Picture this: You’re a budding content marketer eager to make your mark on the world. Lately, you’ve been hearing a lot about this thing called “visual marketing.”
“Aha!” you think. “This is my ticket to winning in marketing and joining the ranks of the greats.”
So you dig in. You create infographic after infographic, header after header, but to no avail. There are no sounds of fireworks going off — only the deafening silence of the world ignoring your contributions.
There must be something more I can do, you muse.
And you’re right, there is. Because of the sheer amount of content out there, it can be extremely hard to stand out.
That’s where this list of super useful visual marketing articles comes in.
Crafted by the pros, chances are that you’ll find something here that might turn out to be your keys to the kingdom.
You should take your time to go through them one by one and absorb their wisdom. But in the meantime, I’ve included a takeaway (or two) from each of them that you might find useful.
Let’s dive in.
Which platforms do the best when it comes to visual content? How do marketers make the most of them? Should I use both text and illustrations in my graphics?
The numbers never lie, and that’s why we’re starting off with a look at some visual marketing statistics. It’s helpful to use these as a reference to inform the choices and decisions you make going forward.
Takeaway: “When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.”
I like to think that I’m more of a chef than a cook when it comes to marketing. That is, I like to chart my own course based on what I observe in the company that I work at.
Still, it’s always useful to know the best practices the pros are using — there’s always something new to learn and something fresh to try.
Dre Beltrami, otherwise known as The Branded Solopreneur, brings together the visual marketing strategies of not one, not two, but 20 visually savvy bloggers and marketers in this article.
Takeaway: “Brand strategy first, visual strategy second […] Because you can’t have a coherent visual strategy without first having a solid brand strategy. Your brand strategy provides the framework for what you are doing and the roadmap for what will come.” — Paul Biedermann
Marketing is a highly competitive field. The same goes for visual marketing — what’s unique about your images that catch the attention of web surfers?
Peg Fitzpatrick is the right person to go to for advice on this. A powerhouse in the social media world, she’s worked with none other than Guy Kawasaki himself on social media marketing strategy, which certainly qualifies her to write this article.
In this article, she talks about establishing your visual brand, some tools you can use to achieve this, and examples of visual content creators who are doing it right.
Takeaway: “A solid visual brand ties all of your content together across social media platforms and helps people recognize your posts. One of the highest compliments I get on social media is when people say “I saw a beautiful graphic and immediately knew that it was yours, so I had to read it.” […] It took me a long time to nail down the pieces of my current visual style.”
With written content, there’s only so much you can do. Once you go visual, however, the sky becomes the limit. The possibilities are endless once you bring images and videos into the picture (pun not intended).
From emojis to memes, I give the rundown on 10 types of visuals that any content marketer can — and should — be using in their content.
Takeaway: “Every content marketer should know how to employ visuals across all their marketing efforts. Why? Because your readers love images far more than text — many, many times more. And so do CMOs.”
If you read the first article on this list (you did, right?), you might have noticed that visual content has done, and continues to do, extremely well on social media.
You might be curious as to why this is so. Once you know the why, the how becomes much more attainable.
In this article, Wade Harman takes a look at the psychology of visual marketing in social media and how to leverage this knowledge to increase engagement.
Takeaway: “Both sides of the brain play an important role when it comes to an emotional standpoint, but it’s the right side that focuses on, not what, but how it makes the person feel. […] Clearly we are affected emotionally by images and this is why they are so important in your social media. So the reason it’s speaking so many words to our brain is because it has connected us emotionally with past experiences or future hopes.”
Visual marketing works. Why is it, then, that not every marketer is diving head first into practicing it?
Donna Moritz surveyed her audience to find out why. The result: almost 80% of them said that time was the biggest challenge they faced. It was taking them far too long to create visual content to even consider doing it consistently.
With that in mind, Donna penned down all the tools and strategies that she and her team use to create visual content creation easily and quickly. There’s even a handy cheat sheet in there for quick reference.
On behalf of all time-strapped marketers, I salute Donna for this great contribution.
Takeaway: “Having a Hit List can be a great way to source inspiration in order to create your own images […] It’s simply a list of pages or profiles to follow in order to get ideas for what to share and what to create. Share the content you find on a hit list and share your own original content consistently too.”
Speaking of cheat sheets, here’s one by Rebekah Radice that will definitely save marketers tons of time when creating visual content.
Every social media platform has its own size specifications, and there are a lot of social media platforms to be on these days.
You can always use one size across them all, but it just won’t look as good. Make the most of this cheat sheet.
Takeaway: The whole thing. Make sure you grab the awesome infographic with all the social media image sizes you need on the way out.
When Twitter was launched, it completely changed the world of content sharing. Now someone in New Zealand could witness what was happening all the way in Canada in real-time.
It was revolutionary.
Fast forward to today and real-time engagement tools have gotten far, far more popular. Apps like Snapchat allow you to share key moments immediately with your friends and family.
Naturally, this presents a great opportunity for marketers to share the most relevant content with their audiences. “Your audience,” Donna Moritz shares in this article, “is never more primed to share content than when they’re ‘in the moment’ at an event, on location or while experiencing your brand.”
Here, she suggests four ways you can tap into these real-time experiences to engage your audience with visual content and even encourage them to take action there and then.
Takeaway: “If you want fans to take an action (e.g. share an image, post a picture or enter a contest), you need to tap into the moments when they’re most likely to do it. And those moments are usually during an event, not after […] People aren’t likely to share when the excitement is over and they’re back home on their computer faced with more deadlines and too much content to sift through.”
Many marketers still see Snapchat as a playground for kids, and to some extent, they’re right. According to ComScore, nearly 50% of its users are aged 18-24.
You should know, though, that more than 100 million daily active users — who send over 400 million Snaps every day — call Snapchat their home. That’s a number more than enough to make any marketer salivate at the thought.
More importantly, Shopify’s Braveen Kumar says that Snapchat “attracts only your most engaged followers, provokes their fear of missing out, and creates an authentic relationship like no other platform can.”
Braveen goes on to talk about how to build your following on Snapchat and measure your success.
There’s no time like the present to jump on the bandwagon.
Takeaway: “The fleeting nature of content on this platform encourages followers to keep coming back for more, and since high production values aren’t expected and Snaps take very little time to create, you can crank out content daily without breaking a sweat.”
Say hello to Snapchat’s older cousin, Pinterest. Like the former, Pinterest was also once dismissed as a mere curiosity.
The potential for engagement on Pinterest is incredibly high. The half-life of a pin, for example, is about 3.5 months, which is 1680 times longer than a Facebook post. That’s a lot of mileage for one piece of content!
Cynthia Sanchez lives and breathes Pinterest. Using some great examples in this article, she recommends a community-based approach to marketing your business on the platform: “Create and curate your account in a way that serves your Pinterest community for the best engagement and results.”
Takeaway: “Your Pinterest business profile shouldn’t only be about promoting your content, products and services. Build an account that serves your audience. After all, social media is an extension of your customer service […] Curate content that your Pinterest followers will find useful to make your account a more valuable resource. This also takes the pressure off of you to create all of the content you need to keep your account active.”
When talking about visual content that require a lot of time and effort to create, marketers immediately think of infographics.
The thing is, infographics aren’t really that hard to create — not with the right guidance and tools, that is. Take it from a fellow non-designer!
This article (written by yours truly) is your one-stop guide to creating infographics that will actually drive traffic. Use it alongside a tool like Piktochart (disclaimer: I work at Piktochart), and you’re all set.
Takeaway: “Regardless of how great the design is, or how groundbreaking the data is, at the end of the day our human brains still scramble to find meaning in it “by looking for the story to make sense out of the experience,” according to psychologist Pamela B. Rutledge. So you should make sure that the structure of your ‘story’ is logical and clear, from top to bottom.”
Feeling full of knowledge right now? Good — now let’s get equipped to put it all into action. Here’s a huge list of free design tools covering all the bases, put together by Will Fanguy.
From design tools to stock photography websites, to apps that help with colors, typography, icons, and so on — they’re all there. Go crazy.
Takeaway: “These days, starting up a business can be done for considerably less, and the cost of failure is next to nothing. That’s because the Internet has a plethora of tools that can help you do the job without shelling out millions of dollars of VC money. In fact, in a few hours, you can have a business up and running and your first customer at your virtual door by simply connecting a few SaaS tools and services together.”
Here’s one last post that might rock the boat. A common misconception when it comes to visual marketing is that you have to craft beautiful, award-winning designs in order to achieve your goals.
Peter Boyle shatters this myth in an article he wrote right here on Crazy Egg’s blog. It’s entirely possible, he claims, to “have an ugly site that still converts like crazy!”
If you’re looking to create landing pages and websites that capture and engage with your readers, this is the place to start. Peter takes a deep look into how you can optimize your page’s structure, typography, and colors.
Takeaway: “Content is always going to be king, however, good content only works when your site design is optimized to highlight its key elements.”
Visual marketing has been getting lots of attention lately, and rightfully so. Be sure to get caught up on it as soon as possible with these 13 articles.
Did I miss out any must-read visual marketing articles in this list? Let us know in the comments below!
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