In this digital age, no business does well without a digital strategy and content marketing is number one. With the right advice and resources it’s not hard. When you consider content marketing, most people assume we’re talking about blogging. Though it’s never been a better time to start writing valuable content, visual content is seriously gaining momentum.

To find out more on blogging, check out;

In fact, many brands are built on visual content marketing - think of Mailchimp’s award winning Instagram content or Starbucks cult coffee photography. You can use these same strategies on your own social media platforms.

Content Marketing

Choosing Your Tone

Just like any business venture, before you begin it’s important to consider your target audience. Whenever you engage with your target market you need to have a clear vision of your brand positioning. Who are you trying to attract? Here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What do you sell/promote?

  • What are the core values of your business?

  • What does your ideal client look like?

Now that you’ve thought about your target market, make sure to consider them in everything you do. It’s these individuals that you want to be engaging with your brand. Consider how to create visual content that they would find valuable, interesting or useful; your voice needs to be that of an authority on the matter.

Platforms

When it comes to visual content marketing, not all platforms are created equal. In this case you need to assess your brand. You’ve found your target audience, but, where do they spend their time?

Facebook:

Facebook is used by billions of people worldwide. Generally, Facebook attracts a wide range of users from all different demographics. It is not visually orientated and allows for more textural information than other platforms. Having said that, Facebook posts with visual content do remarkably better than those without.

Instagram:

Instagram is the current number one visual content marketing platform. With hundreds of millions of active users Instagram appeals to a generally younger audience. It's interesting to note that women use Instagram only slightly more than their male counterparts. Instagram is a fantastic platform for rich imagery, particularly of products and lifestyle content.

 

Visual content example Instagram
Our Graphic Designer Teresa is a visual content marketing pro, her Instagram is always great

Twitter:

Twitter in an interesting platform in that users are confined to statuses no more than 140 characters long. Because of this, Twitter is particularly used for reactions, comment and updates. Much like Facebook, Twitter posts are engaged with significantly more if they have visual content. Twitter users are generally of the millennial generation and are highly engaged with internet trends and world events.

Pinterest:

Pinterest built their success on being like a virtual moodboard. Users are able to create ‘boards’ of ‘pinned’ content, commonly inspiring, visually rich or educational. Pinterest users are predominantly female creatives.

Considering this breakdown of major visual content platforms, where do you think your target market fits? After figuring out this integral detail, examine the trends and platform parameters of each in order to understand the type of content that needs to be created.

Types of Visual Content

Photography

Photography is the most obvious type of visual content, but just because it’s obvious doesn’t mean it has to be boring. It's true that a picture tells a thousand words. There are many approaches to generating photographic content, ideas include:

  • Photos of your employees
  • Photos of happy clients with testimonials
  • New product glimpses and flash backs to older products
  • Sharing customer photos related to you company (this is called user-generated content)

 

What type of photos do you prefer to see when making a purchase decision?
Consumers love user-generated content

Video

After images, video is the second most engaged-with media. A 2016 HubSpot survey noted that 43% of consumers wanted to see more video content. 

It’s easy to think that video creation would be difficult, but with smart phone advancements, creating short videos for your social media has never been easier. Short interviews with staff that cover trending topics for your industry as well as verbal testimonials bring your visual content marketing to the next level.

Infographics

Graphics can be incorporated into your visual content strategy in many ways. Infographics are a great way to visualise company growth, objectives, processes and product instruction. They’re engaging for users and add incredible value to your brand.

It’s been proven that people follow directions with images 323% better than directions with text alone. Imagine what this could do for your conversion rate. 

Comics

If your business is able to lend itself to comics, they are a bright and unique way of adding character to your brand. Their lighthearted nature breaks through the clutter of more common visual content.

Stock Photos

These are exceedingly common, and it’s no wonder. A lot of stock photography is free, though cliché, and are used and repeated around the world. Often, a stock image won’t communicate your brand story because it’s not directly from you. However, by customising and searching less obvious places you can find treasure troves of free images. We personally recommend:

Stock Photography
There are treasure troves of free stock images online

Paid Advertising

You’ve discovered your brand story, chosen a platform and posted some visual content, but what next? While letting your reach grow organically through great, regular content and user engagement is good, paid advertising can be a sure fire way to success.

Once you feel confident publishing regular content and appealing to your target market, you may wish to consider boosting and promoting successful content so that people who don’t directly follow you are able to see what you post.

Summary

In 2016, almost 90% of companies use content marketing. If you’re not embracing it, you’re behind. 

Building a brand is hard, but with a plethora of information and resources at your fingertips it’s not difficult to leverage creative content and grow your brand online.