Five easy ways to create visual content
Images, infographics and videos are the order of the day in the world of visual content marketing. Here’s how you can get a piece of the visual action.
In the last year or so I’ve noticed a huge shift in the kind of content that performs well for small business blogs. In the past, a long article was fine. These days, visual content is king.
With my own blog, for example, infographics regularly get double the visits and shares than articles receive.
Infographics – information presented graphically – are highly sharable, and you can put them together fairly easily with a little bit of research and design flair. I either hire a designer to create mine or I design them myself, but if you’re not confident with your design skills (and still prefer to DIY) services such as piktochart.com work well, too.
When choosing a topic for your infographic, think about something your target audience needs help with and, instead of writing a blog post, research some facts, stats and tips and think about how you can demonstrate these visually. Once designed, you can submit your image to a bunch of infographic directories (Google it), which could result free traffic to your website.
"In the past, a long article was fine. These days, visual content is king."
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Record and/or embed a video
Embedding videos in business websites is very simple. In WordPress, all you have to do is post the address of the video and it’s done for you. For other websites you might need to copy the “embed code” and paste it into the html code in the back end of your website. Recording videos is also easy now, with the availability of smartphones and cheap cameras.
The next time a customer asks you a support question, whip out your recording device of choice, record a response and upload it to YouTube. This video can then be embedded in your blog. You’ll also get the benefit of additional views and traffic from people searching YouTube.
Commission an illustration
Illustrations are a great way of enhancing your blog posts with custom graphics. People are sick of seeing the same old royalty-free clip art. Exceptional illustrations can cost as little as $15.
The next time you create a blog post, have an illustrator represent some of the elements or the people mentioned. You can even submit the illustration on Pinterest and Facebook, either as a standalone piece of content, or linking back to your blog. For example, I produce standalone illustrations representing funny stories from the tech world.
Create a blog-post badge
One technique I picked up from KISSmetrics, a data analysis website, is to create a badge or logo for your key blog posts. It makes them feel more like a standalone offering and not just another article. I use a standard template for my longer blog posts (called guides) and I just replace the icon and the title each time.
People know when they see my guide image that the post is going to be a long, detailed ‘evergreen’ (continually relevant) post as opposed to a normal article.
Utilise featured images
Within WordPress (and I’m sure other comparable tools) you can add a ‘featured image’ to every blog post. Set your blog homepage up to show your featured image alongside the excerpt from your post. This makes the page much easier to skim and provides a nice graphical element and consistency to your blog homepage. Just make sure your images are high quality and exactly the same size and style so the page looks consistent.
There are many more things you can do to make your content more visual. Let me know what you have had success with below in the comments.