Visuals can have an enormous impact on the success of your content marketing and social media campaigns. Images help to grow more traffic, clicks, and conversion. Photos, videos or infographics grab user attention much faster and more effectively than text. Image and video posts on social media receive more likes, shares, and engagement than text updates.
Stats and Facts for Visuals
Our brain only needs 1/10 of a second to understand an image. Reading 200-250 words takes an average of 60 seconds.
People remember visual information 6x better than the information they have read or heard.
The click-through-rate (CTR) of a website is about 47% higher in sites containing images.
Infographics grow 12% more traffic, and 200% more shares than posts without images.
Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images.
Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets than tweets without images.
Facebook posts with images get over 3.2x more engagement than those without images.
LinkedIn posts with images generate a 98% higher comment rate.
Video generates 80% more conversion.
According to Cisco Visual Networking Index, around 78% of all data traffic in 2021 will consist of videos.
7 Strategies for your visual content marketing
Visual elements are becoming increasingly important for your content marketing and social media strategy. So, always think about including an emotional photo, a stellar infographic, a funny meme or a tutorial video in each of your posts.
#1 Choose images that are easy to understand
Stock photos can be suitable for some purposes, but they often appear very artificial and impersonal. Make sure you use impressive photos and images that add value to your content and that simplify and convey your message. Images and videos are good storytellers: A short documentary video, a funny meme, or an emotional photo with a quote can tell your story, depending on the context in which they are used.
#2 Use a variety of image types and formats
Always think about how you can visually present or support your content, e.g.
Turn facts and statistics, processes and procedures into graphs and illustrations.
Create photos of the products you mention or illustrate processes and include them in the appropriate context of your post.
Add screenshots or screencasts to your tutorials to show how to do it.
Summarize the most important facts and stats in a compelling infographic.
Create a graphical checklist or a visual summary of your post.
#3 Observe copyright laws
Every visual is protected by copyrights. Sharing copyrighted images is always subject to infringement, even if done unknowingly and inadvertently. And the penalties for illegal use or distribution of images can be quite costly and can get you into legal trouble.
How do you know if an image is copyrighted? Well, that is quite simple: If you made it, you own the copyright for your creative work. For any other image you get from any other source, someone else holds the copyright. So, you need a license or written permission to use it.
#4 Optimize your images and videos for SEO
Visual search has increased over the last years with up to 27% of all searches being for images. Search engine technologies have evolved to get a better understanding of the components of images, resulting in more reliable results.
Optimizing your images and videos with keywords and descriptions makes your visuals ready for visual search in search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. Visual search results can account for up to 10% of the total traffic. The image description should include your focus keyword and reflect the content of the image.
An important attribute for the indexing of images is the so-called ALT tag in the source code. Make sure you always include the ALT attribute to describe your image using a strong description and your keywords.
#5 Add social media buttons to your visuals
In addition to the common social sharing buttons in your posts and on your website, you should also make it easy for your blog or website visitors to share your images on social media channels. This is especially useful for your infographics and other shareable images and graphics.
Social sharing buttons for your images make it easy for your audience to share your images by clicking on the social networks of their choice.
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#6 Share all your images and videos across your social media channels
Social media cross-promotion helps you grow visibility for your content. If you create multiple images for your content, these images help you with more options to share your content and convey your message. To avoid pixelated or distorted images on your social media accounts, it is important to know the best image sizes of the individual networks.
#7 Share your content with link post and with image post format
If you share a blog post or any other content article on social media and use the link to your post (link post), only your featured post picture will be shared. If your content contains multiple images or videos, then use all these visuals to reshare your content as image posts over a period of time. With a combination of link posts and image posts, you can create more variations for your social media updates and extend the lifetime of your blog post.
Example: Link Post vs. Image Post format
Develop a social media cross-promotion plan for your content and visuals:
Share your post with your featured image on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn.
If you have business pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+ share your posts to your pages as well but at different times and days.
Share your blog post to relevant groups and communities on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, but share them on different days and times and use different messages tailored for each group.
Schedule your post multiple times on Twitter.
Share your blog post images on Pinterest, Instagram and Flickr using your focus image with your introduction, hashtags and a link to your post. If you use multiple images, share them all, but share them on different days and at different times.
You can also share your images as image posts on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ to re-share your posts with different visual anchors and comments.
Share your blog post with your focus image or your infographics in special interest communities such as Reddit, Medium, Torial, GrowthHacker or Quora.
Visuals are important elements for your content marketing success. Images capture attention, increase click-rates, and engagement. Optimizing your visuals for SEO and social media helps you to get more results in organic and visual search. By creating and cross-promoting your visuals in a variety of sizes and formats you can extend the reach and lifetime of your content, thus driving more traffic to your blog. Smart social media automation tools help you to schedule and share your visual content across your social channels to get better results in less time.