Take a fresh look at how your images, video clips, and graphics speak for your brand. Here are some of our best visual content tips to help you find or reinforce your visual style
Align Your Visual Story With Your Web Content Marketing Strategy
It’s not an effective strategy to post a photo or video online and wait for the first business offers to come in. Neither is it wise to make the success of your visual content dependent on creating the next viral phenomenon.
As with any other content advertising format, you should have an engaging rationale for communicating with your target market through visual storytelling, as well as a clear plan for converting views into meaningful marketing results.
Their cleverly captioned images and funny videos on Instagram have sparked an unquenchable thirst for his Aviation Gin. A well-thought-out strategy can differentiate between a one-sided viral joke and a master of the visual content medium like Ryan Reynolds. Before you ask your content creators to outline their ideas, know the answers to these questions:
- What do we intend to achieve with our visual content?
- Who are our target audiences? What types of content are they interested in?
- What problems does our organization solve?
- How can we create a consistent brand language that connects our values?
- What is our specified vision of who we are, and what makes us unique? How can we compellingly communicate these messages?
- What metrics do we intend to use to measure success?
What terms do we want this image to appear in search engine results? Why not help your associates and upper management better understand all of the core components of your content marketing strategy by breaking them down with visuals? The visualization processes and development tools recommended by Nadya Khoja of Venngage can help you make this information more digestible, memorable, and actionable for everyone involved in your content program.
Know The Rules Of Good Design
While the many DIY design tools available online and on social media give almost anyone the ability to create visual content they don’t necessarily provide the know-how to do it well.
If you follow the few basic design principles outlined by Midori Nediger of Venngage, even graphically challenged marketers can learn to create images that both attract the eye and drive the conversation.
Give your imagery room to breathe: If you don’t leave enough white space between your images, a page can become cluttered and hard to follow, making your content distracting rather than capturing your audience’s attention. To give your core elements some room to breathe, Midori recommends removing images that don’t contribute to the visual conversation and increasing the space between unrelated elements to clarify the page structure.
Non-designers mistakenly intend to fill every inch of space with text, images, etc.
Including your company’s color preferences. However, don’t get so caught up in making this a priority that you overlook whether those colors work well together online. Decide on one color as a base and then use an online color wheel to find compatible, complementary colors.
Speed up the loading of your pages: Visual experiences are slowed down when images are not correctly sized and compressed. This can lead potential viewers to click directly on the “Back” button in looking for more accessible options. Use tools (like this basic one from Google) to check how quickly images load to determine if they need to be adjusted for use on different platforms and devices, including mobile devices.
Typographic choices are essential: Professional designers have strong opinions about fonts and spacing and for a good reason. Choosing the right font size, weight, and spacing is not only critical to readability, but it can also cause poor typographic choices to conflict with creating understandable and memorable messages.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Emotions
Some of the most memorable visual experiences have found a way to harness the power of emotion. Required proof? I challenge any animal lover to enjoy this; thank you for the video that Best Friends Animal Society sent to their supporters without feeling the love behind the story:
Appealing to B2B customers on an emotional level.
April explains, “(These consumers) want your company to understand and share their feelings. Why do they want that? Because business customers don’t buy your product. They are buying into your approach to solving their problem. As an instance of how B2B marketers can incorporate this kind of empathy into their visual content, April points to ShoreTel’s Day in the Life video telecom company. Although the video showcases some of the company’s tech solutions, the focus is on the story of a father torn between the task of getting his daughter off to school and getting important budget information out of his office in time for an important client meeting:
Personal stories can also increase the emotional empathy quotient of your visual content. One way to take advantage of this is to look for great customer stories on social media that can bring your brand to life through powerful visuals.
Avoid Generic Stock Images
Using professional photographers and powerful camera equipment is one way to create high-quality images, as their talents and skills can often help your brand tell more decadent, more compelling stories. Google stunningly illustrates this in its Art Zoom video collection, which takes viewers on a guided trip of art masterpieces, from Vincent van Gogh’s Starry Night to Claude Monet’s La Gare Saint-Lazare. The paintings were captured using Art Camera technology developed by the Google Cultural Institute, which delivers exceptionally high-resolution images in the gigapixel range:
If you can’t afford the most advanced equipment (and the talent to operate it), using an image archiving service is a viable alternative – though you should consider how to put your stamp on the images.
Reuse Information And Insights As Imagery
Content marketers can turn their most popular written or audiovisual content into engaging visuals – including data-driven formats like infographics, charts, or checklists. Not just is this a fantastic method to draw attention to your evergreen content, but it also helps make your brand’s insights easier to digest, more memorable, and easier to share.
For example, Venngage has polled design experts on the latest visual pattern they’ve observed and turned the outcomes into an infographic to inspire its target market to be forward-thinking in their designs:
The most recent entry in the annually updated series was turned into a YouTube video linked to a blog post and won the 2019 Content Marketing Award for Best Infographic:
Our editorial team continues to use much of our audio and text-based content in similar ways. CMI community manager Monina Wagner, for example, takes audio clips from our Weekly Wrap podcast and adds subtitles and a moving soundwave graphic to give audio-based content a visual flair that makes it better suited for Instagram The New Yorker is one media brand that has managed to turn its in-depth text content into visual stories that can easily consume on Instagram.
Leverage The Content Of Your Fans
Consumers love taking their photos and sharing selfie videos with their friends. Incorporate their creative work into your content marketing instead of interrupting them with product photos and promotional messages.
For instance, online plumbing and HVAC supplies company SupplyHouse.com launched a user-generated content campaign called Trades Built on Pride to recognize tradespeople and the work they do every day. The marketing team asked its Facebook fans to record videos of themselves telling how long they’ve been in the trades, what they do, and other relevant information they intend to share. Not only is this a fantastic method to identify active members of your online community, but it can also help your content stand out from the competition:
Stick To Your Brand
Whether or not you include your fans in your imagery, you should make sure to maintain your brand’s visual identity – including the use of your corporate colors and logos. Ideally, all of your content should feature a consistent design motif – one that viewers can immediately recognize and identify with your brand, regardless of where the content appears or who creates it.
For example, in this ongoing Instagram campaign, Cheerios eschews fancy photos in favor of personalized, text-based posts against a brand-appropriate colorful background. The content may be straightforward, but the brand’s fans will instantly recognize it thanks to the familiar Cheerios brand.
You’ll also require to pay attention to how your targeted distribution platform publishes these images, as specifications and size requirements may not be the same across the board. If you’re not paying close attention, the hard work you put into creating the perfect image to share can get muddled or distorted in a way that obscures the value of your brand.
Find Suitable Devices To Help You Get The Job Done.
The practices above should make it easier to understand what creating high-quality visual content entails. However, creating this content on an ongoing basis can still be a challenge for many companies.
While there’s no substitute for the expertise and skills of a professional designer, many robust visual content apps and tools can help you tackle the basics, such as editing images, adding subtitles, and reformatting pictures for social media – including those found in your smartphone’s camera app.
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