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We have been posting about visual content marketing, and we would like to help you understand in greater depth how you can use this powerful tool to your advantage.
Specifically, the objective of this post is to give you insight into the common pitfalls of visual content marketing and the rules you can follow to avoid these common mistakes.
Visual content is a powerful communication tool. However, you must use it with great care so that it enhances, not derails, your content marketing and branding efforts.
Visual content marketing is not simply a process of finding images online and downloading them. It is much more than just image sharing. The availability of online content creation tools has made content production and management much easier, but, if you are not careful, you may just end up wasting time, effort and money trying to use these platforms to quickly create visual content. The result will be poor visuals that are not sufficiently relevant to your brand.
Your content marketing goal is to grab attention, influence decision making and convert prospects, but you will fail to achieve these goals if you go on autopilot and become unmindful of what you create and share online.
Simply put, “FAIL TO PLAN, PLAN TO FAIL.” The absence of a visual content strategy is bound to set you up for failure. When you begin to create visual content, you have to understand that it is more than a power tool to improve engagement. For a visual to become a power tool, it must be packed with great features. It must be gripping, compelling, newsworthy, attention grabbing, informative and, most of all, brand related.
A visual strategy does not merely reflect your brand, but it should be able to embody the mission statement you have defined before being fully implemented. A functional and practical visual strategy is what makes your content worthy of interaction and increases engagement. – Paul Biedermann, owner of re: DESIGN
Visual content, as we’ve mentioned time and time again, is more than just creating striking visuals. The objective of every engagement goal is to motivate your fans to take action. And they can only take action if they find your content appealing, attractive, informative and amusing.
Ask yourself: What do you want your fans to do when they see your content? Every marketing goal has a predefined objective. Always link these two when creating your visual content and you will become a source of useful information for your audience and prospects. To help you understand how this works, just take a look at these rebranding failures.
Each social media platform has pre-existing size recommendations for images that are shared online. What works for one platform will not necessarily work for another. Use the size recommendations for each social media platform since it is the size of the image that determines the potential impact of your visual content.
Nevermind the additional hours you will spend creating individual images for each social media account. Think big, focus on the impact of your visual and remind yourself: What good is your visual if it cannot be seen properly? You should create highly attractive visuals that move your fans to share them with their networks.
In one of our posts on Infographic Creation, we discussed the value of the visual. We provided basic design and content guidance for creating shareable and attention-grabbing infographics, but we didn’t mention overstuffing. This happens when you fail to create a wireframe for your infographic before the actual design phase. This also weakens the effectiveness of the original message.
A key element of a good visual is that it must effectively communicate the message in a matter of seconds. If you have content with too many unnecessary visual elements, chances are your content will be ignored and you will sabotage the opportunity of being recommended as an authoritative source of information.
In our visual branding post, we discussed how you should remain consistent in using your company logo and other equally important identifiers that will help prospects and followers remember your brand.
Visual branding is all about having a good sense of what your brand is all about before creating visual content. It’s about having content that the audience can instantly relate with your company. When you share visuals that are not relevant to your brand, you risk being ignored by your audience. Strong visual content that is, nonetheless, irrelevant to your brand is ultimately pointless.
Content is constantly evolving. You must be able to stay on top of trends and changes at every turn. There is always a slippery slope. If you fail to adjust and prepare timely content, then you will lose ground.
Fresh content refers to content that is new, informative and useful for the present moment. Relevance is more about how well your content resolves your audience’s pain points? Does it contain solutions to what they need? Does your content deliver information that has not been shared before?
It’s important to have a content strategy. When you think ahead of the kind of visual content you should create, you will find yourself asking: Is this something new and useful?
Today, the primary goal of having a content marketing strategy is to become a thought leader in the industry or an authoritative voice on products and services.
If your content suffers from inconsistency, you compromise quality. Two important elements of great visual content is the quality of the information presented and how it is presented. If these two elements fail to walk hand in hand, you create the possibility of derailing your content marketing efforts and failing to meet your brand mission.
Your visual content must have the brand’s story and character at its very center. It must be able to showcase your company’s culture. Provide behind-the-scenes images and captions to properly tell what is happening. The more you reveal your company’s activities, the more you will engage your consumers.
Create a steady stream of visual content. You must be able to withstand ongoing demands for fresh and relevant content that is original and credible. You must consistently offer quality information through your content and never overlook the value of sharing your company’s history from time to time.
In another post on how to optimize your visual content, we detailed key points to remember. One of the points explains that for your visual content to be noticed, it must contain valuable information that has not been shared or offer brand-new information.
Informative visual content that is consistent with your brand story and consumer needs is shareable. If you find yourself delivering information that is timely, relevant and indispensable to the needs of your audience and consumers, you will succeed in convincing them to share news about your brand.
Consumer expectations are high. Remember to always be on the lookout of how you can alleviate and minimize their pain points and offer solutions to their problems. When you do provide content to help them, keep in mind the rules above. You can never be too careful with visual content marketing. Consumers are like picky eaters: They stick to what is good.
Allocating manpower and time to properly devise your visual content strategy entails outlining a safety plan. Create contingencies for every turn and plan for every success and failure. As you go along, you will learn new things and improve your content marketing results.
In succeeding posts, we will give you more insights into how to properly execute your visual marketing campaigns. There’s more to learn, so stay tuned and keep visiting the Visual Learning Center.