Marketers are continuing to invest an increasing proportion of their budget in social media.
The consensus seems to be that coupled with the continued investment in social media, visual content marketing will be of the key e-commerce trends for 2015.
The ease of which images and videos can be shared on social media makes it an obvious platform for visual content marketing. We take a look at the benefits of visual content and offer some helpful tips on how to use visual content to improve your social media presence.
Rise of visual content.
“The use of visual content in social media has been phenomenal with 70% jump in 2014” ViralTag.
This remarkable growth in the use of visual content is the result of a number of factors including:
- Increased mobile usage: 3 out of 4 Facebook users now access Facebook through their smartphones. And since, images are far easier to digest on a phone than large chunks of heavy text visual content is becoming increasingly popular .
- High speed wireless networks: Thanks to the wider availability of high-speed wireless networks we no longer have to wait for eons for an image to download.
- Growth in social media: The continued rise in social media. All the key social media platforms continued to grow during 2014. Of particular note is the impressive growth from visual content based platforms like Pinterest and Instagram who grow active users by 111% and 64% respectively.
- Human nature: By our very nature we are drawn to visual stimulus. The majority of us are visual learners which means we can digest visual content far more easily than text-based content. In fact according to HubSpot, visual content actually makes up 93% of all human communication.
- Accessible visual marketing tools: There are more visual marketing tools at our disposal than ever before. Creating professional looking pictures, images and videos is no longer just for big companies and big budgets – we can DIY great, original visual content ourselves.
Benefits increased visual content brings your business.
Increasing the amount of visual content your have can bring a number of benefits to your business. For example;
- Helps with link building: Visual content is highly shareable. Quality inbound links back to your website content via social media can help you with your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and improve your search engine page rankings.
- Increased customer engagement: Visual content such as photos, images, infographics and video improves engagement on social media. According to Hubspot social media posts with photos account for 87% of total interactions.
- Makes an impact: In a crowded market of online communications a good visual can help your message stand out. Visual content enables you to convey ideas and messages immediately.
- Builds brand awareness: Engaging visual content can increase your number of fans, likes and comments – growing the awareness of your brand amongst an audience
5 tips to improve your social media visual content.
To help get you started we’ve outlined a few ways to implement quality visual content that will improve your social media presence.
1. Use visuals to support all your posts
Sounds obvious but a surprising number of businesses still post social media updates without adding a photo or image. Remember:
” The brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than the time it takes for the brain to decode text” Hubspot
Support all your posts with an image. It is far more likely that you’ll engage a user if you have a captivating visual. For example, say you have just written a great new blog article. It is a fascinating topic and you want to share it on social media. Great, but no matter how compelling your headline and subject matter is, it is not going to get anywhere near as much engagement as it would with a relevant image to support it.
Don’t forget to use images on Twitter posts too. According to HubSpot a Twitter post containing at least one image will increase shares:
- Average Twitter shares with no image = 9.67
- Average Twitter shares with an image = 20.36
Finally, don’t use lack of budget as an excuse to not include photos and images. There are a plethora of sites that offer the use of free or low-cost photos and images. Just remember some of the free images may require an attribution.
2. Think interesting, inspiring and original
As we’ve mentioned above, using images is essential. But to really captivate your audience try to be as visually interesting and inspiring as possible. Mix things up by trying to veer away from using too many stock pictures. We’ve all seen the standard pictures of smiling business men in suits so many times that to be honest they’re not really going to grab anyone’s attention. Try to think more originally when using supporting images to get a message across – you want to make as much of a visual impact as possible.
Another example of how to beef up your visual content is to take something like an inspirational quote (which always prove popular on social media) and to try using something like word art to make it visually enaging. For example:
I’ve just read an excellent article: 5 must have free visual marketing tools. It provides a list of free visual marketing tools that help you do all sorts of great things to improve your images such as:
- Putting text and captions over images
- Creating collages
- Word Art
- Data visualisation
It should get your creative juices flowing.
3. Create some original video content
We only have to look at the phenomenal success of YouTube to get a feel for how popular video is. Indeed according to HubSpot every single minute:
- 8333 videos are shared
- 72 hours of new video is uploaded on YouTube
Including video links into your social media posts is an excellent way of increasing engagement through original added-value visual content. Try creating original videos that showcase your product, introduce your business and team, offer demonstrations on how to use your product or service, give video tutorials, or illustrate how a product is crafted. There are all sorts of interesting ways you can incorporate video into your social media presence.
A customer who watches a video is 85% more likely to make a purchase.
You no longer have to rely on an expensive production companies to produce a good video. There are a number of online video creation tools around like Animoto or WeVideo. You can also opt to do-it-yourself with a camera and video editing software such as Windows Movie Maker or iMovie.
4. Try introducing Infographics
Infographics are a great way to visually convey information in a colourful, interesting and digestible manner. They are particularly useful if you have some interesting numbers or research to impart. Infographics make great blog articles that you can link to via your social media posts.
According to research, consumers are more 30 times more likely to read an info graphic than a text-based piece of content.
5. Finally, make visual content a significant part of your overall content strategy.
Your social media presence should support your content strategy and drive traffic by enticing an audience back to your website though links and the sharing of content. As we discussed earlier in the article since you are far more likely to attract the attention of an audience on social media with the use of images, photos and video, it follows that you should be making visual content an important element of both your social media strategy and your overall content strategy.
If you put time aside and actually plan in some of the visual content ideas we mentioned in the article, you are far more likely to see them implemented and reap the rewards visual content can bring to your business.
We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments on this post. So please do leave a comment.
Photos from mobile image courtesy of tiverylucky at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Ship Chain image courtesy of Bill Longshaw at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Implement Definition Button Courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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