Content marketing is huge, even as we make a shift into a more social media way of running things. The two really go hand in hand, and it is important to focus equally on both to ensure you are getting the most out of your marketing strategy, It is not just about reach, but about generating loyalty in those being attracted to your brand. I think that most brands understand this.Yet there is a shocking lack of understanding when it comes to visual content and what part it plays in all of this. How many times have you gone to a blog with endless posts, but only a single stock photo at the top of each one? Or seen a site that has linked to something that borrowed a photo from an unrelated link because the original had nothing to show in the thumbnail?
This is always incredibly frustrating, because it shows they just don’t get it. Visual content is a crucial element to the overall marketability of all content. Without it, you are just shooting yourself in the foot then signing up for a 5K. To be effective, you need to give yourself every benefit possible, and visuals are a biggy.
In this article:
- Intro: Why care about visual content marketing
- HOW TO: Have Your Infographic Republished
Let’s not talk in generics. Here are five very specific reasons you should be utilizing visual content for your content marketing strategy.
1. People Like Looking At Thing
It sounds so simple you might be rolling your eyes right now, but it is the truth. People like having something pretty for their gaze to land on, and a wall of text without anything visual to break it up is a quick way of turning them off. They are going to be skimming your page, so catch their attention and hold it. Visuals are an easy way of doing that, breaking up the monotony and making it more likely they will stick to your content until the end.
2. Visuals Present Content In An Exciting Way
One of my favorite examples of repackaging content in an exciting manner is the infographic. I have taken dozens of old posts that have lost their fire and updated them, but none have done so well as those I refitted into infographics. It is one of the easiest ways to generate something into viral, or near viral status. And that isn’t even the only route you can take.
Content can be presented in a slideshow, in a comic, as a video, as a graph or chart. All of these give you an exciting angle that breaths new life into your content, is sure to keep their attention, and has the added benefit of being highly shareable on the social web.
3. They Provide Context
Why tell when you can show? Having a visual representation, whether it is a shot of a concept in action or a drawn diagram will provide context to what you are talking about. That is a much easier way of instructing or explaining, as people react better to what they can see in practice.
Have you ever noticed that the most popular tutorials have a step by step process where everything is being shown? People feel more at ease when they have a visual representation they can follow, because it assures them that they are following what you’re saying. This goes for any kind of content.
4. Pump Up Your SEO
What is your best friend in search engine optimization? Metadata, and photos have a ton of it. This will not only boost your potential ranking on engines, but it pops you into the Images search area, adding to your chances of being seen. Just get descriptive in both the file name and the indexing info that is picked up by the engine itself. Then watch your views from those image searches going up. If you’re nervous about it, just disable hotlinking.
5. It Gives You A Recognizable Style
This is a big reason to expand your visuals. Everything from your logo to the layout and colors of your site can help to enhance the recognizable qualities of your brand.
Those style choices can be extended to provide logos on your infographics and comics, watermarks on your photos, opening screens on your videos, and of course visuals on your social media profiles like the Timeline cover on Facebook, or the avatar and background on Twitter.
This is obviously the first thing to do! Sometimes you don’t have an idea of how huge your own reach is and how to utilize it:
Influencer marketing: Here are some great ways to find influencers who are already following you on Twitter. My favorite one is Commun.it because it lets you find influencers who recently interacted with you, so you can pitch them your new creation right away. Fast response is guaranteed!
Note: I am shy when it comes to asking for favors, so here’s my way: I maintain a group of active Twitter users who tend to pitch me something. These are the first people I’d ask for favors as we have developed those kind of relationships when we can freely ask each other almost anything!
Linkedin marketing: Linkedin is by far the most effective when to target one particular publication. Let’s say you want to pitch Mashable. All you need to do is to find Mashable company page on Linkedin and see who of your friends work there (through “How You’re Connected” box). Notice that there is also “second-degree connections” section you can utilize to ask to be introduced to someone important:
- Upload your graphic
- Write many short descriptions / stories behind your graphic
- Wait for bloggers to apply to publish for free
- Choose one blog per unique description
- Spread the post that goes live on each blog!
With the gallery, you are able to:
- Select which bloggers will publish your infographic (and choose the strongest ones);
- Control how many times your infographic is republished (provided you have a unique and interesting description each time);
- Control the links and credits that accompany your infographic.
There are many sites that collect and re-publish infographics. The good thing about them is that their audience LOVE infographics, so there’s a good chance for it to spread. I have collected some of them here (Google spreadsheet). Feel free to use and let me know if it’s missing anything!
Which tools and tricks are you using for Infographics marketing? Let us know in the comments.
How to Promote Your Infographics by Ann Smarty
Social Media Sun