting market research is critical to make sense of your creative goals.
As we all know, market research is imperative for every marketing campaign; likewise, for your visual content creation, too, you need to shape the designs in a way that resonate with your TG (Target Group). Keep a close eye on the platforms they are the most active on. Observe the style of the content they share online, sense the tonality of the content. Doing this is sure to increase the level of engagement in any design you create.
The whole point of creating visual content is to engage with your audience on a different level, leaving behind the garb of formality. So try to reflect your brand’s personality through the graphics you create, at the same time being true to your audience’s choice.
3. Maintain Consistency Across all your Social Media Handles
Staying consistent in your brand voice across all the social media channels is extremely crucial for a visual content strategy to be effective. You need to stay on your brand, including how you use your logo, fonts and colors in your designs. A consistent design motif that a user can easily relate your brand with, goes a long way.
However, do not think that you need to create look-alike designs; in fact, each of your graphics must be distinct and singular. But, there should be a certain brand cohesiveness that will bind all your custom designs together. When you have your brand color code and fonts decided, maintain that particular brand identity across multiple social channels to augment brand recognition.
Also, freeze upon a specific brand ethos in your designs. Be it a funny, informal tone or a more serious, formal type, maybe a neutral one- decide upon a specific facet and continue the same in all the visuals.
4. Consider the Basics of Designs and Graphics
When it comes to your brand visuals that you aspire to drive you audience, quality leads and establish your brand in the market, creativity is your key. Being creative is a spark that directs the onlooker’s attention to what you create. And knowing the creative basics is another equally crucial requisite for an effective content strategy.
There are endless possibilities for a graphic design when it is creative and adored by all. Don’t be afraid to think beyond the box, while staying with your brand identity, instead keep things interesting for your audience. For your visual content, have a clear subject or topic, keep enough contrast between the shades, you may also select some complementary colors while staying within your branding.
And finally, keep your designs simple.
5. Try to Avoid Stock Photos, but Keep a Mix
Though it is easy to get and use stock photos in your designs, it is always recommended to create visual content that appears authentic in front of the audience. Because when it is anything about branding, authenticity and personalization are everything. The more unique your visuals are, the more intensely your audience can connect with your brand.
Generic stock photos are less personal and more artificial in their appearance, which creates a conflict between your consumers and your brand. Moreover, there’s a worry about copyright as well, unless you have a paid subscription in a stock photo directory.
However, sometimes a content creator can create a mix of custom illustrations and real-life photos, but ensure the images are copyright free. The best idea would be to take cheerful snaps of your office, employees, some behind the scenes, your esteemed clients, any event happening within your office premise, office picnics and parties, etc. People love to see the human faces behind the brands they buy. Posting such homey pictures would get you closer to your consumers and prospects.
6. Strike the Emotional Quotient of your Target Audience
The way to a customer’s heart is through emotion; by awakening their subconscious. How many times have you come across advertisements that pique your emotions? Not many, I believe, considering the number of content we see everyday. Amongst the hundreds and thousands, one or two emotionally appealing photos, visuals or content literally creeps into your mind and triggers your subconscious mind. This is the psychology with visual content that awaken emotions into the human minds in a subtle manner.
Tapping into the emotional quotient of your target and appealing to their psyche will take your visual content a long way. Visuals that inspire trust and loyalty, and evoke memories, are immensely powerful in themselves than one could ever imagine.
Whether you trigger positive or negative emotions/memories, make it a point to develop your Social Media Graphics, Infographics, video content or Blog posts in a way that is relatable to your audience. If you target a younger generation, then keep your content vibrant and trendy.
Meme-jacking is a great way of doing content marketing these days that appeals to young millennials. Remember, brands that connect with their audience on an emotional level, create 2x more impact than those who create non-emotionally targeted campaigns and ad content. Emotional branding and advertisement can be highly effective when done correctly.
So make sure that your visual content is appropriate to the niche you are targeting and don’t shy away from showcasing emotions.
7. Make sure you use Relevant Images in your Content
Social media is an excellent platform to share pieces of our life, our happy moments, families, friends, pets, and so much more. Several globally renowned brands have also followed the cue and started sharing images on social media. But this hack works well only when you share images relevant to your business or niche. Unless your primary niche is sports gear, do not share loads of images around sports.
Your social media handle is not your personal space where you can showcase your own preferences. You need to analyze the niche you are targeting, the products/services you trade and share images and visuals related to that. Make sure you have a specific vision for your visual content development, and never decide in haste.
Just in case you are running low on visual content for social media and you shared something out of context and entirely unrelated to your brand- this is sure to backfire.
8. Design Visually-Stimulating Infographics
If created engagingly, Infographics can convey the stats and data you want to showcase to your audience, in the most effective manner. They can drive 180% more engagement to a post, than plain textual-based content. For every sector, Infographics are the best options for displaying data and holding the onlookers’ attention for a longer period of time. At the same time, they also make your brand content more shareable and digestible. You can also personalize the designs in your brand voice, thus converting them into potential marketing tools.
Undoubtedly enough, Infographics are peppy snackable visual bites that help make your brand look more memorable, engaging and trustworthy. You can showcase any data through a well-designed Infographic – survey, stats, industry facts, timelines, achievements, new product announcement, case study, and many more.
9. Understand the Basic of Image Copyright to Avoid any Violation
Copyright can be a serious concern for every online marketer, because one single copyright issue can make or break your brand. That said, make sure that you understand the basics of copyright laws; because regardless of the fact whether you violated it unintentionally, you need to face serious consequences.
Check out for all the fine prints in any stock photo you are using. In case of any doubt, feel free to reach out to the image owner. Also, give credit when it is called for, if you use any user-generated content in your visuals.
10. Ensure a Flawless Optimization for your Visual Content
Not just your website content and Blog posts, make sure to optimize your visuals too for SEO. Doing this will speed up your web-traffic and social media engagement, as well as drive backlinks and increase your website’s authority.
With the rising popularity of visual search engines like Google Lens, Bing Image Search, Pinterest Lens, StyleSnap by Amazon, Flickr, Getty Images, TinEye Reverse Image Search – visual search is soaring high. Include relevant tags and keywords in your texts if you are using textual designs. And though Googlebot does not ‘crawl’ or ‘read’ images, you can put relevant alt tags or alt texts to let the search engines find your content.
Alt-texts or alternative texts help to describe what all are there in an image by using similar but not identical phrases to your title. Keep in mind, image search constitutes almost 27% of all search-engine searches.
As the world gets more and more connected on social media platforms, marketers are leveraging these channels to create a more personalized user experience. The competition between brands is getting fiercer day by day, which is making brand sustainability challenging.
Creating captivating brand visuals for social media has thus been a crucial component of content marketing. With the top tips mentioned above, start developing your visual content creation strategy and keep a close eye on your social media analytics. Keep experimenting with different types of visual content pieces and see which one generates more engagement, conversion and revenue.
Apart from abiding by the tips, also think of developing a wholesome branding guide if you have not already. Content creation happens promptly if you have your guidelines set. Let your visuals speak for your brand and draw the audience’s attention, making your brand stand out in the crowd!
And if you ever feel creating enticing brand visuals a little taxing, you might consult a professional team for stunning graphic designs. They would take note of your objectives, brainstorm the concept, and come up with custom design solutions that help you achieve your goals. Don’t forget to share your own experience with brand visual content and what kind of strategies you had undertaken in creating awesome visual content. Keep your creative juices flowing!