Visual Marketing in 2018: How to Enhance Your Blog Visual Marketing

Visual marketing is something no blogger can any longer ignore. The web has become highly visual: No one will engage with the wall of text these days.

But how to use visuals without spending too much time or money on picking and formatting them? Let’s see:

Visual Content Should Engage

The first step is to set your goals straight.

Engagement should always be the goal. So know what will push them to engage.

>>> Actionable items:

  • Use Pinterest and Twitter analytics at least weekly to understand what works best for your audience. Try to understand why a specific visual got more attention than the others and incorporate your findings into your blog editorial calendar!
  • Create timely visuals. Schedule fun memes to congratulate your audience on big holidays. But not only that. Use these calendars of weird holidays, notable anniversaries and birthdays to post related visuals and visual quotes. Both work extremely well for engagement!

National Polar Bear Day

[Look at this example of Coca-Cola celebrating National Polar Bear Day. How can one not share it?]

Look At What Is Working For Others

The most obvious place to look for audience interests is in what is working from others. Given how likely it is that your content viewers are looking at others within your niche, the information is right there for the taking.

You don’t know need to know the view numbers, you need to see the rate of engagement and begin developing a pattern to follow.

Social platforms are going to be the biggest source for this data, as people are more likely to comment and share there than on blogs. But that doesn’t discount the numbers shown on the websites themselves. Really, any share numbers or comments there will be a big indication of what is working.

>>> Actionable items:

  • If you don’t know your competitors yet or you want to expand your list, use this simple tool
  • Use  to (1) Find your competitors’ most popular blog posts and (2) Analyze your competitors’ Facebook marketing tactics: Loads of info to learn from!

BuzzSumo

[Top content of my competitor identified by BuzzSumo]

Try Asking For Feedback IN The Content With Apester

This is a personal favorite of mine, and one of the best marketing apps available. Apester is a digital storytelling application that creates feedback surveys directly in visual content. You have probably seen them on websites and even embedded in videos.

Each survey presents a single, simple question and a few multiple choice answers. Not only is it a great way to get viewer information, it is an automatic engagement tool that is effortless on the side of the one being asked.

You can also send people from one to another in a unique journey that will expose them to more content while they respond along the way. Very cool, and very effective.

>>> Actionable item:

To see who is using Apester, and how you might emulate the more engaging of those customers, check out this list. Not everyone has quite figured out how to utilize the tool to their advantage yet, but those who do are seeing real number increases in their overall data. It is hard not to be impressed.

Apester in action

Create Better Images Using Pablo and/or Canva

Of course, improving visual content engagement might start with just having better visual content, period. If you have found your own lagging it might be time to start considering that the quality is the problem which is where both Pablo and Canva can step in.

Both are really easy to use content production tools that work across multiple formats (infographics, edited images, banners, charts, etc). They take a lot of the necessary knowledge and skill out of the process, and instead let you follow step by step tools and drag and drop features to make something professional grade. Great news for all of us who never went to school for graphic design.

Best of all, both are affordable.

>>> Actionable items:

  • Both Pablo and Canva are essentially free tools. What you pay for are the photos that you use to create your visuals. You can use your favorite source of photos and upload your own pictures, though, saving money. There are lots of sites that offer free stock photography you can use to pick great pictures. Bigstockphoto is another great option as well.
  • Create templates! Canva lets you create and re-use templates: You can change text, the concept, and the background image (see above) but use the pre-made template to save time. This ensures your blog visual content is branded in the same way which makes your site more memorable.

Cyfe dashboard

You can also use mobile photo editors if you want to create your pictures on the go.

Visualize Your Data and Old Content

Your old content provides loads of visual marketing inspiration. Look at your blog archive and identify content that you can turn into a cheat sheet, an infographic or into a visual white paper.

The idea is, if one particular article is doing well, chances are, its visual version will result in another boost. Plus it will give you the opportunity to re-enforce the success of the original by linking to it from the new content.

>>> Actionable items:

To turn your old content into a visual asset, use these visualization tools and resources:

  • Flaticon is one of the best sources of icons to use in your visualizations
  • Here are some awesome free tools and templates to create viral infographics including Create.ly and Venngage.com
  • Use MarketingCharts and Emarketer for all sorts of marketing and web-related visualizations that are being updated monthly

You can even go further and create video slideshows using your visuals. With proper monetization, Youtube can be a pretty awesome branding tool.

Know Each Platform Specifics

People tend to pick a platform based on overall popularity, but how well do you know it? Each platform has its specifics when it comes to visual content.

  • Maybe you are using Twitter, but the content could benefit from further context and elaboration.
    • Tip: Don’t flood your feed with visuals on Twitter because images, while improving engagement, may also irritate and result in some unfollows. Use images only a couple of times a day when you want to diversify your Twitter feed.
  • Or perhaps you want direct CTAs and so Instagram with its ban on description linking isn’t really the place for you.
  • You could be lagging in viewers because of Facebook’s bizarre criteria on what qualifies as promotional, and so half your content isn’t being reached by your audience (boost pandering from an increasingly finicky platform).
    • Tip: Use this tool to see if your image qualifies for Facebook promoted ads.

Consider adapting your visual strategy to each platform keeping in mind its specific guidelines (especially if you are planning to re-enforce your strategy by investing in advertising campaigns).

>>> Actionable item:

Use a social media dashboard to keep an eye on your blog stats and your social media channels to spot a good trend the moment it comes. This will make it easier for you to analyze your multiple marketing channels and compare them.

I use Cyfe which is very cheap and lets me see the stats from my own blog, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., all on one page. If one of my visuals does particularly well, Cyfe lets me see it the day it happens:

Cyfe social media monitoring dashboard

There is also that it is ignoring many other networks that might be beneficial. How is your strategy on Pinterest? Have you ever considered Reddit? What about Quora?

Social platforms vary a great deal, and it is important that you take that into account.

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Disclosure: In full disclosure, it is safe to assume that the site owner is benefiting financially or otherwise from everything you click on, read, or look at while on my website. This is not to say that is the case with all content, as all publications on the site are original and written to provide value and references to our audience.

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