The majority of marketers would admit that creating visual images is not a strong suit for them.
The good news? Creativity is learned, so you do not have to struggle with visual marketing ever again.
Do you want to improve your social media strategy by including more visual content? Visual marketing is much more than finding an inspirational quote on Google and re-posting.
But, you might be asking yourself, how do you go about creating an attractive and shareable image? Something that people want to interact with and then share with their audience?
There is a ton of reports and information on how to create visual marketing images. But this information can take weeks to get through, then put into practice for your business.
That is why we have done the work for you. This article presents tips on how to create visual content that gets more engagement.
The Science Behind Visual Marketing
The Content Marketing Institute reported that 70% of marketers are producing more visual content.
Ask yourself, are you producing enough visual content? If you are not, it may be because you’re intimidated at the word ‘design’. Do not fear, these tips can help you.
In this article, we present many tips to support your goal of creating more visual content. Mastering these tips will make your visual message stick with web searchers.
Creating visual content is the #1 goal on marketer’s lists for skills to learn and it should be yours too. (Socialmediaexaminer.com)
Your Audience Responds to Visual Cues
Video and infographic responsiveness is at an all-time high. Are you using these strategies to interact with your audience?
In 2014, the use of video marketing increased by 8% and the use of infographics increased 9%. (Source: DemandGenReport)
As a home business owner you must dedicate more time and resources to creating visual content. Facebook posts that contain photos or videos account for 87% of increased interactions. (Source: EMarketer.com)
What does this mean? Facebook users are looking for so much more than just blatant calls to action to buy products. They want posts that share ideas, make connections, and avoid using too much text. Now is the time to switch to visual marketing if your posts have been heavy with text. You can start today adding photos or images to your posts.
What makes a shareable social media image? Why should we care about people sharing our images? Good questions. Every time a person shares your image, you just received free marketing. They are opening up your message to their audience. This helps you achieve more with less!
Let’s look at what makes a shareable social media image:
1. Emotion: When your readers feel it, they’ll share it.
2. Relevance: Your image should fit your audience, and their audience too.
3. Colors: Use the right colors to fit your audience’s personality and you will get more shares.
4. Typography: Choose fonts that look good and pair well with each other. Choose fonts your audience can read.
5. Hashtags and Text: Choose the right words to encourage your audience to interact.
The most important way to optimize social media content is with images and photos leading the way. Focus on creating great visual content to engage your audience and put them into a sales funnel. On the back end, you will have detailed information to separate the lookers from the buyers.
Serious buyers will always be looking for more information to use in their life. These types of information include webinars, case studies, and reports (or white papers). Visual content opens the ‘door’ for serious buyers to access your back-end detailed information.
Tip # 1
Creating a Title for your Visual Image
Titles are a feature element of your visual content. You want them to stand out!
Let’s go through a couple factors that will help you choose the best titles for your visual marketing.
1. We live in the age of people scrolling through a social media feed at record speed. An amazing title helps your visual content stand out among the “noise” in a news feed.
2. Your image has a split second to grab the attention of your audience. But your title (or main goal in the image) must speak to them as well.
3. If your audience finds the image to be pause worthy, make sure your title keeps them even longer. If you fall short in any aspect, they will not click on your call to action and will keep scrolling to the next thing.
4. Your back end offer will be the ultimate information that solves their problem. But the title should be crystal clear and provide a front line answer to their question.
Your image title appears everywhere. So, choosing a visual image with a strong title is critical, it will be visible in many different places. Every time you make a piece of text content, be aware that the different versions of it will show up as “title only”. This is visual marketing, it is the only chance you have to grab your audience’s fast paced attention.
Color: The Psychology of Colors in Visual Marketing
For decades there has been a debate about color and how it relates to persuading your audience to buy.
A great example in today’s color marketing is a well known, high end, coffee retailer. They use the color green as their primary visual marketing color. When you look at a color chart you see that customer’s associate green with wealth and relaxation.
Would you agree or disagree that this coffee shop got their marketing correct? They encourage people to stop in and relax with a $5-$8 cup of coffee. In fact, many people will tell you they cannot start their morning without a trip to this coffee house. Pretty ingenious, right?
Color studies show that different colors have an impact on a customer’s purchasing decisions. Marketing departments have been using this knowledge for generations. Recognize the power behind color and make conscious choices for your visual marketing.
According to a B2B study, 85% of customer’s claim that the color of an ad was what made them buy.
Please note, color alone does not induce someone to buy or not buy. But, when done correct, color influences your products and branding. And how long a customer stays around to learn about your products.
So how can you use this for your visual marketing strategy?
Start with a specific color theme. The right color theme depends on your niche audience’s demographics and your ultimate message. Next choose the right text, font, shapes, and photos for your social media pages.
How do colors affect purchases?
There are many factors that influence what consumers buy. Yet a large amount of their decisions rely on visual cues, such as color. It is vital that your color choices support the theme of your message. Continue to refer to a color chart to double check that your color choice supports your message. Plus the call to action you want your customers to act on.
Choosing the Right Font
It’s easy to think that your font is a simple design choice. But the truth is that font is the body language of your image. It says a lot to your reader without you even realizing it. Different fonts you choose dictate how long someone reads your article.
The previous tips discussed the importance of your visual content being inviting and shareable. Did you know that the font choice you make will impact the number of shares (attention) that it receives? How? Let’s take a look.
Different fonts create different emotions.
· Font’s will encourage readers to complete your desired action
· Drive decision making
· Encourage them to share with their audience
What is the take away? Consider the message you’re putting out and the emotions that you want your audience to feel from it.
There are 3 steps to selecting your ideal font, your choice will support or detract from your message.
When creating your visual images, make sure that you think beyond the words that you have written. A good example here is a quote. Your goal is to select a font that matches the meaning behind the message. The goal is to think beyond the words you’ve written. While this sound complicated, it isn’t.
1. Decide on your emotion: Are you a fun loving brand? Or are you more serious, like an institution? You can be artsy and easy going or you can be serious and stoic. But mixing the two together rarely results in a unified message.
2. Choose 3 variations: Decide on 3 font you feel fit your brand’s message. Design your visual image 3 times using a different font each time. Walk away from the project and come back later. When you have ‘fresh’ eyes you will be able to immediately see what font best suites your message.
3. Nothing is worse than a font you cannot read: You have been a victim yourself right? You see a visual marketing attempt, but you cannot read the words because the font was a wrong choice. Just because you feel a font is ‘pretty’ does not mean the audience can digest it. As we learned in the past 2 tips, if your audience does not digest the message fast, they move on.
Choosing Appropriate Images
A study performed by Trend Reports found that 65- 85% of people say they are visual learners. Visual learners prefer to look and study as opposed to read and comprehend. Marketers need to optimize images to accommodate the majority of visual learners.
Accommodate visual learners and you stand apart from competitors who only use text. When you are choosing images to tie in with your colors, titles, and fonts, you must keep relevancy in mind. Does the image you’re choosing fit the audience you’re choosing it for?
Visual learners process information using the part of the brain associated with vision. Which is 60,000x faster than the part of the brain that processes written information.
Visual learners look at your image and decide if what they are seeing matches up with what they like, etc. They use the part of the brain that tells them to stop and investigate or keep moving because it is not the right fit.
When you choose images ask yourself these 3 questions “does this image fit my”:
· Audience Niche
· Important News Feed Update
If they answer is yes, your next goal is to transition your audience from the image to your call to action. Getting your audience members to complete a specific action is your main goal.
With each image you create moving forward you must ask yourself:
“Does this make sense for my audience to act it?”
Not sure about the best interaction from your audience? Start looking at the leader’s in your industry. What does their visual marketing strategy look like? Find posts getting a ton of interaction and you have found a winning combination for yourself.
Capture the Audience’s Attention
Most people are completely overwhelmed in this information age. When we talk to the majority of people around us, we hear that all this data has become overwhelming. This is why the majority of people on social media skim and scan at rapid speed. The key to visual marketing, is to cause skimmers and scanners to look at your post while avoiding the rest. Most visitors have lost the patience to read through consuming social media posts. They want images that grab their precious attention.
Use Filters to Get More Likes
Instagram gives more than a dozen filters to customize your photos. Gone are the days when you chose a filter because it made your picture look better. Now you choose a filter based on scientific research to make your image perform better. Again, the whole reason we are studying visual marketing, right?
Once you take a photo, you can edit it by applying filters using the steps below.
1. Tap the filter you’d like to apply.
2. Tap the filter again if you want to adjust filter strength up or down using the slider. Tap the check to save your change.
3. Tap Next to add a caption and location and to share your photo.
Filters make your photos feel more refined. Studies show filters plus editing results in more views, comments, and shares.
We used to use filters because they made us look better. Now we understand that filters enhance our content. So what can you choose if you want to work with filters off of Instagram? There are 2 options to enhance your images without going through Instagram.
1. The Wix Image Editor
If you use Wix, you can also use their image editor to enhance your pictures.
Wix’s image editor allows you to enhance your images while working on your site. Wix’s image editor rivals Instagram in ease and options.
2. Online Photo Editing Tools
Looking online you will notice that there is a good variety of image editors. These tools give you complete control over your final image feel and look.
Some of the online editing tools are:
These are reliable photo editors, all available online and for the most part, with no or small cost.
1. How to Use Quotes (the creative way) for Visual Marketing
Where do you fall on the social media timeline? Do you prefer the days of using social media to make friendships and build relationships?
Or, are you the newer generation who loves quotes and not so funny memes of babies with grouchy faces?
There is nothing wrong with whatever group you fall into. When you are surfing social media for your personal time.
But, there is something missing if you want to build your business only using memes or cat videos.
As a visual marketer you cannot afford to miss your goal 100% of the time posting to social media. If your images are not supporting your branding message then you are failing in business.
Sure you can build up likes, shares, and comments on your latest baby meme. But ask yourself, “Does this make my audience want my product”?
Let’s look at graphics and how to make them resonate with your message to hit your visual marketing goal.
· You have spent the better part of an hour creating an image. It is quirky, it is sarcastic and you think witty!
· You post to social media and expect an outpouring of comments and questions about your business. But the quote had nothing to do with your home business. So, you hear crickets, not a single follow up question. Sure maybe a ‘like’ or two. But not a single sale. So what went wrong?
The question you should be asking yourself is: did my effort investment fit in my sales strategy?
If your quotes do not support a larger goal on the back end (to take your call to action), then your effort failed. Be careful of creating and posting visual content without knowing why you’re doing it. And how every single post fits in your sales strategy.
2. Infographics: Explain Complex Topics by Using Infographics
Do you remember Tip # 4 about choosing the right image? And how we discussed your audience is 65% – 85% visual learners? This is the exact reason why infographics are so popular. And so effective!
You might be dealing with an industry that has complex topics (or even boring topics). When you try and explain them in text form to your visual audience, it is not received well.
Spend your time creating an infographic that delivers your complex message through an infographic. Now you have made it easy for your audience to understand. Successful parts of infographics are the ‘visual pathways’ that lead your audience. The end of the infographic will stop right at the invitation to learn more, or any other call to action.
The call to action gives the reader somewhere else to go, ideal is your own website. Your infographic goal is to create a visual pathway to lead the reader to your call to action.
Distribution Map Infographics are another great example of making a boring topic fun.
Here is an example: global economic productivity landscapes. Pretty boring topic right? Unless you are an economist, and in that case, my apologies!
Yet, you could create a distribution map infographic using a great palette of colors. With gradations of light to dark, you can produce an effective way to display a boring topic. Another way to standout is to present the statistics in an organized, 3-D form. Looking from a distance, the viewer engages with this arrangement because of its uniqueness.
Your infographic goal: Use color gradation to illustrate abstract statistics.