The power of visual content doesn’t just mean utilising more images. It means looking at all aspects of visual branding. Read this guest post by Matt Press, an experienced copywriter who has written words for some of the UK’s biggest brands, such as Sky, Three and Vodafone. He’s now on a mission to simplify SEO for businesses in London.
As a copywriter, it pains me to say it, but pictures do speak a thousand words.
Well, at least they do online, anyway.
Here’s the situation:
Most businesses know that content marketing is huge. Thanks to technology and the internet, customers have never been so accessible. As a result, everyone’s become a publisher.
Pretty much every website under the sun pumps out some kind of content on a semi-regular basis.
The problem is, most of it is rubbish.
That might sound controversial, but it’s the truth. There’s a reason why 50% of online content gets just 8 shares or less.
Most of us own a gadget of some sort and we love going online and absorbing content. The opportunities are there for every business…
… but we must do better.
We have to realise the power of visual content, and that doesn’t just mean utilising more images. It means looking at all aspects of visual branding.
How can we create content that actually contributes?
First of all, we could do with understanding some of the aspects of content marketing that are going wrong.
Element 1: Your content doesn’t have enough images
Let’s start with the obvious.
Time to face facts: we’re all a bit lazy these days, aren’t we?
Astonishingly, research indicates that people only tend to read 20% of words in a piece of content.
Yup, that means that if you write a 1,000-word article, only 200 words will get absorbed. And that’s after fighting tooth and nail to get that visitor onto your website in the first place.
That’s not a good ratio.
Therefore, why not incorporate more images?
If nothing else, images will improve user engagement. By dramatically increasing the dwell time for your content, you’ll be ticking an important SEO box.
Element 2: Your content looks intimidating
Have you ever stepped into a bookshop, picked up something at random, thumbed a few of the pages and been put off by the text?
If your website has off-putting typography (size or colour), then that’s a problem. As is having huge chunks of text.
Remember that, just like in real life, first impressions matter greatly. If your content isn’t appealing to the eye, people will abandon it and leave your site in droves.
The reality is, you can greatly increase the chances of someone reading your content by presenting it nicely.
Element 3: You’re not embracing the power of video
Naturally, visual content doesn’t just mean static imagery.
Of all the different forms of marketing that you could try, video is perhaps the marketing strategy of the moment.
Videos are insanely popular. YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world. Plus, according to Cisco, video will pretty soon account for 69% of all consumer internet traffic.
Element 4: Your content doesn’t fit or look right
Ensure that, regardless of where your visuals go, that they fit properly and look good.
Because, just as the right image can enhance a piece of content, the wrong one could butcher your brand.
This is particularly true when talking about infographics because they tend to be used when a business is talking about lots of compelling and complex data.
Such an image needs to be clear. That means having the right resolution, pixel proportions and size.
What can we make of all this?
Well, 37% of marketers say that visual marketing is the most important form of content for them.
But thinking about visual content only in terms of images is underplaying the issue.
Leveraging the power of visual content also means looking at aspects of your content, such as style, form and delivery.
Content marketing is the future, but you’ll only succeed if you’re thorough and tactical.
All the major social media sites have made it super-easy to incorporate images into the content. They’ve done this for a reason – people love looking at images.
The Rise of Visual Marketing
Since you are interested in visual content, let me share this podcast with you. It was created by Keith Keller, a well known Twitter Marketing Expert from Australia, and Simão Lagoá, an experienced Graphic Designer based in Melbourne, Australia.