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10 Ways to Create More Visual Content

Images and video attract more attention – and are more likely to be shared on social media – than posts that have only text. Here are 10 ways to incorporate visual content into your digital marketing strategy.

By
Diane S. Thieke,

10 Ways to Create More Visual Content

by Diane S. Thieke

We are a very visual society. Because of this, images and video attract more attention – and are more likely to be shared on social media – than posts that have only text. This is why Facebook’s EdgeRank algorithm, which determines the items that show up in your newsfeed, puts a heavier weight on photos and videos than status updates.

Whether you’re posting on a blog or sharing in social media, try to make visual items a generous percentage of your content.

Here are 10 ways to incorporate visual content into your digital marketing strategy.

  1. Photos. There are many opportunities to create original content, whether you use a smartphone or a professional-quality camera. Use the smartphone to capture candid photos at trade shows, client dinners, and impromptu company gatherings, but invest in a good quality camera – or hire a photographer – for professional shots of new products, executives, conferences, client presentations, and similar occasions.

  2. Video. The most popular search on YouTube is for how-to videos. This makes it an excellent place to promote the uses of your product. Use video to visually demonstrate how someone could complete a task with your product. Of course, video is also particularly effective in telling a story. Complex ideas can be communicated with greater ease using a combination of images and audio.

  3. Infographics. The easiest way to make your social media channels more interesting is to find a compelling infographic and share it. If you’d like to try your hand at making your own, try easel.ly or visually.

  4. Wikimedia Commons and Flickr. Visual elements don’t always need to be the focal point of your content. Use them to inform your post or just to add color and visual interest. Both Wikimedia Commons and Flickr are good sources of other people’s photos that can be used in compliance with copyright laws. In both places, take care to read the attribution and distribution guidelines. For Flickr images, it’s a good idea to send an email asking the photographer for permission.

  5. Zemanta. This plugin for Wordpress and other blogging platforms simplifies copyright compliance. It’s a collection of images that are fair use or otherwise free of copyright. It automatically makes suggestions based on the topic of your post.

  6. Memes. One of the more creative and entertaining ways to create visual content is to create a meme of your own. Mash up an original image or photograph with a quote or phrase. There are several meme generators on the Web with stock images, but be wary of distribution rights and the appropriateness for your brand.

  7. Graphics. If you have compelling data that you’d like to share, create a chart or graph rather than presenting in straight numbers. Complex stories or concepts can be effectively communicated through graphics. Nancy Durate has transformed narratives for many brands into visual stories (including Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth presentation). Her Web site, blog and book provide greater insight into how you can accomplish this.

  8. Instagram. A favorite of Twitter users, Instagram provides an insider’s view of what’s happening now. It’s perfect for whenever you’re out and about, visiting clients or attending events as varied as Fashion Week or a working lunch with colleagues.

  9. Pinterest. One of the best tools available for curating visual images from around the Web, this social network is ideal for fashion, home decoration, food, weddings, and travel businesses. And that’s just a start.

  10. Slideshare. The perfect accompaniment to a big presentation at conferences and meetings, this tool allows you to easily share PowerPoint decks and continue the conversation long after your presentation has ended – and all the attendees have gone home.

Diane S. Thieke is the president and founder of Simply Talk Media, a digital media marketing consultancy. With more than 25 years in digital media and technology, she helps clients build stronger relationships with their customers and communities, using both social and traditional channels. Follow her on Twitter at @thiekeds or visit her blog at www.simplytalkmedia.com/blog.

Camera Phone photo from Shutterstock.

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