Visuals such as graphics, photos, infographics, and videos have become an important component of content marketing and corporate communication. Visual communication is a way to make people understand things much faster and easier. Visuals help to grow more traffic, clicks, and conversion and they receive more likes, shares, and engagement than text updates.
Why visuals are important for corporate communication?
Visuals deliver messages much faster
Our brains process visual information more efficiently than text alone. Our brain only needs 1/10 of a second to understand an image. Reading 200-250 words takes an average of 60 seconds.
Visual elements are becoming increasingly important in content marketing because they can present a piece of information faster and more directly than most texts can. Visuals communicate much more information than text in a smaller space. This makes visual content more interesting, effective, and engaging.
Visuals grab attention
The average attention span of a human reader in today’s news media is less than 8 seconds. 55% of users leave a website within the first 15 seconds. Most people scan online information to see if it sounds worth reading, and only then they decide if they’ll read on. Visuals capture users who are surfing or scrolling by. Images increase the click-through-rate (CTR) of websites about 47 %.
Visuals stay in mind
Whereas words only stay in our mind short-term, visual content is directly deposited and stays in mind for long-term. People remember visual information 6x better than the information they have read or heard. As the retention of information certainly is the ultimate goal of any content strategy in corporate communication, visual content will much better serve this purpose.
Visuals help to grow more traffic from search and social
With the rise of Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube, visual search has become more and more important for users. 27 percent of all searches are for visuals. Google Image Search and Video Search enable users to search for image and video content directly. Images and videos are prominently displayed in organic search results. YouTube has become the second most important search engine for content on the web.
Visual search results can account for up to 10% of the total traffic. Images and videos help to gain more visibility and reach, and they can drive additional traffic from visual search.
Example: How brand images and blog post images are displayed in visual search
Visuals increase views and boost engagement
Social media content generates 94% more views if it contains visual elements. High-quality visuals that are relevant to your content and targets can boost the engagement rate over 3.2x. Relevant visual will increase click-through-rates (CTR) about 47% and will drive more traffic to your blog from social media.
Visuals are good storytellers
Storytelling can happen with just about any kind of visuals: A short documentary video, a funny meme, an emotional photo with a quote … They all can tell your story, depending on the context in which they are used.
- evoke emotions
- trigger associations
- turn facts into easier digestible information
- make complex facts, statistics, or processes easier to understand
- are more fun
How to use images and videos for content marketing
Visual content follows the rules of content marketing: visual content must be helpful, useful, informative or entertaining for your customers and prospects in order to achieve your goals.
Storytelling with images
- Emotional photos and quotes
- Awesome graphics and illustrations
- Interesting statistics for data-driven posts
- Infographics for statistics and checklists
- Funny memes
- Compelling motion gifs
- Vivid photos of yourself and your team, your products or your office and working space or your production process
Storytelling with videos
- Help videos, tips & tricks
- Instructions and tutorials
- Image and brand videos telling your story, your history or the making of
- A look behind the scenes
- Team presentation
- Storys from everyday working life
- Product videos and presentations
- Life events and webinars
- Live-videos and broadcasts
6 Tips for your corporate communication with visual content
#1: Select visual content with a clear and understandable message
Make sure to use impressive photos and unique images that have a message that is clear and easy to understand.
- Use high-quality photos and graphics
- Use consistent imagery and filters
- Add a watermark or company logo to all your images
- Add a strong image description with your focus keywords
#2 Use a variety of visual content types and formats
Always think about how you can present or support your content ideas with visuals, for example:
- Turn your facts and statistics, processes and procedures into graphics and illustrations.
- Create photos of the products you mention or illustrate processes and include them in the appropriate context of your post.
- Add screenshots or screencasts to your tutorials to show how to do it.
- Summarize the most important facts and stats in a compelling infographic.
- Create a graphical checklist for a visual summary of your post.
Example: Infographic summing up relevant statistics from this post
#3 Always consider the copyright laws
Every visual is protected by copyright law. For every visual that you did not produce yourself, someone else holds the copyright. In any such case, you need a license or written permission to use it.
Make sure you own all copyrights or review carefully the license terms of each visual before using and publishing it. Sharing copyrighted images is always subject to infringement, even if done unknowingly and inadvertently. And, the penalties for illegal use or distribution of images can be quite costly and can get you into legal trouble.
#4 Optimize your visual content for SEO
Optimizing your images and videos with keywords and descriptions makes your visuals ready for visual search in search engines like Google, Yahoo, or Bing. The image description should include your focus keyword and reflect the content of your image.
The image size can also have a great impact on SEO. Insanely sized images can slow down page load tremendously. The search engines preferably list websites that are fast and performing for better user experience. Use image compression to optimize your images before uploading them to your website or blog for a faster page load and better performance of your website.
#5 Add social media buttons to your visual content
Adding social sharing buttons on your website and posts makes it easier for your website visitors to share your images on social media. However, also think about adding share buttons to your visuals. This is especially useful for your infographics. People love to share awesome infographics, so make this sharing as simple as possible to increase your shares.
#6 Share all your visual content across your social media channels
Don’t wait for others to share your visuals and posts. Social media cross-promotion helps you to grow visibility for your content. Your visuals help you with more options to share your messages.
For example: If you share a blog post on the social media by using the link to your post (link post), the networks will share your posts with the images provided in your OG parameters (usually your featured image). If your blog post contains multiple images or videos, then use all these visuals to re-share your blog posts. You can also use a mixture of link post and image post formats.
With a combination of link posts and image posts, you can create more variations for your social media updates and extend the lifetime of your content.
For specific contents and messages, image post formats work much better than link posts. Test both formats and analyze your results. Don’t forget to include a link to your image post when tweeting an image post or posting to Instagram.
How to develop a social media cross-promotion plan for your visuals contents
- Share your posts with your featured image on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
- If you have business pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Google+, share your posts to your pages as well but at different times and days.
- Also, share your images in relevant groups and communities on Facebook and LinkedIn, but share them on different days and times and use different messages tailored for each group.
- Share your visuals on Pinterest, Instagram, and Flickr, using your focus image with your introduction, hashtags and a link to your post.
- If you use multiple images, share them all, but share them on different days and at different times.
- Re-share and repurpose your content with different visual anchors and comments.
- Share your visuals in special interest communities such as Reddit.
- Schedule your posts at the best times for each network and across several days, weeks and month to extend the lifespan of your posts.
- Re-share and re-schedule your evergreen content from time to time to revive them.
- Distribute and syndicate your visuals in content networks like Tumblr, Medium, LinkedIn Pulse, GrowthHacker, or Quora.
- TIP: Make sure to publish your visuals on your own website before syndicating them. This allows the search engines to index the visuals on your websites as the original content.
Summing up visual content
Visuals are key components of professional corporate communication. Visuals grab attention, increase click-rates and engagement, and help you to get more results in organic and visual search. By optimizing your images for SEO and social media, and by distributing your visuals in a variety of sizes and formats, you can extend the reach and lifetime of your content and drive more traffic to your website. Smart social media automation tools help you to schedule and share your visual content across your social channels to get better results in less time.