When we say blogging, we think text. Compelling content. We think writing. We don’t think: photos, infographics, videos and other types of visualization. If you still haven’t shifted from this way of thinking, it’s high time you do.
It’s the age of images. Everyone has camera phones. Social media was quick to adapt, and they give plenty of evidence that visual content is the way to go:
- Facebook redesigned its Timeline for visual impact.
- Facebook bought photo-heavy Instagram for $1billion in cash and stock.
- Tumblr and Pinterest quickly climbed the ranks and is now only behind Facebook, Twitter and professional network LinkedIn.
- Up to 70% of social media is composed of images.
- Facebook posts with photos get 53% more likes and attracts 104% more comments than those without (Hubspot)
How does that translate to blogging?
Creating visual content is third in B2C Content Creators’ priorities for 2016
The Content Marketing Institute’s report is a handy guide on what to do for your blog this year!
Keep The Eye-Candy Relevant and Targeted
Visual content has to match the needs and preferences of your audience, of course. Once you’ve found what they like, create more of it, with other types thrown in to keep things varied and interesting.
For example, I usually include images/infographs from stats and checklists so you, my readers, can have takeaways about blogging techniques. If I write about traveling, my posts would lean more on my own photographs– they tell stories by themselves, they show rather than tell. If I’m a how-to blogger, I’d have diagrams and step-by-step photos, or best yet, a video of the whole procedure.
As always, think of your audience, and think of this:
What to Turn Into Visual Content
Knowing that your readers retain WHAT THEY SEE, here’s what you should make them see:
1. Calls to action
You want them to do that action, don’t you? So grab their attention and convince them fast– through images!
- Lead magnets (download, just click!)
- Opt-ins (sign up/subscribe, just click!)
- Internal links (oh you have plenty of external links to your sources, but your internal links have more impact– people stay longer in your blog and
- Graphic design
- Unique buttons
- Slideshow presentation
Videos are usually always too long for readers’ short attention spans. They might not even click it in the first place. But slides give the readers control to flick through the images. Visual slides are 43% more persuasive to get your audience to proceed with a course of action. (Mammoth Infographics)
2. Quotes, stats, data
40% of readers remember and understand what they see, not what they read. Visualize quotes, stats and facts through graphic design or even gorgeous stock photos. Something your readers can simply click to share!
- Great for guides and informative articles
- Photograph overlay
- Graphic design
- Digital drawing
- Photographed doodle or calligraphy
Avoid slides for these. Better to have them all in one glance. Don’t make readers dig for it–they won’t.
3. How-to’s, Checklists
Printable, shareable, easily saved reference, what’s not to love? Summarize every step and give your readers something to Pin or Tweet!
- guides and informative articles
- DIY, carpentry, crafts
- Highlighting your products’ or services’ features and uses
4. Engagement questions
Similar to the call to action this is how you engage with your readers and invite them to discuss with you and other readers. Ask them something, and make the question stick to the back of their eyelids! They can share that question, too! Thought-provoking questions can go viral.
- Commentary and reviews (“What camera do YOU use?”)
- Guides and informative articles (“How do you deal with whining?”)
- Lead magnets and opt-ins (What are your plans for your blog this year?)
5. Your product or service
It’s part of your branding. If you offer services, do you have a mascot (I do!), an icon or a logo, or even a font? If you sell products, how well are they presented in photography? Do you screenshot your buyers’/subscribers’ reviews and testimonials?
- 93% of buyers say images turn them in favor (or not) of buying a product (DIW)
- Branded, detailed images get you 67% more audience notice (Prepare1)
- 88% of buyers look for reviews to check a business’s trustworthiness (Search Engine Land)
- Businesses report 12% more profit after using infographics (Jeff Bullas)
- Photographs for behind-the-scenes, your own photos, for adding a face to your brand.
- Screenshots of reviews and testimonials.
- Photographs of your product/service in action. Be creative and artsy. See Instagram and Pinterest!
- Videos, infographics to detail your products’ features.
So, what are your plans now on visual content creation? Which ones do you already use, and what results have you gained?
Please share in the comments below!