Let’s face it: when it comes to digital media marketing, content is king. No matter what kind of business you’re creating a strategy for, the success of your strategy (and whether or not you’ll get any traction) depends on the execution of your content.
For starters, your content can’t be updated sporadically. Following an editorial calendar and consistently producing new content for your audience has become less of a luxury and more of a necessity for content marketers and business owners.
Gone are the days of vague, general posts. Your content needs to be valuable. As a business owner, the easiest way to offer value is to focus on producing content that solves a problem in an actionable, tangible way. That may not be something easy to do
Let’s imagine for a second that you have an idea you want to share with your readers. The good news is that this idea is definitely valuable to them. The bad news? Well, it’s a bit complex. In fact, your biggest concern before releasing this post is that there’s too much to digest. The very nature of this idea means that it could end up being too confusing for your readers to fully appreciate.
Complex ideas aren’t your enemy when it comes to content marketing. Truth be told, some of the most powerful ‘aha’ moments that people experience come from deep, thought-provoking analysis. The trick is finding ways to simplify the most complicated parts. If you can find a way to do that, then you can turn the confusing into the compelling.
If you’ve never made one, the infographic can seem like an incredibly demanding piece of visual content. After all, so much goes into creating even the simplest infographic. That being said, there’s no denying that if you want to make complex ideas simple, you’ll need high-quality visuals to get the job done.
There are a variety of ways that you can build an infographic, but there are a few key concepts to keep in mind. First, the foundation of your infographic is everything. Choosing the right design and layout is crucial to the success of this piece of content. Whoever is designing it needs to choose the right font, shapes and colors if they’re hoping to convey your data. Why does this matter so much? Because even the most boring data can become engaging if it’s presented in the right way.
But the benefits of having a great infographic don’t end there. Most of your fellow competitors are likely to love your new infographic. While they could go out and make their own, it’s more likely they’ll just borrow yours. Which is perfect for you – who doesn’t love free backlinks and exposure? Infographics make your content powerful, shareable and help cement you as an online authority.
If you take anything from this post, note the value of high-quality content. Infographics are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to visual content. Next on the list we have videos, a form of visual content that one study found increased conversions by increase conversions by 86%. There are certainly cheaper forms of visual content, but a well-executed video can make a world of difference for your brand. More specifically, the benefits of using video in content marketing are:
- Better email CTR
- Higher retention rates
- Rise in accessibility
The production value on your videos doesn’t have to be ‘Hollywood-ready’, but it shouldn’t be terrible either. The quality should be consistent throughout and each video should only be as long as it needs to be. Remember: every aspect of your content is either pushing your audience away or engaging with them and drawing them in.
If you want to understand how to make a good video for your content, you need to break down the process into two basic steps. The creation of your video (script, brand messages, intro) and how you’ll present it (upload to youtube or host it on your site). The goal is to create a piece of visual content that simultaneously engages your visitors and converts them into members of your community.
A picture’s worth a thousand words, right? There are plenty of content marketers that would argue that images are the ultimate form of visual content and they might be onto something.
Despite the fact that infographics and videos are being used now more than ever before, images are still dominating the blogosphere and the world of content marketing. And the benefits of using images in your content are undeniable. For example, posts containing an image every 100 words received 2x the social media shares as articles with fewer images.
Going beyond the data, you can understand from a human perspective why images are so popular among content creators and appreciated by readers. Complex, nuanced ideas usually can’t be properly explained in 140 characters. Images help break up the monotony of your post and breathe life into your content.
Keep in mind that readers will most likely only remember a few key concepts of your post and the images you used — as long as they’re worth remembering. Using any old stock photo might technically qualify as ‘including visual content’, but it’s not going to help your post stand out. Using high-quality images ensures that your visuals are more compelling than the competition. The best part? You probably have a smartphone in your pocket that can capture those images for you, free of charge.
Otherwise known as the ‘screen capture’, screenshots are exactly that: a picture of an image on a phone, computer or tablet. At this point, some of you may be saying: “wait a second, we already covered pictures.” While you’re certainly right about that, it’s important to understand the unique applications of screenshots as it pertains to the content marketing ecosystem.
The pictures we were talking about in the last section were there as a sort of visual garnish, chosen purely to liven up the post and ensure that your reader is properly engaged throughout. Screenshots can certainly do that, although that’s typically not their goal when it comes to content marketing.
Screenshots exist, first and foremost, as a tool for explaining concepts that are more technical in nature. Let’s say that you’re offering a product or service online. While you could describe instructions via the actual text of your post, there’s bound to be a few people that end up getting confused about your directions.
So, to avoid any potential confusion, you can just go through the steps on your own computer and screenshot them. This provides readers with a visual template of what their experience will look like, reassuring them at every stage of the process.
Why are presentations such an incredible tool when it comes to visual content? Simple: they allow you, the content creator, to pick and choose from just about any type of visual content you want. Presentations rely on various different forms of content, including (but not limited to):
If you’re wondering how this better than any individual form of visual content, just remember the most important part of the content marketing equation: your audience. When you have a chance to create a presentation, you can include aspects from each type of content that your readers respond to.
Of course, the flip side of that coin is being sure that your content doesn’t overstay its welcome. Remember what we said about how the longer your post was, the higher the chances were that your readers would abandon it? Well, that’s especially important to keep in mind with presentations. Concise, efficient presentations are the best of both worlds, offering the depth of value-rich content while still attempting to engage your audience in several ways.
Visual content presents you with the unique opportunity to engage with your audience in a way that text simply doesn’t allow. Having compelling ideas in your content is massively important, and no amount of visual spectacle could substitute that. Still, if you’re hoping to dominate your market, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to arm yourself with every content marketing tool at your disposal.