Your Guide to Visual Content Marketing
The past year has had a significant impact on the type of content audiences are consuming. In fact, visual content seems to be gaining more and more fans, with video being the primary type of media used by companies. The reason visual content is being used more often is simple.
Visual content, like infographics and videos, are easier to remember and are therefore more likable and shareable. Given the significant impact visual content can have on businesses, we’ve created a guide that will take you through the process of creating your own successful visual content marketing strategy. More specifically, we’re going to talk about:
- Defining your audience
- Defining your goals
- Experimenting with different format types
- Distributing your content
- Plus, some more things to consider to make sure your visual content marketing strategy will hit the mark.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- Step 1: Define Your Audience
- Step 2: Define Your Goals
- Step 3: Create Your Main Branded Elements
- Step 4: Experiment With Different Content Formats
- Step 5: Tell a Story
- Step 6: Distribute Your Content
- Step 7: Measure the Success of Your Visual Content Marketing Efforts
- Wrapping Up
Step 1: Define Your Audience
The first step in creating your visual content marketing plan is to define your audience. Defining your audience is essential to know exactly who your audience is and what kind of content you should be creating for them.
In other words, not knowing your audience might keep you from creating content that your audience will want to engage with, thus spending valuable time and money on creating content that will, most likely, go unnoticed.
Let’s have a look at some examples of successful companies that seem to know exactly who their audience is when creating content.
Here’s the first example.
Example #1: Drift
Our first example here comes from Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company, Drift. Given that Drift is a tool that helps businesses connect with their customers, it makes total sense that the type of content they’re creating has to do with revenue acceleration and conversational marketing.
Here’s one out of many simple, yet interesting, infographics that readers can find in a Drift blog post:
Graphics, even if they’re as simple as the one shown above, can make your content far more engaging and compelling. Overall, Drift seems to know exactly what the readers of their blog are looking for and that is to know more about how they can grow their business effectively. Moving on.
Example #2: ASOS
Our second example is a popular e-commerce store, ASOS.
From the ASOS homepage - shown above - to their social media accounts, the company makes it explicit that they’re speaking to a youthful audience that cares about fashion, makeup, style, and trends.
Their most recent Instagram posts prove it:
As ASOS focuses on sharing quite a lot of user-generated content, from photos to TikTok videos, etc., they manage to provide their followers with visual content that resonates with them and make them want to engage with it. You can also use TikTok auto likes on such videos to gain maximum engagement in less time.
How about yet another example?
Example #3: Oroson
Oroson is an annotation tool that can be used to facilitate the feedback and review process within creative, remote teams. We can clearly see that their blog content focuses on how tos and guides that’ll help their audience to better engage with the tool and understand their alternatives when it comes to annotation and state of the art software for creative teams.
The fact that the company seems to have a very clear idea of who their audience is, allows their team to know what kind of content to create and how to visually enhance their blog content.
As we can see on the screenshot below, they create visual content that takes users through the process of using the tool. Have a look:
Even though they don’t particularly focus on creating visual content such as graphics, like we covered a little further up, they’re making their blog posts more compelling through visuals.
When you know who your audience is and what they might need to see from you, the process of creating relevant content for them might be as easy as that. Let’s now move forward to the next step in creating a seamless visual content marketing strategy.
Step #2: Define Your Goals
When it comes to your visual content marketing, it’s extremely important that you define your goals. In other words, that you have a very clear idea of what you’re trying to achieve with your content. We need to stress that your goals will change as your visual content marketing efforts mature.
For example, if you’re just starting out with your visual B2B content marketing strategies and tactics, you can’t expect to get new customers or followers right away. ou need to be consistent with your efforts and always keep in mind that you’re creating compelling and interesting content for your audience.
For the sake of an example, let’s say that you’re a B2B business that starts their visual content marketing efforts today. In the beginning, you could measure your success based on the number of followers you get or the number of people visiting your website. When you’ve built a pool of loyal followers and visitors, you can measure your success based on the number of people who sign up for your newsletter. Then, after having a considerable number of engaged subscribers, you can measure your success based on the number of new customers you get. Overall, it’s a slow process and might not always be an easy one.
Here’s an example we want to share with you.
Planet Organic is a UK organic supermarket chain that also runs a very successful online store. Like any other offline business or e-business, we can be sure that the company’s goal is to expand their reach and encourage more and more people to start buying products from them.
Additionally, given that their audience is probably compiled of people who are interested in organic and high-quality foods and sustainable products, we can see that the company is trying to approach their target audience through creating and distributing informative content in relation to their interests.
An example of this could be this vegan ice cream cook-along they live streamed on their Instagram account:
Making short videos that will provide your audience with informative and eye-catching content can have a positive impact on your goal of reaching a wider audience and bringing them closer to your brand’s philosophy. The goal here isn’t to generate direct sales, rather it’s to create engagement and promote Planet Organic’s culture around a healthy lifestyle.
We’ve now discussed how important it is to define your target audience and your goal, and seen examples of several companies. Let’s get to the next step of the process.
Step #3: Create Your Main Branded Elements
The third steps that can help you make your visual marketing strategy a success is to carefully create your main branded elements. Creating your main branded elements is essential for nailing visual content marketing. From creating your logo to defining your brand colors and other elements, you have to be able to build a brand. Let’s get into more detail about your logo.
Element #1: Logo
Your logo is your brand’s emblem or symbol; it boosts your brand’s recognition and can make your brand stand out. When it comes to crafting your logos, you need to make sure that it manages to capture something about your brand and that it’s memorable.
Let’s jump right into an example.
Our first example comes from modern email autoresponder tool, Moosend. This company logo is one that catches the attention of the viewer and it’s definitely easy to remember. How about your brand colors?
Element #2: Brand Colors
Your brand colors, alongside your logo, are some of the most important visual elements of your brand; they can help make your brand recognizable. Let’s see an example of a company using their brand colors to achieve stylistic consistency across their website.
The way link building tool, Respona, uses their brand colors can totally help us illustrate the importance of brand colors in terms of brand building. As we can see blue, purple, and light green can be seen everywhere on the Respona homepage, from the company logo, to the calls-to-action (CTAs) and live chat icon on the bottom right corner.
Overall, your brand’s colors can create and enhance memorability. This basically means that users and website visitors are more likely to remember your brand, thus making it easier for them to want to engage with your products or consume your content. Keep reading to find more about yet another main brand element.
Element #3: Tagline and Copy
Your tagline or copy is a slogan or a catchphrase that’s usually placed under the company’s logo or somewhere where it can be seen on your homepage. One of the most famous tagline out there is Nike’s one:
Just do it! Right?
If you can’t think of anything as catchy as the one Nike has successfully crafted, we’ll be looking at a lesser known example of a tagline that might inspire you to create your own.
We’re now looking at the tagline of email testing software Maitrap. In this case, the copy isn’t placed right under or above the logo. It’s a phrase that’s put in a place where viewers can see it and it summarizes what the tool does.
Getting to the next one now.
Element #4: Graphics
We absolutely love graphics and think that graphics and other visuals can make a company really stand out from the competition. Plus, well made graphics can boost your brand recognition and might make people want to engage with your brand more. Here’s an example.
Google Voice alternative tool, Ringblaze, is a great example of a company creating and using beautiful graphics that match their company logo and company colors. The graphics they create, like the one we found on their homepage above, help Ringblaze achieve stylistic consistency and having interesting-looking visual content across their website.
Keep reading to find out more about the final brand element we want to talk to you about.
Element #5: Font
The final branded element we’ll be talking about is the company font. Using a unique font when creating visual content that features text can play a significant role in terms of differentiating yourself from your competitors. Moreover, like all the other elements in this list, your font can make it easier for your audience to recognize your content. Let’s dive into an example.
SEO toolset, Ahrefs, created their very own custom font which they applied to all their visual materials, from their social media posts to their logo, and all of their website. If Ahrefs, who definitely know a thing or two about SEO, did a custom font for their brand, it must mean that uniqueness is important when it comes to the visual aspect of your brand.
We’re now ready to move to the next step in the process of optimizing our visual content marketing.
Step #4: Experiment With Different Content Formats
What’s absolutely essential when it comes to visual content marketing is to experiment with different content formats. This is important because different content formats can help you reach different audiences. Furthermore, experimentation will increase your chances of finding the type of content that resonates with your brand, thus increasing your chances of boosting awareness of your brand.
We’re now taking you through four main content types.
Format #1: Video Content
First up is a type of content you should definitely be creating for your brand: Video! Video is compelling and interesting, and the significant rise in people watchingvideo and livestream events in the past year proves it.
Over the top (OTT) platform, Uscreen, is consistently using the power of video in order to get their audience to know about their product and explore the capabilities of live streaming and the video monetization process. Have a look:
Additionally, Uscreen is creating video content that’s great for all steps of the funnel.
Let’s get into more detail about this.
We start with a video that informs viewers about starting their own online video business:
We can then go on to watch a video that’s about building an online community:
To cut a long story short, there are plenty more videos on the Uscreen channel that take users who might be interested in creating and growing an online video business through all the steps of the process.
Pretty neat, right? What’s more, their content can be repurposed into other content formats and used multiple times across different platforms, which helps the company make sure that they’re making the most out of their content.
Format #2: Blog Content
High quality and informative content for your blog is a type of content you should totally be investing in. Blogging is a great way to promote your brand and make your visual content marketing a success.
The Mageplaza blog is a fantastic example of a company using their blog content to provide their audience with valuable information around the topic of marketing strategy. Let’s get to the next one.
Format #3: Social Media Content
The third format we want to talk to you about is the social media content you’re probably already familiar with. How about getting into an example?
A great Mailchimp alternative, HubSpot, is an example of a SaaS that uses their social media channels to share their content. Here’s the HubSpot Facebook page and their latest videos which are short and fit Facebook’s tone in terms of video content:
On the other hand, in the screenshot below, we can see the HubSpot YouTube video content which is adjusted to the platform’s standards, evident from the duration of the videos, which are longer than the Facebook ones and the overall high quality of the thumbnails, the graphics, etc.
Overall, HubSpot creates different types of content for each one of their channels, which clearly shows us that experimenting with different content for different platforms might be what you need to reach a wider audience and boost your visual content marketing.
Format #4: Infographics
Last but not least, we couldn’t miss mentioning infographics, one of the most prominent types of content that can totally enhance your visual content marketing. Let’s see how SiegeMedia is doing it.
The infographic you see above is just one out of many infographics that content marketing agency, SiegeMedia, is including in their blog content. On the particular blog post where we took this infographic from, there was also video content and other graphics to accompany the body of text.
Before we get to the next step of the visual content marketing guide, we simply want to underline that combining different types of content and experimenting with different formats can be key!
Find the next step right below.
Step #5: Tell a Story
Storytelling is vital in terms of marketing, and visual content marketing in particular. With over 80% of consumers stating stating that they need to feel that they can trust a brand to use it, we understand that being able to convey your brand’s message and story in a clear way is vital if you want to have an engaged audience.
Storytelling can be as imaginative and multidimensional as you want it to be, as long as the stories you’re sharing are true and reflect your brand in the best way possible. We want to show you a rather simple example of storytelling:
We can see that Farzad is giving readers access to the story of how he used his own tool, Respona, to grow.
Nike is a company that’s very successful in terms of creating content that tells stories that have the ability to speak to people’s hearts. Here’s a beautiful example of this:
And another one:
To cut a long story short, storytelling can help you express the most valuable thoughts and values of your brand and, ultimately, bring you closer to your audience. We’re moving towards the end of our list so keep reading to find out more about content distribution.
Step #6: Distribute Your Content
Creating killer visual content is one thing and distributing it is another one. They’re equally important. The way you’re distributing content can really make a difference in getting your content in front of the right audience and making sure that the effort, time, and money you’ve put into it will be worth it. When we talk about content distribution, we’re basically talking about promoting your content through social media, your website, blog, and any other platforms you might be using.
Distributing content via various channels is truly important as it can help you increase your traffic, get more people to know about your products and services, and also gain loyal followers that’ll want to engage with your content.
Let’s see what content distribution might look like. Here’s a blog post on affiliate marketing:
That was also posted on Twitter so it gets a bigger reach:
As simple as that. Let’s get to the seventh step.
Step #7: Measure the Success of Your Visual Content Marketing Efforts
A step you always need to take when it comes to your marketing campaign is to measure the results of your efforts. In terms of your visual content marketing, it’s important to keep track of your performance and success; this allows you to identify your weaknesses and strengths and lead your efforts towards growing your business in the right way without spending any more money and time on actions that are ineffective.
Of course, we need to mention that your success is always in relation to the goals you set for your brand, exactly as we discussed at the beginning of this guide. Below, you can find a list of the top ten Ahrefs pages that have the highest numbers of links.
As we can see, some of the most popular pages we’ve highlighted for you are studies that provide readers with informative content. But more than just informative content in terms of text, these studies also include a wide range of visually appealing and engaging content, like the graphics that follow:
And this one:
We therefore understand that pages that score higher and get a higher number of backlinks are usually pages that give readers a bit more than just great text. They offer visuals that catch the user’s attention and invite the reader to engage with the content a bit longer.
We’ve made it to the end of our visual content marketing guide. Let’s wrap this post up!
There you have it. Seven simple steps you can take to boost your visual content marketing and make sure you’re creating content that your audience loves. Building a strong visual brand identity and experimenting with different types of content can help you identify your brand’s strengths and your audience’s needs in terms of what they want to see from you.
To sum up, brands that invest in their visual content marketing are the ones that usually build brand loyalty and grow. These are two things we all want to achieve for our brands, right?
Thank you for reading!
Author bio: Payman Taei is UI/UX designer and the founder of Visme, an all-in-one visual communication platform empowering everyone to create and share beautiful interactive presentations, infographics, and other forms of engaging content with no design skills. He is also the co-founder of Respona, the all-in-one PR, and link building tool that combines personalization with productivity. Email: [email protected]
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