The need for visual content in social media – it sucks, doesn’t it?
You religiously schedule your social media posts at the right times and churn out original content on multiple platforms. You engage all the fancy social media tools.
You follow the advice of the experts to the T and wait followers to come swarming your way.
But nothing happens.
Does that sound familiar?
There has been a subtle shift in the way social marketing works.
The last two years or so have been all about visual marketing. In fact, social media expert Donna Moritz calls it a shift from social to visual social. Our own Bob Geller talked about winning and keeping attention leveraging visual content, and Joel Don talked about an evocative visual approach to social media marketing which needed to include, “a fresh new coat of social media marketing ideas .”
Why Use Visual Social Media?
Because it captures attention quicker than plain text.
Think about your average reader for a minute – he’s drowning in words. Big Data is upon us and we no longer have the time to read and consume the information (overload) on the Internet.
So what do readers do? They bookmark or “evernote” stuff, most likely never to come back to it again.
What’s more, as time passes, humans seem to experience a shorter attention span. The human brain craves visuals and approximately 65% of us learn visually.
You may be pushing out the best content in your industry, but what if it fails to capture attention?
As a marketer, it makes sense to convert the same text-based posts into juicy visuals that pop. Before your followers move on to the next shiny thing on Twitter, you need something catchy to capture their attention (within 8 seconds) and engage them.
By the way, it doesn’t have to be super-hard. Web-based HTML5 tool Visme lets you create impactful visuals for your content marketing purposes. (I talk about Visme in detail later in the post – you can skip to the end to read all about it).
Visuals are easy-to-digest and highly shareable on social media.
In April 2012, visual platform Instagram grew by 10 million users in 10 days, making it touch 40 million users in that month. It sits at a cool 100 million now.
Pinterest is the second largest traffic-driver in the world at the moment.
Twitter recently made profile page changes to allow larger header images.
And the increased ownership of smartphones sporting the latest camera technology means the trend is only going to continue.
The Big Question: What to Create?
One of the common problems most marketers face early on is what visual content to create.
The simple answer: Create anything that is worth your audience’s time. As an example, an infographic serves a very specific purpose – it’s used when you have complex (and boring) data that you want to present in a fun, engaging manner.
But if there’s no data to break down, what’s the point of an infographic? Make sure your visual content stays in alignment of your content marketing goals – after all you’re doing this to serve a purpose. Get super-aware of that purpose early on.
Click here to see a good example of what makes an effective infographic.
How to Use the Power of Visual Content in Social Media
You’re on social media for a reason, right? You want to grow your community, engage them, and get them to share your content.
Before you share visuals for your social media, understand what makes a piece of content go viral. People usually share content because it either makes them look intelligent or humorous.
A study called Psychology of Sharing by The New York Times found that 68% of the respondents share because they want to define themselves to others.
In other words, content sharing is about them as much as it is about building relationships.
Since visuals are “snackable” and easy-to-digest, they have a greater chance of being shared and going viral.
4 Types of Visual Content that Get Shared a Lot
Infographics are appealing to the readers and search engines alike because they drive the point home and make social sharing easy.
Recently, SlideShare revealed infographics are liked 4x more than presentations and 23x more than documents on their site. Infographics are also liked 2x more than presentations and 3x more than documents on other social networks.
Memes are a hot item. A meme is a humorous visual, an image, video or text that is spread rapidly all over the Net.
Most people think of LOLcats when they think of memes. The Dancing Baby video that became popular via email chains in 1996 is another example.
But this is where it gets seriously fun – as I write this, the I Can Has Cheezeburger blog started by Eric Nakagawa in 2007 is worth $2 million. What does it feature? Mostly funny LOLcat memes!
Okay, so your business cannot use cats as their brand ambassadors. But you can always put a humorous spin on your marketing to make it stick.
All those blog posts locked away in your archives? You can easily re-purpose them and bring them to life in the form of useful presentations.
Choose an engaging topic or a problem that your audience faces and create slides that can be easily embedded. You can also create a How-to style guide in the form of a catchy presentation.
Slideshare is a great tool to publish your slides.
Most marketers use popular visual platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram, but Slideshare is still underused and therefore easier to crack due to the lack of competition.
In fact, if you follow the rules correctly, you can even get featured on their homepage and bring massive traction. Here’s how.
The average YouTube user will spend between 15 to 25 minutes on the site. There are more than 400 tweets per minute with a YouTube link.
You can do a lot with videos. Try your own whiteboard animations (also known as video scribing) that are fun to watch and learn. Here’s an example of the difference between how a human cooks and how a corporation cooks.
Visme: How to Create Eye-Catching Visual Content for Your Blog and Social Media
If you thought creating visual content was going to be expensive or hard, I’ve got some good news for you. It isn’t.
You don’t need to hire a graphics designer or buy an expensive copy of PhotoShop for visual content marketing. You can get it done using Visme, a free tool which also has Premium plans to get access to all features starting at under $5/month.
Dubbed as the “Swiss Knife of Visual Content,” Visme allows you to create eye-catching visuals in the form of infographics and presentations, all in one place and for free for up to three projects a month.
Virtually everyone needs to express their ideas in the form of content. And visual content in the form of presentations and infographics are highly engaging when compared to their textual counterparts.
Visme is a new web-based app that is disrupting how content gets created. The developers took feedback from over 65,000 beta users in order to allow anyone create engaging visuals without the need of coding. You can translate your ideas into visuals that pop and bring boring text to life.
Visme can be used to create a range of visuals, such as:
- HTML 5 animations
- Banner ads
- Graphs and charts
To get started, you can do a 1-click login with Facebook or create a Visme account that only takes seconds.
Once inside, you’re given a choice to create a new “Visme” such as a Presentation, Infographic or a Banner ad.
Since everything in Visme is HTML5, it means your projects work like a charm on mobile devices too.
There are a lot more features inside – a choice of text styles, shapes, icons, infograph widgets, free images, and charts and graphs.
You can also insert video and audio placeholders in your projects.
And, you can make your Vismes interactive using their super-simple “Animate this object” feature.
Every published project can be shared, embedded or downloaded on your computer in the form of an image, PDF or HTML page that retains all your interactivity. You can also password-protect your projects for offline use.
To get a better understanding of what the tool can do for you, check out the video below:
In short, you want to give this tool a try because:
- It’s a multi-tool app which means you can create inforgraphics, presentations, aninations, banner ads all in one place
- It’s HTML5-based, so your content looks great on mobile devices
- There’s no coding necessary
- You can animate individual objects on the canvas
- You can download and password-protect your content in PDF or HTML5 formats
- Offers over 100 professional fonts
So go on, give Visme a try for free and get creating your original visual content.
What about you? Are you sharing visual content that keeps bringing more followers your way? Do you boost engagement with visuals? What type of visuals have worked best for you?
This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Visme. All opinions are 100% mine.