Using visual content is a powerful way to promote your business online. And I don’t mean just in the tradtional form of advertising. There is a whole different way of ‘speaking’ to people online, and having a trusted, innovative presence online, be it on social media or blogging, can make a big difference to your business. Since the brain process images 60,000 x faster than text, and parents online are time-poor, you need to make visuals work for you online. Here are Proven Ways To Use Visual Content To Engage Parents.
Visual Content in Blog Posts
It’s a proven fact that images in article help drive more views.
Jeff Bullas, writing on his article about using images in your marketing, puts this into context nicely:
So it pays to have images in your online content. Readers like to digest content online quickly, so anything you can do to make your content more reader-friendly is good, right? So, be sure to consider different types of visual content to explain your points.
At Mykidstime we have learnt the value of strong visual content and we even have the stats to show that it works. Our Pinterest traffic to our website more than doubled just by changing the way we chose and used images. And we have seen that by changing the header/top image used on a blog post that we can increase the pageviews of that blog post.
So the image you use in your blog post really can bring more traffic to your website.
But it is not just a case of popping any old image on to your article – you need to spend time and ensure that the image you find is high quality, interesting and relevant to your article, and that you can legally use the image.
Remember the header image is the one that will be seen when you share your article on your social media channels, so you have one chance to impress the browsers there, and ‘encourage’ them to click on to your article. So make it count!
Recommended Read: Why A Great Image Will Drive More Traffic To Your Blog
Visual Content on Social Media
You need to build brand trust and loyalty in order for people to want to buy from you. Building a connection using social media is one of the most effective ways of doing that because you can listen and engage with your target customers (parents).
But social media has changed a lot in the last few years and now visually focused channels like Pinterest and Instagram are more mainstream, and as a result, people now prefer to see visual content across all social media platforms.
63% of social media is now made up of images and 32% of social media is made up of videos, according to a Citrix report on mobile usage. So, if your business is on social media (and you really should be), then you need to be using visual content to drive up engagement, and establish brand trust.
- Visual content is 40x more likely to get shared on social media than any other types of content.
- There is a 37% increase in engagement when Facebook posts include photographs
- Tweets with images get 150% more retweets
So if you get the visual right, there is a real opportunity that is might go viral.
We are wired to take in visual content faster than text, so to help your social media engagement you need to be employing visual content on your channels.
Recommended Read: Tips for Handling Negative Comments On Social Media
Types of Visual Content You Should be Using
So I think we can all agree that visual content should be a core part of your digital marketing, but what types of visual content should you be using? Visual content can take many forms, from video to photographs, and in reality, you need to be using them all to reach your parent audience.
#1. Branded Images
Branding images with your logo for blog posts and for use on social media can help build your online presence, and are like free advertising when people share your content. Plus the readers will know instantly that this is coming from a trusted and reputable source.
It’s really important to always be consistent with your branding. You should use the same logo, font and colours that you use on all your other marketing material.
Or take this one step further and design your own images, that will help establish your brand presence online.
#2. Engaging Videos
Video should be a core part of your online marketing, and is a great way to explain a point you want to make.
Consider making your own videos to showcase a product. You can then embed them in your blog posts, which will improve reader dwell time, and share them on your social media channels. Or if you don’t want to make your own, search YouTube for something relevant.
Here’s an example of embedding a video into content to help the reader:
Or look at this video we shared on Mykidstime Facebook page which went viral – a powerful video message that spoke to parents.
#3. Quote Images
Quotes on images make great visual content for social media channels. Find a nice image, overlay the quote and brand using an image editor tool.
Publishers who use infographics for marketing can increase their traffic by 12% [Visual Contenting] and they’re a great way of putting lots of information into a visual, digestible format. Plus they’re easily downloadable and shareable too, so making these a part of your digital marketing.
#5. Great Images on Blog Posts
The main image you use on your blog posts can make or break an article. Get it right and browsers will be enticed to click and read the article, but if you get it wrong, then browsers may just go elsewhere. Remember that articles with images get 94% more views, so make the image you use work for your content.
The main image on your blog posts needs to be good quality, and relevant to the content. You do not want to cut corners when it comes to finding the best image you can. Every time. The image should not be click-bait and it should never be boring – don’t opt for the easy, predictable stock photo that everyone else is using. Find something special and make it your own.
Recommended Infographic: The Anatomy Of A Great Image
Life is busy and serious enough for parents, and anything that can make people smile online, particularly on social media, will be much appreciated! Get it right, ‘speak’ to people and it will get shared, improving your engagement. Brand it, and you get some free advertising as well!
Or try sharing some funny content that you’ve curated from elsewhere. Tools like PostPlanner help make it easy to share other viral content. Just remember, don’t take images without checking with the creator first.
#7. Soppy/Emotional Images
Parents are suckers for soppy cute images and quotes! There’s a reason that social media is awash with pictures of cute kittens and puppies. If it tugs at the heartstrings, then you’re on to a winner.
Parents love anything about kids – poems, thoughts, cute images..
Or even better, use some cute kittens after all..
Tools for Creating Great Visual Content
Before you panic at the thought of creating your own visual content, relax!
You don’t need to be a designer to produce great visuals. There are now some great free, image-editing tools that are easy to use so you too can design images like a pro!
Canva is a great visual content creation & editing tool. And it’s easy to use too. With 1 million images, lots of fonts (you can now even upload your own fonts), templates and layouts it’s not surprising that canva is the image editing tool of choice amongst bloggers. There are even some templates for infographics.
Canva is free to use, though users can choose to pay for particular images, and because it’s online you don’t need to download the tool or designs until you need them. It’s easy to size images to your exact dimensions. And we love the availability of pre-loaded templates and sizes if you’re designing images for different social media platforms.
PicMonkey is another online image editor tool that’s free and very popular, though you can choose for a paid version with additional touch-up tools, filters etc. There are plenty of tutorials out there too like this one on editing and adding text to your images which will get you started.
Apps for Visuals
There are also lots of other free apps you can download to your smartphone or tablet to help you create quality visuals. We like Word Swag, which lets you upload an image, or choose from free images, and overlay font. BeFunky is another app worth checking out.
These are all examples of visual content that have worked really well for Mykidstime. Plus we created most of them ourselves, and others with a little help from a trusted designer who knows our brand. I hope this has inspired you to create great visuals for your business or brand!
Over to you now! What visual content do you mostly use? What works best for you? Love to know your thoughts on this topic.