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It’s no news that information overload is a real problem, both for online users and content creators.
Everyone wants to get their message in front of an audience, but users simply don’t have enough time in the day to read every post, tweet, email and piece of content that crosses their paths.
And while visual content was supposed to alleviate the problem by condensing information into bite-sized, snackable pieces, the bad news is that the explosion of visual content has, in a lot of ways, made matters worse.
For example, did you know that 3.8 trillion photos were generated in all of human history until 2011, but that 1 trillion photos were created during 2015 alone?
Or that every minute of the day in 2016:
And that’s just one Internet minute. Imagine what these numbers will look like in the coming months and years.
In a study published by the Content Marketing Institute last month, 70% of B2B marketers stated they will produce more original content in 2017 than they did in 2016, and 39% plan to increase their content marketing spending over the next year.
Meanwhile, user-generated content is also expected to explode. The global Internet population grew 62%, from 2.1 billion to 3.4 billion, in just the last four years.
All this means that the amount of content online, including visual content, will only increase exponentially with time--not decrease.
So, with so much noise out there, how can can you still create unique visual content that stands out?
At Visme, we were so intrigued by the challenge posed by visual content overload that we decided to find out what others were doing to cut through the noise.
So we reached out to 42 top content marketers and asked them for their best advice on creating visual content that stands out, even in a media-saturated web, and compiled their thoughts on the subject into an interactive e-book, which you can view below:
To view interactive version, click here
To download PDF version, click here
And for those who are suffering from content overload right now (!) and would rather skim through their most actionable tips, we've also created quote cards which you can easily share by clicking on the Tweet button in the middle of each graphic.
"Creating effective visual content is a combination of using the right tools and testing the content on different networks."
-Founder of JeffBullas.com
"To cut through the noise, find out what kind of visual content your audience wants, where they want it and how."
-CEO of TopRank Marketing
"Effective visual content starts with understanding your audience, their problems, wants and desires."
"Visual content that works most effectively never feels corporate, inauthentic, or like it's a stock visual."
"Bring something new to the table: original research, or a brand new theory or practice."
-Co-Founder of Web Profits
"You don’t have to go too crazy with image creation but make an effort to find or create visuals for everything that gets published."
-Founder of MobileMonkey
"We go with visual content that reflects the images that we connect with our brand and the values that represent the brand."
-Founder of Due
"You can cut through the noise if you're adding value, not more noise. You also need to stand out as a brand."
-Founder of RazorSocial
"Pursue guest blogging opportunities and post on highly visible content hubs, create amazing infographics, data visualizations and presentations."
-Founder of Feldman Creative
"In visual content, the visual IS the headline--that's it! This means you need to absolutely focus on quality by seeing how your fans respond to it."
"It's not just your headlines that should include statistics. Publish clever visual data and you will blow your audience away."
"Develop a consistent visual brand to become noticeable and recognizable to your audience over time."
-Content Marketer and CEO of Honigman Media
"Planning, benchmarking and attaching content initiatives to a strategy are necessary for content marketing to work effectively."
"Tailoring content to your audience, and communicating it in the most effective way will ensure that it stands out."
-Co-founder and CEO of Influence & Co.
"Ironically, one of the keys to visual content is written content. Great visuals need headlines."
-Co-founder of Orbit Media
"Whether it solves a problem, answers a question, or inspires thought, make sure that your visual content is always created with a purpose."
-Senior Marketing Manager at Cox Communications
"If it doesn’t move you, it’s not going to move anyone else. Keep at it till it does."
"Know the greatest pain points your readers are experiencing and address them as your lead."
"Instead of competing with the noise from news and memes, focus on your customer evangelists."
-Senior Director Content Strategy at The Medicines Company
"Test, re-test, evolve, and drive a truck through content that creates conversation."
-Acting CMO of Brand Innovators
"Feel free to emphasize the element which makes your product or service unique, but stay honest at all costs."
-Founder of Digital Branding Institute
"Your content should feel and sound like your brand, but it doesn’t need to look the same all the time."
"The key is to pair professionally designed visuals that educate, entertain, or both with a robust promotion plan."
-Co-founder & VP of Audience
"The best way to create effective visual content that cuts through in a media-saturated world is to keep everything as simple as possible."
"Think of it as a first impression; it needs to grasp the right kind of attention in a significant way."
"Utilize the latest technologies to create visual content that others can't yet."
-Founder of Louder Online
"My 'trick' is to create as much of my visual content content as I can on my own."
"Great visual content should be clean, aesthetically pleasing and quick to read."
-CEO at Eight Shots
"Having any images at all massively increases post engagement and shareability."
-Founder & CEO of Curata
"Make it searchable, repurpose and reuse it across channels, and revive it when it gets old if it's a winner."
"Try to make sure that any chart you create is clear, tells one story, and is backed up by credible research."
-VP, Strategy and Marketing for Edison Research
"Not all of us are talented artists so snap photos and you won't have to worry about copyright issues."
-Content Marketer for JMR Consulting LLC
"You really need to talk to your customers and readers before you create any piece of content."
-Founder of Tracto
"Sometimes cutting through the noise means not playing in the noise."
-Content Marketing Manager at Flow
"A visual reward in its simplest form is something nice to gaze at, consider and act upon."
-Founder and Creative Director at Bonehook
"Dig deep down to find a kernel of truth about who you are as a brand and what you want to be to your customers."
-Co-founder and CEO at Fusionspark Media
"I've created a live video show. I record a 5 to 10 minute video by my pool and cover a different topic each week on B2B social sales practices."
-CEO of Find and Convert
"While visual content tools are extremely useful, avoid the 'included' image assets where possible because everyone else will use them too."
"Anyone with passion, commitment and a unique point of view can build a global audience."
-Chief Strategy Officer at Fathom
"The key here is to make your visual content have a unique style--WITHOUT losing substance."
-CEO of Content Science
"We have discovered that the use of a dominant visual focal point communicates the key message in your design."
-President of InfoNewt
"Use a balance of key phrases combined with minimalist yet bold design that grabs users' attention and yet is subtle enough to keep them there."
-Founder of Visme
If you found this advice particularly useful or insightful, we also created an infographic you can easily embed on your site:
Embed on your site:
<script src="//my.visme.co/visme.js"></script><div class="visme_d" data-url="kkzm3ex3-infographic-visual-content" data-w="800" data-h="14700"></div>
The experts on visual content creation all seem to agree on one thing: Creating stand-out visual content in today's media-saturated online world is not easy--but with the right approach and tools, it can still be done. You just need to remember to:
The interactive e-book and graphics above, for example, were all created with Visme, a free online infographic and presentation tool. You can try it for free here.
And if you have your own thoughts on the future of visual marketing or helpful tips you'd like to share, we'd love to hear from you. Just drop us a few lines below, and we'll get back to you.