When it comes to telling a story, sometimes words aren't the best way.
When thinking about content strategy, it can be easy to overlook the visual aspect of telling a story. But with attention spans decreasing and video usage increasing, that would be folly. When driving site traffic and building click through conversions, leveraging brand visuals is a trend among both seasoned marketers and novices alike - and for good reason. It just works.
Let’s start with the numbers: There are hundreds of millions of neurons in the brain devoted to visual processing. These neurons take up about 30% of the cortex, as compared to 8% for touch and only 3% for hearing. Adding to that, when you hear a single piece of information, you'll only remember 10% of it, but when you add a picture, that number jumps to 65%.
The bottom line is that visual resources might be even more important than you had realized. Capitalizing on this fact means employing a diverse arsenal of visual tools and knowing just how to use them. Here are a few to try:
Whether simple or complex, infographics are an incredible way to convey information in a way that is memorable, understandable and skimmable. The selling point being that they can be both data-heavy (good for brand positioning and credibility) while visually appealing (great for consumers). They are meant to serve up seemingly dense information in an attainable package and, when done right, generally offer more clicks and increased brand recognition.
Interactive infographics are also worth exploring. They initially show less text and fewer images than their stationary counterparts, but the reader is invited to click on the graphic in order to reveal the next piece of content, making them an active part in the storytelling process.
Slideshare combines two of the most read aspects of the social media world: lists and images.
Much like infographics, these presentations take hard-to-grasp information of any sort and break it up into comprehensible chunks with interesting visuals. It can be used for cross-channel optimization, too, allowing you to upload content on their platform and then embed it back into an original blog post or article. This means your viewers don't leave your site when they click on the slide deck.
With millions of people logged in to videos on Periscope, Facebook and Snapchat, live streaming is definitely having a moment. Marketers should take this as an opportunity to be where their customers are and engage with consumers in a new way. Some ways brands are already leveraging live streaming are with Q&A's, customer support, product introductions, special announcements, live events, interviews and even just a tour around the office.
Simply put, live video is the holy grail of authenticity, virality and engagement.
These are the stories where brands can not worry about creating top-quality video footage with pricey props and sets. In fact, they shouldn’t at all. Live footage is best used as a way of dropping the carefully constructed corporate persona for a bit and showing customers a more honest view of the company in real time.
Once you’ve tapped into these visual resources, it’s important to have your end goal in mind. Of course, you want to design each visual to fit its purpose, asking the right questions to meet your end goal (Do you want the visual to be shared among social media platforms? Do you want it to be clicked on in the landing page to arrive at another page? Would you like the visuals to be instructional?).
But another set of questions involves making sure that your visuals function on an omnichannel level. That is, if you compared your visuals across platforms, would there be a sense of cohesion? Does each one represent your brand in a separate but uniform way?
Adapting your content to work seamlessly across platforms works best when you create images in batches or themes.
The possibilities for creating engaging visual content are endless, and considering the fact that users will only read about 20% of the text on the average page, why wouldn’t you invest in those possibilities? Making visual components a more accessible, supported part of your marketing strategy will give your team an attention-grabbing (and attention-keeping) edge to compete with.
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