Content planning is fun, your creative brain alights and the content lists are bursting. So, now that you have a giant list of compelling, riveting content topics for your business’s marketing strategy, how are you going to make that content pop?
Without visual cues or stimulation, reading a huge page of text is daunting on the eyes. Personally, it reminds me of those sci-fi movies where strings of data are running over the character’s face…it makes my eyes burn.
See, didn’t that visual convey exactly what I meant? Consider if I hadn’t described it to you. What if all I wrote was: Writing without visuals is as hard on the eyes as… and then inserted that picture. Would you understand what I wanted to convey? Chances are, yes.
There are many compelling ways to use visual mediums for your content. Here is a list of top suggestions and when and how to use them.
Static visuals, like the picture above, are great for adding emphasis to your words or giving your reader a visual of a product rather than trying to describe every detail about it. The old saying, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ is still true. Static images are useful in every industry. They don’t need to be a product or still of a service in action. They can be a simple representation of your thoughts.
Static images give your reader’s brain and eyes a break. Let their mind take in what the image is telling them and then move on to your next vital piece of information.
Remember that your images should be proprietary or royalty free or paid for. While it is tempting to Google a cute cat picture for your next Facebook post, be careful! If you snag that cute picture, the content owner can come after you for royalties. Use a royalty free site like Pixabay or a subscription based site like iStock. Or just take a picture of your own cat and bam, content created.
Graphs, Charts, Flow Charts
You may be tempted to gloss over this section, thinking, ‘I’m a small retailer, I don’t have need for graphs and charts’. Well, you’re wrong, so don’t gloss over this! Graphs and charts can be used to add flare and interest to an otherwise dull piece.
I’m partial to flow charts, also called mind maps. As a visual person, these help me understand the complex processes that marketing and mapping out prospects can take. You can use services to create these, some Word programs can create them or you can get old school and use a pen and paper.
Graphs can be used creatively for your marketing and business management. Graphs help to create visual content and be valuable for sales targets, ordering and budgeting. Create a graph surrounding your most popular t-shirt sales. Last month you sold orange shirts, red shirts, white shirts, shirts with cats in sunglasses on them and dogs in hats.
Here’s your chance to not only order up on those sunglass wearing cat t’s, but also have fun with your followers. Share the basics of the chart with them or create an Instagram poll encouraging followers vote their favourite shirt, then reveal the top sellers chart.
This kind of multipurpose content provides valuable insight into your customer’s preferences, creates engagement with your brand on social media and helps you decide what to order, maximizing that budget!
These charts are pretty easy to create in your excel or numbers program. If you need more help, there’s a trusty resource; YouTube [link].
Aren’t you happy you didn’t gloss over this?
What if you want to showcase a great deal of information in one dynamic and inspirational image? Enter the infographic.
Personally, I love consuming information via infographic. These are like static image bullet points that are also flow charts and graphs. Be warned, infographics are more time consuming to make, but they provide your prospects with a punch of information in a convenient, easy to consume package.
I could easily make this entire blog post into an infographic. It would make it fast for you to consume and easy to share (win-win).
Use infographics to convey lots of information in visual bullets. For example:
You can create infographics with free services like canva.com, or bump up your visuals with paid services, graphic designers and a copywriter.
Support your webpage, blog post, newsletter and social media posts with video. Video is quickly rising in popularity across all platforms.
Videos take time to outline, script, film, edit and then post. That’s lots of time and possibly money, unless you can do all that yourself (I can’t…hence I write.) Videos can, however, create a huge impact for your business. You can showcase services that are difficult to describe, give your prospects a behind-the-scenes show – very popular by the way, or even present your infographic as a video (multi-purpose that content).
Your videos are also cross-platform, really adding to your online presence and search-ability, getting you in front of more prospects. Create one video and share it to reels, stories, YouTube, on your website and Facebook page. You can also include videos in your email newsletters and marketing campaigns. Heck, you can even turn it into a commercial!
Make sure when you’re planning a video, especially if you intend to pay for a videographer, editor, script writer, actors, etc. that you really plan it. Work with your marketing department, copywriter and social media coordinator to plan a video that will resonate with your audience.
That’s the skinny on visuals for marketing your business. Whether you’re a small, medium or large business, visual media is crucial to the success of your marketing strategy.
Be sure to incorporate a variety of mediums. Plan your content and evaluate which topics will work well as a chart, video, infographic or a simple image. This way you can plan and budget accordingly.
Remember, don’t keep good advice to yourself, share this article on social media, email it to a friend or print it and post it on the library wall – I’m cool with it!