How to Use Visual Content In Your Content Marketing

Visual Content

When you think of content your mind probably goes right to text. Articles and blog posts, columns of writing explaining a service or product…that is what content is, right?

For the most part, that is exactly what content is. But that doesn’t mean images cannot be a labeled under the definition. If you are failing to add a visual component to your posts, you are making a big mistake. All content should be enhanced with multiple mediums to catch the eye and keep the reader interested enough to delve further than the headline.

For content marketing, having a campaign that utilizes visuals is especially important. Especially when it comes to expanding out to social media, a primary tool for visibility and traffic building. Here are a few tips on how to use visual content in your content marketing strategy.

Know Your Tools

ToolWhat does it do?
Viral Content BuzzIt supports Pinterest, visual tweets, Flipboard, and more, so you can promote your images
Smart Photo StockThat’s the huge collection of absolutely free professional photos to modify and use
Quote on image toolsThis is the collection of easy image editing tools to turn text into a viral image
CC CartoonsThat’s the list of cartoon and comic creators who allow using their work for free (with the credit)

Use Relevant Images

I can’t tell you how often I have come across an image that doesn’t support the content, or that barely relates to it. This is actually a pet peeve of mine, because it completely takes away the point of having an image in the first place.

You might as well just put on a flashing, neon sign that says “I don’t care, but read me anyway!” Make sure the image you use is of high quality, relates to the post, and actually enhances the content it is posted with.

Use Images to Engage Your Readers

Images make very engaging content, if you do it right. To better understand what kinds of image concepts will do a better job engaging your readers, use Text Optimizer, a semantic analysis tool.

Text Optimizer clusters your target search query into related concepts and entities helping you create better optimized, more search- and user-friendly content:

Text Optimizer drives your whole content creations: From ideation to optimization. Use it to come up with relevant visual assets that will fit in the context and hence engage your readers

Use Multiple Images to Get Your Point Across

Don’t just stick a photo under the headline. Use multiple images through the article to break up the text and keep the post looking dynamic and professional.

There is a reason this is such a common practice. Be sure to use good captions to give the images context. This is a great way to hook skimmers that are otherwise just glancing over your content. They are most likely to pause and read over the text that the image represents.

Don’t Be Afraid to Use Videos, Infographics, etc

What Makes a Good Infographic

Not all visual content has to be a photo. Using other forms of visual data can be very helpful, such as an embedded video, infographics, charts, graphs and even content. That kind of content is also hot for social media sharing, and as long as you customize it you can see links back based on the visuals alone.

Try Editing the Image

Have you found a picture that is almost perfect, but not quite? Or that you can see making an impact if something were a little different?

As long as it is your own work, or it is protected under creative commons licenses that allow for manipulation, you can edit it to fit your needs. There are a lot of online programs for this, but I prefer the more extensive desktop versions.

Photoshop is one option, but it is very expensive. A good alternative is GIMP for actual photo manipulation software. If you just want to do something super simple like resize, crop or add text, even Paint will do.

Ask for Reader Contributions

Image Contributions

For good original content that you don’t have to work for, ask readers to contribute their own work. Offer them full credit and a link (such as you would offer a byline to a guest poster), and watch as others start sending in content by the bucket full.

Do you have any tips for enhancing content marketing using visuals? Let us know in the comments.

Image Credits: 1, 2, 3

VC Bee

Viral Content Bee is the free platform for social media sharing helping you get more shares for your high-quality content

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