If you are not into visual content marketing yet, you are way behind! Visual marketing is booming and evolving year by year with new platforms, tools and tactics popping up monthly!
Any method of visual marketing can create a visual buzz, and so improve your campaign and results. But you might not be certain of how to get started.
These tips should help you to both begin and strengthen you visual marketing strategy, so you can reap the benefits.
Use High Quality Images, Always
Not all pictures are created equal. There is a false impression that any images are good images, because they enhance content. That couldn’t be further from the truth.
A low quality image is worse than no image at all. If you want proof of that, just think back to the cringe inducing web pages of the 90’s and early 2000’s. Can you remember the sparking animated gifs and horrible clip art? The low res pictures that are less impressive than the photos we now take on even cheap cellphones?
A low quality image is the equivalent of a dozen glittering animated lips kissing at your viewer from the screen. Not good. There are plenty of stock images websites around, which allow you to pay a subscription fee for professional grade images. Or, if you are on a limited budget, you could try creative commons content from sites like MorgueFile and Flickr (Respect the authors’ copyrights though).
Research the Demand
Keyword and niche research will give you a lot of insight into what kind of creative content might go hot in your industry. Any form of content can be turned into a media format, whether it’s an infographic, a video or an animated GIF.
I use Serpstat to research niche keywords and find content inspiration and I always think visual content when scrolling through the keyword suggestions. The beauty of the tool is that you can filter queries to only see those that trigger image search results. This way you are sure many people have a visual intent behind their search. Use Serpstat filter called “Special elements in SERPs” and include “Images”.
Serpstat will only show queries that have images inside SERPs:
Use High-Quality Visual Creatives
Display advertising is one of the oldest online types of online advertising. It’s believed to have lost some of its efficiency recently because web users have developed banner blindness. But nothing beats a display advertising campaign when it comes to brand awareness building, if it’s a thorough campaign, of course. Just take a look at these examples!
Coming up with awesome banners is easier than you may think too! Bannersnack is a great online tool allowing you to design web banners. they support HTML5 and animated banners and let you download your creations to use throughout social media channels too! I love the selection of templates they offer; I always feel inspired when I play with their tools:
Publish Your Own Stock
Even better than finding high quality stock is publishing your own. If you are handy with a camera, why not try creating and publishing your own work?
This will ensure it is 100% original, sourcing back to your site and adding an additional layer to your marketing strategy. You can even offer that stock to others for a fee, or give it out for free with a link back to your site and full credit for use. That is what makes creative content licenses so valuable.
And it’s easier these days than it used to be even 3 years ago. Smartphone photography has become higher quality. You can easily use or even monetize your smartphone collection:
- Here are great iPhone and Android photography tips
- BestAndroidApps.com lists tips on transferring your photo library into your desktop as it’s not that obvious
If you aren’t that good with photography, but you need something specific, you can always go the commission route. Many professional or talented amateur photographers offer their services for requested stock photos.
They also tend to provide them at reasonable rates, charging either per hour, per photo or per set. Just make sure you are clear with your instructions, and that you select a photographer with an impressive and trustworthy portfolio. Never hire anyone you don’t check out before hand, especially if you are doing things online.
Start Creating Videos
Perhaps the best way to create visual buzz is through the use of videos. Highly shareable, able to hold a great deal of information in a short space of time, not to mention entertaining, they are a powerful marketing tool.
There are many types of videos you can create for this purpose. For example, there is the always popular tutorial or how-to style video showing viewers how to complete a task. There are slideshow videos that use voice overs and slides to convey a message.
There are humor, horror or face chat style videos. You can even record Google Hangouts and present them as panel discussions, a format becoming increasingly popular. Here are some useful tools to create videos.
Learn the Power of Infographics
Another fantastic visual is an infographic. Able to provide more data than the average image, people love these things. They are informative, colorful, fun, and provide a very simple way to explain even the most complex topics. Platforms like Pinterest are also a great place to share them around, and they are quick to go viral or near-viral.
The web is full of free generators that will help you make your own infographics, though if you have graphic design skills feel free to create something entirely new. Just be sure to include a watermark, and perhaps put your website name directly into the title.
Take It IRL
You don’t have to keep all of your visual buzz online. You can start to take things into the real world. Make stickers and posters with an eye catching image or phrase, and a website or social media URL located at the bottom. Connect those to your online activities and you will have a better grip on your marketing strategy.
Here are some easy free templates for you to do online branding (Just edit to use your branding elements like logos, colors, etc.):
Have The Right Tools
Sometimes just having a solid promotional tool or two is all you need to take your content to the next level. An example of a great tool is Viral Content Bee, which is all about getting the web buzzing about your work. My own results with the site have been astounding!
Do you have any tips to share for creating visual buzz? Let us know in the comments.