Get Started with the Content that will Rule 2014
In case you’ve had any doubt about whether your brand needs to be creating and promoting visual content, we have some pretty astonishing facts for you:
- 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual, and those visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than regular old text.
- 28% of companies are creating custom infographics, and the average increase in page visits when an infographic is shown is 12%.
- 55% of brands are creating video for content marketing. Why? Well, viewers spend 100% more time on pages that include video, and about 700 YouTube videos are Tweeted out every minute.
It’s not just infographics, either. A whopping 46.1% of people say that the design of a website is the number one factor that helps them determine the credibility of a brand.
Are you convinced? Good. Now, onto the more difficult part. How do you start working visuals into your marketing and content strategy when you are already stretched thin on budget and resources? The best thing to do is to start now, and start small. You’ll soon see a return on your efforts and creating visual content will become less time-consuming and overwhelming the more you do it. Here are a few ways to get started:
1. Always include images with your social shares
Even if all you have is a stock photo to go along with your blog post, make sure that it is attached to all of your social shares of that post. This is usually done automatically on Facebook and LinkedIn; on Twitter, all it takes is a click of the paperclip “attach” button when you are composing your Tweet, and the resulting post will include an image that shows up in your followers’ feeds. Even if the image is simple, adding it to your Tweets can provide a big payoff.
2. Try your hand at graphics, big or small
While creating infographics might seem overwhelming, you don’t actually need to be a graphic designer to start creating visual content. All you really need is the data (either your own or gathered from around the web), some kind of design tool, and someone who is willing to learn. A basic knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite will get you far, but you can also use free online tools like infogr.am, Piktochart, and Visual.ly to create compelling graphics. If you don’t have the time or patience for a full infographic, start small by creating graphic header images for your blog posts that include the title and a few visual elements. Doing this takes less time, but is still a great way to make your Tweets and other social shares more visual. The more you create this kind of visual content, the easier and quicker it will become.
3. Start using Instagram
We’ve all been hearing about the decline of Facebook recently, but where are users spending their time instead? Instagram is near the top of the list, and it’s a smart move for brands to create a presence on the network. It’s also a great opportunity to have a little fun and interact with your audience. Instagram is the perfect outlet for photos that reflect your company culture. Snap photos of your workspace, happy employees, or fun office events. These posts can also be shared directly to Twitter or Facebook to pack an even bigger visual punch.
4. Invest in video
This one may take more time and money, but the digital marketing world is trending towards video as a key content tool for 2014, and we can see why. The possibilities are endless. Start with whatever seems easiest and ramp up your video content slowly and consistently. Some basic ideas are: describing or demonstrating a product, testimonials from satisfied customers, messages from your executive team, Q&A sessions, fun company events, or video blogs. Try to keep your video quality consistent, and be sure to share the content you create across all of your channels. Instagram allows 15-second video clips, so you can share some teaser clips for longer videos there.
It’s not always easy to change and adapt your content to every trend, but the rise of visual and video content is certainly no passing fad. Just as was the case with social media, brands and companies who do not embrace the move to visual and video content will be left in the wake of those who started early and made the change. Start small, and with some time, patience, and consistency, your brand can join the pack of visual content leaders.
Facts gathered from: Axxon Research, HubSpot, and B2B Infographics