As the social media content trends constantly rise to a new level, it became a real struggle for businesses to bring the target customers’ attention to their social media marketing strategy. You’re in a constant battle with competitors for your customer’s engagement and not only that, but the customers also become more unpredictable than ever.
According to Bob Cargill,
“It’s true. Content may be king, but visuals rule. All the latest studies and statistics suggest that images on social media command more attention than text alone”
Combining visual content with creative, clever, and engaging text can be a real marketing force that will increase your customer social media engagement.
The facts speak for themselves:
- Prostcon reports that over 34% of Twitter users are likely to retweet content with images.
- According to WebFX, about 94% of your visitors’ first impressions relate to the site’s web design.
- Visme states that 32% of marketers claim that visuals are one of the most important parts of their business.
- According to Movable Ink, the information that is transmitted to the brain comprises of 90% visuals and 10% non-visual.
- A study indicates that presenters can improve their persuasion by 43% with the help of visual ads.
Before moving ahead, it is important to know how you can communicate intelligently by using visual ads. Whether you’re making a presentation, writing a book or creating a blogpost, the following are essentials that make your content interesting and captivating.
Plan Your Visual Content
While planning a successful post, it is important to know your target audience. Your audience determines the depth and complexity of your visual post. This will also determine your visual content plan. Here’s how you can plan a fruitful visual content marketing strategy:
- Know Your Goals – Why do you need visual content? How can visuals help you in reaching your target audience? What do you want to accomplish with your visuals?
- Follow The Current Trends – When you plan your visual content strategy, you need to think about trends. Besides images, you can post GIFs, use live streaming options and create cool infographics.
When you plan for visual content, think about how much you can say without using written content. You can save a lot of words and your reader’s time by including visuals in your post. In a nutshell, plan wisely before adding images and visuals in your posts.
Smart Formatting of Your Content
If your visual content is not exiting or poorly designed, you’ll hurt your social media engagement rate more than without visual content.
Be smart and format your content with the target customers in mind. You can utilize stock photos, infographics, charts, videos, GIFs and other visual content. Bob Cargill shows how you can improve brand engagement with the help of designing different types of visuals.
According to him,
“In the process of optimizing your social media presence with visuals, of course, you need to be mindful of choosing the right sizes and dimensions. Other than those specifications, though, you actually have a lot of great options”
When designing visuals, don’t ignore the following principles:
- Use appropriate colors so that your posts look presentable.
- Make sure that you use expressive images that speak more than words.
- If you are not able to design visuals yourself, hire a designer to do it professionally.
- Use multiple types of visuals, like stock photos, clip-arts, charts, and other formats where needed.
There are many tools that can help you format and design your content easily. Some of the most popular ones are:
- Canva – A free graphic-design tool website. It uses a drag-and-drop format and provides access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts. It is used by non-designers as well as professionals.
- BeFunky – A powerful online and mobile photo editor. Think Photoshop, but simplified for everyday users. With BeFunky, you can easily create stunning, professional-quality images with a single click.
- Snappa – A cloud-based graphics editor for social media, personal, and marketing purposes.
- Skitch – An application from Evernote that tries to make this sort of information as easy to relay virtually as it is in real life, by making it easy to capture screenshots and annotate them.
Now, let’s break down how you can use visual content for better engagement on social media like professional marketers do.
7 Ways to Improve Engagements via Visual Aids
1. Use Images to Illustrate Your Taglines
How can you make your brand tagline stand out? By enhancing it with visual content, of course.
The more visually attractive your combination of visual content and text is, the more recognizable and shareable will be. Think about Uber’s cover photo.
McDonald‘s tagline is “I’m lovin’ it”. They use wonderful collage for their Facebook page to engage their fans and customers and let other people know how much others love their food.
Red Bull’s “Give You Wings” tagline is always depicted in their cover photos as well. The tagline describes the purpose of this drink, and beautiful actionable images add life to those words.
2. Use Different Types of Infographics
Infographic-based posts can deliver up to 180% better engagement than text-based posts. Infographics are a magnificent way to assemble information and publish it in a visual and understandable format. You can use infographics to outline a data-driven article, a case study, reports, survey results, listicles, industry facts and more.
With infographics, even if you’re a small business with limited budget, you have a chance of winning the attention of your target audience.
The most important types of infographics that you can use are:
- Timelines – If the content that you want to present contains multiple events or changes that happened during months or years, then you should use a timeline infographics. For the readers, these infographics are understandable because of the simple flow.
- Data visualizations – A versatile infographic. You can use everything from bar graphs to pie charts. If you want to present a data-rich content, you can use a combination of graphs and charts.
- Anatomic – Anything that can be explained with anatomy can be explained in an infographic too. For example, cars, computers, plants, or even something completely abstract – like a break down of a tactic or way of thinking.
- Process – Similar to a timeline. A simple flow joined by arrows, numbers, and pointers.
- Comparative – A useful infographic to compare two or more relevant things for your target audience. For example, you can use comparison infographics for buyer’s guides that help your audience compare multiple products.
- Lists – List infographics can be used for outlining quick tips and top lists. It is the simplest infographic format for any type of content.
3. Add Humor
Have you tried bringing the fun-element into your brand? Sometimes, that’s difficult, especially if you’re in an industry such as accounting, taxation, insurance or banking.
You can significantly help your brand become unique on social media with a sense of humor in your marketing. Nothing can create a connection stronger than a laugh. For example, Dollar Shave Club would remain an unknown grooming brand if it wasn’t for their hilarious video featuring their CEO Michael Dubin.
After the video debuted, it exploded on social media and on your YouTube, with tens of thousands of new customers within days.
By using humor in your social media marketing, it’s a lot easier to get your foot in the door. Because social media followers are not ignorant. They know if you try to sell them something. They’ll think that you’re more interested in their money instead of providing them value. This is where laughter comes in to soften the situation.
But, what about more serious industries than grooming and hygiene? The humor is more challenging here, but, it can also be as rewarding as in B2B industries. Especially if your product revolves around complicated matter such as tax payables.
H&R Block is one of the finest examples of a serious niche with a humorous face.
With over 100,000 tax professionals and 50 years of experience, this company could choose to show the real serious image that would lead to a boring Facebook page, but chose otherwise. They communicate their sense of humor with jokes and fun illustrations.
So, don’t worry if you’re marketing a “boring” business. Humor will introduce the lighter side of your product. And people will take interest in your posts and your product as well.
4. Show What You Sell With Images
When you feel that you’re running out of ideas to post, take help from images – simple images, and few words that go along. Choose a stock photo that can be associated with your brand or your product, add few words to describe it, and post it. Sometimes, it can be as simple as this!
This simple tactic can be used effectively on Instagram. RiverWalkNola, a downtown outlet at Riverwalk used this tactic with images and quotes. In a short time, the company grew in social media audience. Now, it has over 8000 Instagram followers.
5. Encourage Visitors
Just like restaurants, retail shops, departmental stores, boutiques, and massage parlors physically attract people to their stores and dining tables, you have to do something on social media to bring customers to your door.
For example, if you own a museum, how can you use social media to bring visitors to the galleries?
The museum uses social platforms to the fullest by featuring images and videos from its collection. Each account has a caption that gives a context. As a result, it has accumulated more than 566,000 followers on Instagram, more than 694,000 Twitter followers and over 250,000 fans on Facebook.
To bring more people to your business with social media, all you need to do is combining beautiful images with compelling additional information that creates a strong social response. Make sure that you also set your location whenever you can in your posts.
6. Use Text Overlays
Your success on social media depends upon how well you connect with your fans through your posts. It is crucial to know how to show people the depth of your brand.
One of the simplest ways to do it is with the help of common phrases normally used by people to relate to what you sell. For example, Folgers is a fine example of using text with images to connect with their target audience. Their technique is simple and effective:
- Take a picture of your product or product usage.
- Come up with a common phrase that relates to the picture.
The simple Image + Phrase technique accumulates hundreds of shares and likes on every post.
7. Encourage Customer Participation
To increase engagement on social media, you can also use user-generated content. User-generated content is one of the best ways to spread the voice about your brand. If you encourage your customers/users to participate in your visual content marketing, it will be easier for you to highlight to other potential customers how other people are excited about your product.
User-generated content can be really effective, especially on Instagram. The more users like and comment on your posts, the more prioritized your posts are in the Instagram feed, and users can also find it easily in the Explore tab.
Buffer continuously utilizes user-generated content for their Instagram profile. The campaign that they started with their #BufferCommunity hashtag has gone viral and showed us one of the best workspaces that Buffer users work from. Check out this user-generated post from a workspace in Greece
To execute user-generated content, your brand personality must be strong enough to make users share what they do with your product/service online. If you create an excellent product and if you help your customers, you can curate their best posts about your company. In a nutshell, the customers help you improve your social media engagement themselves.
Creating visual content for your social media marketing can be a challenging task. But, visuals will get you to massive engagement if you use them correctly. You can start with the tips that we outlined in this article and test how each of the posts performs.
Monitor your social media insights and use the data to see what type of visual content works with your target audience and what content you need to discard from your social media strategy.