In the COVID-19 era, audiences are living in digital spaces more than ever. This narrows the playing field for brands who are competing for their attention. In this overcrowded space, there’s one clear way to stand out from the crowd: high-quality visual marketing content is proven to attract and keep their attention better than text.
But developing this type of content can feel like a challenge. Sure, there are plenty of DIY tools out there that you can use to create visual content quickly. But because it involves the use of stock images and icons, and because a professional visual communicator isn’t making sure the content achieves your goals, the end product isn’t always high-quality. In fact, today’s visually literate audiences might actually be turned off by content that they recognize as stock or cookie-cutter. And if it doesn’t follow your custom branding, it may fail to build brand recognition — a key measure of marketing success.
So how can you develop visual assets that reflect positively on your brand and make your marketing content more engaging overall? Try these 5 strategies.
Embrace Video & Motion Graphics
A stunning 82% of all web traffic will be comprised of video by 2022, according to Cisco. That means that this visual medium alone has the power to transform your content marketing.
Video and motion graphics are powerful tools for telling brand stories. Just make sure the first few seconds engage your audiences immediately, and keep the video under 90 seconds for maximum engagement. Just make sure to use custom video, photography, and animation throughout — otherwise the final product could end up looking like it could belong to any company.
Not sure whether you need a video or a motion graphic? Get help deciding and gain key skills on how to develop video content from our complete guide to motion graphics.
Use More Interactive Content
Interactive visual content boasts up to a 70% conversion rate. That’s unprecedented. But given that 72% of today’s audiences say they won’t even interact with marketing content unless it feels personalized to them, the power of interactive content starts to come into focus. That’s because it’s uniquely positioned for personalization.
From quizzes to calculators, interactive infographics to embedded widgets, interactive content delivers custom results to users based on their unique interests and/or the custom information they’ve provided. Interactive maps allow them to quickly find and explore the geographies most relevant to them. Interactive graphs allow them to manipulate the data and click through for more information. Not only are they getting results that are customized to their interests — they’re also taking a more active role in engaging with the content.
Create a Visual Workbench
Most organizations use DIY tools because they don’t have the time or the budget to produce high-quality visual marketing content quickly and regularly. But you can create custom-designed, branded content on a consistent basis. All you have to do is create a visual workbench.
A visual workbench is a group of custom-designed assets, from icons to illustrations to graphs. These are assets that you know you’ll use again and again in the promotion of your business. Perhaps there’s a group of icons that each represent one of your key services. Or maybe there’s a stat that you often cite to demonstrate where your product fits in the marketplace.
Develop Visual Blog Posts, eBooks, & Annual Reports
Audiences will only read about 20% of a web page that has 600+ words. So if your marketing efforts are relying too heavily on text, you’re likely to lose their interest.
Still, text matters when it comes to SEO and when it comes time to tell certain stories. So how can you make assets like blog posts, ebooks, annual reports, and white papers more digestible and engaging for your audiences?
As it turns out, all of these mediums can be enhanced by incorporating visual content. Annual reports and white papers come alive with data visualizations that draw attention to key takeaways. eBooks tell more powerful stories with the aid of illustrations, hero characters, embedded video, and other elements. And blog posts with a visual element every 200 words or so keep audiences more engaged.
Strategically Repurpose Visual Marketing Content
Producing a great piece of visual marketing content takes time and work. So why not make sure that every piece of content you create does as much work for your brand as possible?
If you plan ahead from the start of a project, you can repurpose a single piece of visual content for multiple platforms, applications, and use cases. For instance, a video you create can be posted on YouTube and Vimeo, but it can also be excerpted to make multiple GIFs or short-form animated videos, and optimized to appear in Instagram and Facebook stories. Single screenshots — say, of a particular data visualization — can also be used across channels. Just make sure you’re optimizing each asset for its channel by changing the dimensions appropriately; for reference, check out Sprout Social’s “Always Up-to-Date Guide to Social Media Image Sizes.”
How does repurposing content ensure quality? By committing to custom, on-brand design from the start, you’re creating a foundation that meets your quality standards. Any assets that are repurposed from that source content will, with the proper care and attention, achieve the same level of quality.
Try these 5 strategies and you’re sure to not only develop more visual marketing content, but higher-quality content.