Storytelling can take on many forms. A blog post, a social media announcement, a website, an email blast, a presentation or a book. Whether your purpose is to inform, educate or entertain, adding visual content is core to how you can connect with your audience. People respond more to what they see than any other form of stimulation.
1. Break up text
In this age of “Big Data”, we are literally bombarded with information. Visual assets such as videos, photography, infographics and illustrations cut through all the noise and leave a powerful impact.
Are people just lazy readers?
Many readers will scan through large sections of text, picking out words, here and there, stopping at headlines, and maybe at an image or video that captures interest. It’s not that people are lazy readers or would not find your writing interesting. It’s just that there is such a large volume of available information, they have to move quickly to capture what is relevant to them. A reader will be more willing to read an article when colourful images are used.
2. Be more memorable
Blog posts with images and videos are more engaging to visitors.
- Web pages with more visual content rank better
- Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets
With 90% of information transmitted to the brain being visual, and a retention rate at 80%, it only makes sense to use visuals to their advantage.
Using visuals across all the major social platforms—Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Pinterest, increases the:
- Number of visitors,
- Level of participation, and the
- Reach of your post.
What makes an effective visual?
A good visual will reach out on an emotional level and leave a long-lasting impression. When you connect with your audience on an emotional level, they associate it with your brand and it nurtures a feeling of trust.
Effective visuals are relatable and sharable. The right infographic can transform a complex or large amount of data into a more manageable format.
3. Set a tone
Sketchy, trendy, artistic, dark or funny—the right image will set the tone or mood for your writing. Open the door and invite your reader in.
A brand’s values and unique personality can be defined by:
- Use of colour
- Use of icons and relatable imagery
4. Implement a visual content strategy
Keep in mind that competition for your audience’s attention is high. A strong visual content marketing strategy is key to attracting internet users and building brand credibility. Just as important as headlines, and calls to action, visual content deserves more than a second thought.
- Show, don’t tell
- Use testimonial videos
- Share feedback
- Show customer reviews as images
- Drive content production with polls
- Share behind-the-scenes activities
- Encourage sharing of staff picks
- Capture celebrations of your big moments
Increase reach and visibility
- Use social media cover images
- Design your call-to-action
- Offer downloadable white papers, or e-books
- Make your images sharable
- Use a feature box on your blog
- Change your visual’s file name
- Add a text transcript of your visuals
- Optimize file size
- Watch your embed code strategy </>