Archive for November, 2013

What is Visual Content, and why do I Care?

Posted by Chuck Bankoff On November - 8 - 2013

 

Face it, the Internet is all about content. Why else would you go there unless you expected to find a product or service that you’re looking for, or to consume videos or music, or to share socially with your friends? Visual content is simple converting your message to something consumers “see” rather than just read. It comes in many different flavors, but here are a few of the more popular ones that you can leverage for your business:

 

Infographics:

A nicely designed and targeted infographic is amongst the most sharable content on the Internet today and should be a part of every businesses Digital Marketing strategy. Simply put, and infographic is a fun and efficient way to learn about a topic without doing a ton of boring reading. Even heavy, dry statistical based information becomes easy to digest.

Essentially a series of text and images organized into one large comprehensive graphic designed to present complex information easily and clearly. The ultimate goal is for it to be shared. In fact, high quality infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than text articles. Why? Because human beings are naturally visual…and lazy.

 

What are the Benefits of having my Infographic shared?

Branding: Create something interesting and let others do the work for you. Tastefully branding the graphic with your company logo, contact information, and even a call to action can grow your brand and position you as an authority in your industry. A particularly good Infographic can go viral (or at least be shared between friends and groups on Social Media). Whenever the Infographic is shared, it spreads your brand across your demographic. The idea is to put it in motion and let everyone else spread the word for you.

Direct Traffic: There is a ridiculous amount of information on the Internet…most of it noise unless it’s something that is of particular interest to us as individuals. Anyone who takes the time to look through your Infographic has already pre-qualified themselves by virtue of the fact that they were interested (why else would they bother looking at it?). If it’s a topic that is near and dear to their heart, and it’s a product or service that you offer they may click through to your website out of curiosity alone.

Backlinks to your website: One of the most enduring search engine optimization factors has been links form other web properties (blogs, other websites, directories, etc.) back to your website. Search engines make the assumption that if someone was willing to link to a page on your website, without you necessarily linking back to them, you must have something of value to share. Because of the fun –factor alone, webmasters are more prone to publishing an Infographic (and the associated link back to your website) than they are posting a text based article.

Social Signals: Consistent with backlinks to your website being an indication that you have something of value on your website, search engines also factor in shares, likes, re-tweets and re-posts from Social Media, and infographics are full of the types of info we love to share with our friends on social media like fun-facts and interesting tidbits of information.

Here is an example of a recent Infographic we did for Michaels Tsao Photography, a local wedding photographer in Orange County, CA:

 

 

How Much Does a Wedding Cost? – An infographic by the team at Michael Tsao Photography

This was part of an overall search marketing strategy. In the first month we were able to publish this Infographic on 65 different web properties and blogs.  It’s a bit early to tell, but this should give our search engine optimization a nice little bump in the weeks to come.

Infogrpahics are just one type of visual content. For example publishing a virally shared cultural symbol or social idea called a “meme” on Facebook is also a sound on-going strategy:

 

Meme’s:
You’ve seen these on Facebook and Google Plus for years. I don’t know about you, but when I scroll through my Facebook feed, I just filter past anything without a graphic and any graphic with text that is too small to read. I favor images that tell a story or a joke at a glance. Sometimes the image is the entire story, sometimes it’s the image and a caption, and sometimes just a caption (see below).

 

 

 

Presentations:
Creating or publishing existing PowerPoint type presentations on SlideShare is also a good strategy. Chances are you already have a library of presentations (or at least good ideas) waiting to be published. Sometimes they can simply be uploaded “as-is”, but typically a few minor tweaks to accommodate your target audience is all it takes.

Here is an example of a SlideShare presentation we adopted from a workshop we did on Landing Page design for a group of Digital Marketing consultants in Toronto late last year.

 

It quickly garnered almost 2000 views and multiple downloads and shares. It was originally done for a live presentation, but with a few minor tweaks we quickly repurposed it to continue to live on the Internet and promote our brand. To this day, it’s still getting views and shares.

 

Promoting your Visual Content: Just a few ideas…

  • Include Embed Code: This is a snippet of HTML code that a visitor can copy from the bottom of your blog post or Infographic that will allow them to add it to their own blog, thus virally sharing your content, and crediting your website with a high-quality backlink for SEO purposes. Here is what it might look like:

There are free embed code tools that will help you generate your own code. However websites such as SlideShare will automatically generate an embed code for you:

 

  • Leverage your Network: That’s code for “Social Media”. We generally write a very short teaser and an image to catch the eye. Then we syndicate it out simultaneously to Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and LinkedIn. For a minimal investment, you can experiment with paid advertising on these social channels which will give your content a real boost. Since these social networks know everything about everyone, you can really target your audience by demographics and location. This will give you plenty of bang for your buck.

 

  • Content Curation: Pinterest, Tumblr, SlideShare are all great places to collet visual content. If you create enough of your own, you can feature your own works exclusively. If not, you can blend (but highlight) your own content with other worthwhile and relevant content that you collect around the web. For example, one of our clients ABC Glass & Mirror started their “Dream” Boards on Pinterest featuring “Dream Showers” “Dream Bathrooms” Dream Mirrors”, etc. Most of the images on their boards are theirs…but not all of them. They feature glass shower doors, but you know what they say about too much of a good thing. So to augment their boards, they re-pin photos from other “non-competing” websites to round out their Pinterest Boards and keep them interesting. Thus “Curating” other companies content, for their purposes.

Leveraging visual content takes some planning and a bit of creativity, but if you have the graphic skills, it’s more fun…and effective than just writing blogs and tweeting about your breakfast.  We at Kreative Webworks employ visual content services as part of our overall content marketing strategy. Let us know if we can help you with yours.

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