The Savvy Marketer’s Guide to Creating Visual Content That Customers Love
When it comes to content marketing, you don’t want to be laying out strategies that are just ‘good’ enough or ‘Okay’ for now, what you really want is to be “all in” and win it!
This means that you must not only be able to do keyword research.
Go beyond that.
Learn what your customers are really talking about.
Know what makes them stop and actually read.
Master what makes them devour every single post.
But what makes really great content?
While there’s no final and definitive guide on what makes content great and shared by your readers, there’s an important component it can’t live without: engaging, eye-catching visuals.
Content is not just about the written word. Content is anything from photos, videos, infographics or anything that your readers can lay eyes on.
Depending on your goals, you can create content that’s either purely text supplemented by photos or a text-and-photo combo.
While there’s really no exact measurement of how many images or how much text you need, as your customers’ taste constantly evolves, one thing’s for sure – they want to be entertained. They want to learn. And boredom is the last thing they expect from you.
Even your customers share visual content. Look at Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr or even LinkedIn. These platforms reign the digital landscape.
What do they have in common? All of them enable users to share photos, videos, illustrations, digital graphics, etc. Take it from Aldous Huxley, “the more you see, the more you know.”
Yes, indeed, communicative power goes beyond the written alphabet.
Top marketers all over the world hail that. 74% of them use visual assets and are currently working to increase these efforts this year.
It’s all in the Brain
Since the earliest days, communicating through text was not mankind’s first choice. Cave paintings were our means at the time to represent an idea we wish to convey.
It has something to do with how our brains are wired. Our brains process images 60,000 times faster than text.
Cognitively speaking, we decode visual cues around us. And we do it well and pretty quickly.
What’s more, we are more likely to remember visual cues than pure text. Neuroscientists and visual literacy experts believe that our brains process images and etch them into our long-term memory.
Even to this day, as we use our smartphones and computers, the way we use sight and how our brain processes visual cues remain the same.
So, want your readers to remember your posts? Mix them up with killer graphics.
With thousands of blog posts and social media content published in a day, it’s easy for your readers to click the back button and go on to other, more interesting pages.
Clearly, the human attention span is short – about 7 seconds. We’re often compared to a goldfish, which is said to be able to hold a thought for a bit longer, than well, just about a second!
The point is, as marketers or content producers, we need to beat this. What we want is for our readers to leave our pages feeling empowered, informed, and engaged! Even if there are thousands of blogs or social media pages out there, when you make a positive impression, your readers will surely remember you and keep coming back. What’s more, they’ll want to share your content and expand the conversation!
How visual assets help your readers become more engaged with your overall content.
- You get more page views, you get more shares.
It comes as no surprise at all―they only want to share the good stuff.
Visual content such as videos increase website conversions by 86%.
Other research says that blog posts or articles with visuals get 94% more views than those without.
And compared to a purely text-based article, infographics are 30 times more viewed and read.
- They show and reinforce your brand aesthetics
The color, the font style, the graphic elements that go into your every marketing material ― they have a language of their own.
Top brands know how crucial this is.
This is why they take the time to work with branding experts and design professionals to figure out the ‘right’ color scheme, font types, templates, etc.
This may take a lot of time and resources to get the best people for this task but it’s worth it in the end, rather than risk conveying the wrong message to a brand’s audience.
Let’s take NEO360 for example:
The circles represent NeoRanking coming full circle into its evolution as NEO360 with fresher, on-point branding.
The quadrants symbolize parts of a whole, comprehensive marketing communications strategy or sales machine.
This color palette exudes “trustworthiness” and “professionalism”, which is why these colors are widely used by blue-chip companies. The incorporation of brighter tones set a lighter mood to bring in an element of fun.
The Savvy Marketer’s Guide
Whether or not you are already have a flair for branding and design, here is a guide to help you create your brand kit. Once your brand kit is in place, it would be much easier for you to create the visual content you want.
These are basic but smart elements to begin with:
Decide on the color scheme. Make sure it reflects your brand.
Corporate and Serious
Warm and Friendly
- Font type
Just like the way you choose your color scheme, you must choose your fonts according to your brand’s personality.
Especially when you’re fashioning title graphics for a blog post, you’ll want to spice it up with font combinations such as the following:
- Free Photo Sources
It saves you a lot of headache when you buy photos online, as you can actually own the rights and use them however you want. However, there are also sites that offer photos for free, as long as you credit them properly in your content.
Just make sure you read their terms & conditions before grabbing their files.
- Free editing tools
You don’t really need highly advanced editing software to be able to rock your post graphics. There are tools available online that you can use.
For resizing your images
Simply edit the templates to create your blog or social media post graphics with Canva.
Go beyond the simple image format and create a GIF instead with GIFmaker.me
- Post graphics formats and layouts
You don’t have to know all the lay-outing guides and techniques, just master enough to make your content stand out. When it comes to composing your design, the proportion of elements is key.
Here are some examples:
It pays to be aware of the basic sizes and resolution of the platforms you use to post.
WordPress: at least 600 pixels
Facebook Post Image: 470 pixels for square image
Facebook Image Preview: If you’re posting a link with an image, try to scale it to 470 pixels wide by 240 pixels tall.
Instagram: at least 1080 pixels square
LinkedIn post image: maximum width of 350 pixels; its height will be scaled according to its width automatically.
LinkedIn Article Image: 700 pixels wide by 400 pixels tall
Important things to remember
While design requires you to exercise your creative prowess, the process will be much easier when you know your customers well and learn what they want to see in your content.
So before taking that ‘crop image’ or ‘color picker’ tool, spend some time to know more about your ideal readers.
You can also lurk around the web to browse through some of the most shared content and take note of best practices. See how you can apply them to your own brand.
Lastly, always remain consistent. With every design element that you use, you add to what your customers know about you. And with that knowledge comes trust―the very foundation of any relationship. Yes, even in business.
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