One of the most important lessons marketers have learned over the past year is that text-heavy content is not enough to generate interest. Visual content is the way forward.
There is so much more content available online now. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes – if there were so many options, what would they prioritize?
The answer is visual content. Text, as descriptive and powerful as it is, requires work from the user. The harder a user has to work, the less likely they are to engage with the content.
It’s a marketer’s job to make sure customers don’t have to do this job. Avoid this problem by using imagery, especially since 65% of the population learn visually.
As marketers become more data literate, brands can now design more powerful and memorable graphics. What is visual design?
What is visual content design?
All visual elements found on blogs, websites, landing pages, apps, social media, and even newsletter ideas fall into the visual design category.
These can be divided into several categories. For example blog banners, brochures, flyers, posters and social media posts.
The following is a breakdown of the main types of visual content in marketing.
How important is visual content in marketing?
What is the purpose of visual content marketing? Increase brand awareness, business growth and revenue generation.
Visuals also help break up the monotony of text to increase user engagement on a page. Not to mention the impact visual content can have on SEO strategies.
What types of graphics can marketers use to grow their customer base?
5 types of visual content in marketing
There are numerous types of visual content that marketers can use to reach their target audience. But what main categories of content should marketers be paying attention to?
We share five types of graphics marketers can design to grow their audience.
1. Data stories
As mentioned earlier, data has become one of the most important types of visual content on the internet. However, sharing raw data with out-of-context audiences can do more harm than good.
As interesting as data is, it can often be confusing to audiences. What do the numbers and percentages mean for the consumer? What should you do with the information?
It’s up to the marketing teams to design content that makes their data accessible to a wider audience.
There are numerous ways to visualize numbers so that audiences can understand the brand message.
Take a storytelling approach to data. Add subtitles to percentages. Use symbols to illustrate numbers.
Graphics allow users to connect to numbers, making data stories more compelling and memorable.
Following the previous point, designing infographics is a great way to tell data stories using graphics.
One wonderful thing about infographics is that they combine multiple elements to share a brand message. These elements include text, images, figures, symbols, and diagrams.
Infographics have multiple uses. They can be designed for blog posts, shared on social media, included in presentations, used across multiple channels, and backlinks earned.
Designing infographics from scratch can be a challenge. However, there are resources online that marketers can use to design simple infographic templates like the following.
Infographics make complex content more attractive. According to a heat map analysis of the website, infographics encourage users to stay on a page longer, which increases engagement.
3. GIFs and memes
There is a common misconception that visual content marketing has to be serious. But that is far from the truth. Levity is very much appreciated, especially considering the year we just had.
GIFs and memes can add the much-needed humor to marketing campaigns. Online users are already familiar with these graphics.
That familiarity means marketers have less work to do. It’s easier to build emotional connections with consumers.
BarkBox has successfully used Memes to connect with audiences for a while.
Memes and GIFs already have their own stories to share. Marketers just need to take the existing story and adapt it to their brand.
4. Presentations and slide shows
There is one aspect of using remote work tools that marketers have overlooked: presentations and slide shows.
Companies are constantly creating presentations. So why not use it for consumers?
Some may only require a few changes to be shared externally, but slideshows or presentations can be converted to videos for sharing on social media, or they can be gated for users to download.
If you already create this type of visual content in-house, you can also share it externally and use it to grow your audience.
5. Videos and live streams
Video has been a popular type of visual content for a while, but marketers know that making video is a tough one.
Despite the abundance of video content creation tools that make the process easier, and while video is a great way to increase customer loyalty, marketers are not entirely satisfied with doing the job.
But there is also a way to have the video cake and eat it: live streaming. This is a 2021 content marketing trend that has caught on and doesn’t require the same amount of effort.
A phone or laptop camera and microphone are all you need to stream live on social platforms or video conferencing software. And these live streams are interactive too.
Most tools allow users to save the live stream as a video for easy sharing later. Unsurprisingly, marketers are using this visual tool to reach audiences.
We shared the importance of creating visual content and the types of content that can be created. However, there are also some best practices that need to be recognized.
Follow the rules for creating visual content. Marketers need to understand and follow these established graphic design principles:
- Group similar items
- Create a visual hierarchy
- Keep the sizes consistent
- Use color for emphasis
- Keep the white space around the elements
Memorizing the design rules takes time, but once marketers get the hang of it, the process gets easier.
Original graphics make a statement. Stock photos are easy to use. There are numerous websites that marketers can get them from for free. But photos are also recognizable.
To have an impact on the visual content, marketers need to create original content. Pictures like photos of employees at work or videos behind the scenes are always popular.
These images also help build emotional connections between brands and customers by showing the human side of the company.
Create branded visuals. There is so much content available online now. How are consumers supposed to remember whose content belongs to whom? That’s why branding is so important.
Visual content must include branding. Logos, brand colors, and branded fonts should be visible but not overwhelming. These elements will make brands stand out online.
Create visual content that can be accessed. Everyone doesn’t experience the world the same way. This is why marketers should focus on diversity.
What does that mean? It means collecting data without prejudice and making the visual meaningful for different target groups. Create designs accessible to the visually impaired.
If you’re not sure whether your design appears biased or insensitive, get a second or third opinion before sharing it online.
Re-use visual content. Visuals are not disposable tools. You can use the same image in different ways. An infographic can be used in a blog, newsletter, and presentation.
You can also divide the infographic into smaller social media posts. The data and information in the graph can be used for webinars or eBooks.
When it comes to reusing visual content, the sky’s the limit.
While text can be engaging, it is a labor-intensive process for users. With so much content, marketers have to be creative to get their brand noticed.
Because of this, visual content creation has become a great tool for reaching audiences. Visuals can be shared on multiple platforms and attract a wide range of users.
In our guide, we’ve outlined the many elements that make up visual content and the best practices marketers can follow to create designs that make an impact.
Ronita Mohan is a content marketer at Venngage, the infographic and design platform. Ronita writes regularly on digital marketing, data visualization, design, and small business.