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Don’t Tell Me…Show Me. How to Visually Engage Your Audience

Author: Michael Jones
He specializes in helping students with social media branding, marketing strategy and content creation. - See more at: Online Marketing Courses
Michael Jones
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As the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

That’s definitely the case in Social Media when creating visual content. As we are bombarded with text online and off; it’s always refreshing to see a beautiful backdrop with some inspirational words attached, an infographic telling you why you need to get more sleep or a funny video clip that turns your frown upside down.

These eye-catching images and videos make social media visual marketing ever so popular and engaging. They evoke emotion that entices your community of followers to like, engage and share your posts.

Humans are visual by nature. In fact, according to a study by Edgerank, the human brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text! This is why there has been such a boom in visual marketing.

Photos have become a new universal language. Articles with images get 94% more total views than their text counterparts. This is why such visual platforms as Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest continue to have double-digit growth.creating visual content

Should My Business Become More Visually Friendly?

In two words…HELL YES!!!! With a staggering 7 billion views per day, Snap Chat has became the king of video marketing surpassing YouTube and looking to surpass Facebook with its 8 billion views per day.

According to Emarketer, this year alone will have 48.2 million millennial Instagram users and by 2019, nearly two-thirds of smartphones will have at least one visual social media app (Instagram, Pinterest or Snapchat) on their phone.

Creating Visual Content That Gets Shared on Onlinecreating visual content

Infographics are probably the most popular form of visual content out there. The reason people love and they get shared because the use of charts or diagrams to represent information or data.

Creating visual content like infographs is means readers will spend more time looking at images than they do reading text.
Infographics makes it much easier for your audience to digest information and is a fun way to learn about a topic without heavy research.

Not to mention they drive traffic to your site like crazy!!!

Regardless what subject your infographic covers, you want to make sure you are creating visual content that have these eye-catching elements:creating visual content

1) Give me the facts ma’am: First thing to do is get all your data. You want the numbers to be the most prominent fixture. We can process numbers a lot quicker than written text and gives it more relevance.

2) How do I create an Infographic? There was a time when you would have to outsource this type of work for about $85 an hour.
Now, there are great platforms that can help you build these once complex graphics in an hour flat. Here are a few of my favorite FREE online options that make creating visual content like infographs a breeze.

3) It’s all about the Visuals: Infographic sharing power is all in its presentation. Best practice to use complimentary colors (red, blue, green and yellow).

Vertical infographics get shared more on Pinterest, Twitter and featured on more websites.

Make sure you use larger fonts. Larger fonts are easier to read, captures and keeps the attention on the reader.

4) Rule of 6: Your infographic should contain 6 data points. Infographics with 6 key points do better than one’s with 5 or 7.

5) Use eye catching headline: You could have created the best-looking infographic ever but if it has a dull headline…no one will read it. Use attention-catching words in your header like there:

  • Immediately
  • Exclusive
  • Instantly
  • Ultimate
  • Explosive

Use this foolproof formula and watch your visitor traffic soar.
46% of marketers say photography is critical to their marketing strategies

Creating Visual Content

Good rule of thumb when it comes to the use of images. Use custom images that are unique to your brand and goes along with what your content is communicating. NEVER USE STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY!!!

Best sites for beautiful royalty free images:

1) Unsplash
2) Superfamous
3) Picjumbo
4) Gratisphotography
5) Morguefile 

Your audience has seen those recycled stock images before. This removes that “personal element” that makes your business so unique.

With such photo editing sites as PicMonkey and Canva, editing your pictures has never been simpler and gives images that dynamic professional edge.

Take Canva for instance. Their user-friendly interface makes it so simple to create a kick-ass post for social media:

You can simply choose which platform you want to post on and Canva already has the dimensions done for you. So let’s say you want to create a Facebook Cover Banner.creating visual content

1) Click on Facebook Cover on Canva homepagecreating visual content2) Click on Lay outs tab to choose layout: You can change text, colors and images.creating visual content

3) Drag the layout you want onto the page. You have an option of free and paid images. Pic the one you want and drag it onto your page.creating visual content
4) Choose the text style from the free and paid options. You can change the color of the text by clicking on the text, click on the circle and click on your color of choice.creating visual content

5) Once your design is finished click on the download button and pick how you would like to save the image. I always suggest High Quality (PNG)
6) No need to worry about the photo box. Once you’ve downloaded your finished product. The image box disappears.

It’s that simple. Canva and Picmonkey can help you create visual content that can increase your click through rate and bring a new visual element to your brand.

BEST Visual Marketing Platformcreating visual content

Now, that we know what content gets shared online and how to create it. You’re probably wondering, “What is the best platform that’ll get my business noticed and content shared throughout social media?”

Not all social media platforms are “visually friendly.” But one relatively new platform is certainly on the forefront when it comes to visual marketing. It also happens to be my favorite when it comes to engagement, brand recognition and visual content…that platform is Pinterest.

Pinterest is the #2 largest driver of traffic in the world and it’s known for its viral visual content.

It’s all about clickability on Pinterest. In a nutshell, Pinterest is basically a visual billboard with over 30 billion beautifully sharable images that engages its majority female audience (79%).

creating visual content
FYI: What’s great about these Pinterest boards, they’re search engine friendly. You can easily rank for keywords just by putting together an image filled board named for your keyword.

This platform has users discover and share posts, images and videos and pin them to a common theme board (i.e. collection of pins about scrapbooking).

The goal of a Pinterest pin is to have the information be engaging (tips, how to and recipes). But, most importantly, creating visual content that needs to grab the attention of your audience.

creating visual content
What Makes an Image Pinnable?

Pinterest pins are one of the most creative ways to send traffic to your site. Follow these steps to create more pinnable posts.creating visual content

1) Use vertical images: Taller images take up more space (perfect size: 735px wide by 1102px high) and have a greater chance to be re-pinned. This is why infographics are so popular on Pinterest.creating visual content

2) Get up close and personal: Pinterest audience loves photos that are up close and have great lighting. Especially with the #1 pinned item…food!creating visual content
3) Inspirational Quotes: Pinterest is all about motivation and inspiration. Try to design posts that are inspiring but still reflect the mission of your brand. Also remember to use eye-catching fonts when creating visual content such as your motivational quotes.

Incorporate these elements and create an aww-inspiring pin that will have your audience going Pin-Crazy!!!

Pinterest is an addicting platform where most users find themselves “lost” for hours. You can increase the longevity of your content (once it’s pinned…it’s visible up to a month) and really increase your reach online.

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The Skinny

Visual Marketing is the future when it comes to visibility and brand recognition online. Remember these key factors when creating your visual marketing images:

#1 Don’t tell me…show me: Whenever possible, know that creating visual content to share your story will have a bigger impact.

#2 Create original visual content: Don’t use stock photos. Use royalty free image sites or create your own images. You can do this by taking some breathtaking images or hiring a design team.

#3 Mix it up: Don’t just use images on Facebook. Try using images on Twitter, Pin videos on Pinterest, use quality images on your blog posts.creating visual content

Most importantly…tell us a story with your post. Photos are universal and there emotional connection that comes along with them.

Through imagery, tell us your “why” and your ideal customer will be sure to follow and share your content online.

Have you ever used Pinterest before? Did you find it brought more engagement or your traffic to your site? Let us know in the comments below.

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