Does this sound familiar…it’s break time and you’re scrolling through your Facebook or LinkedIn newsfeed. Your finger keeps the mouse downward. You stop only when an image catches your eye. If the image is compelling enough, you’ll stop to see what the story is all about.
According to MDG Advertising, visual content with compelling images attracts 94% more total views than content without images. Whether you’re a small business owner, a blogger, or manage a non-profit organization, creating and sharing more visual content through your website, blog, and social pages considerably boosts your social media engagement, increasing your likes, shares, and traffic.
In a world full of content, visual content offers you the opportunity to stand out on the Web. There are many ways in which you can use visual content to up your social media engagement and get your message across more effectively.
Here are 10 ways that visual content will help you stand out.
- Add attention-grabbing photographs to your website content, blog posts, and social updates. Instead of using Google to search for images, consider buying high-quality images from royalty free stock photography websites like iStockPhoto, Dreamstime (Singapore based), or free sites like Looking Glass (https://lookingglassfreephotos.com) or Pexels. My new favorite source which is reasonably priced is UnStock.
Alternatively consider using your Photoshop skills to enhance your images. When it comes to buying products online, images are the deciding factor for most customers.
- Embed highly visual calls to action in your content, in the form of conspicuous Buy, Sign Up, Join, Follow, and Download buttons. You can grab such buttons from the web, have a graphic designer create them for you, or design them yourself in Photoshop.
- Add inspiring quotes to beautiful images to create highly-sharable quote cards. You can make these with any image editing tool by adding great quotes to free-license images and sharing them across your social pages, as well as on your blog. You can easily do this with sites like Canva and Word Swag.
- Integrate data visualizations such as charts and graphs into your content. Visual information is easier to understand than text and has a more powerful impact on viewers. There are many tools that help you create engaging data visualizations. CreativeBloq has a great blog post that list the best 38 tools for data visualization.
- Turn your findings, reports, and other key data into beautifully-designed infographics. Businesses which use infographics report a 12% higher profit according to visualcontenting.com. Keep in mind though that successful infographics need more than a beautiful design – they need to be backed up by research. Spend at least as much time gathering momentous facts and researching your infographics as you spend designing them.
- Create short videos. Did you know that 64% of customers are more likely to buy your product after watching a video about it, according to comScore? Your videos don’t have to be professionally made. On the contrary, personal, humane, non-corporate videos perform best. Just turn on the camera and speak about your product, or have one of your employees who feels comfortable in front of a camera do it.
- Use screenshots. With screenshots you can enhance your step-by-step guides, explain customer support questions more clearly in your FAQ section, or capture positive reviews from Yelp, Google+, etc and add them to your website.
- Use real avatars for your blog authors and social media posters. Avatars make your postings more personal and help you tell stories. Your audience is more likely to like, share, and comment on your postings if they come from a real person rather than a corporate voice hidden behind a logo – avatars help consolidate the author’s identity.
- Turn key statements and facts into images and integrate them into your text. Bits of visual content help break the monotony of text and make your content easier to digest.
- Present benefits, pros and cons, and comparisons as visual content. Visual content is the best way to highlight key features of your new product, explain the benefits of your services over traditional services, or compare your product with your competitor’s to show why it’s better.
While visual content boosts your social media engagement and generates more views for your content, it does require time to create, as well as specific skills. If you don’t have the time or don’t feel comfortable with image editing tools, consider using professional web design services. Or source for freelancers from places such as Guru.com, Freelancer.com or UpWorks (formerly Elance/Odesk). Don’t forget to have fun.