8 ways to win over your content marketing audience with strong images
The calculation is easy enough: There is an inverse relationship between the continuous exponential growth of the online content mass and the time available for exploring this content. Hardly anyone can find the time to read longer – or even complicated – texts these days. Intense optical impulses are what counts. These key stimuli are crucial in winning the users’ fundamental interest for your content and therefore scoring for your content marketing. Let us show you how to place them in the best and most effective manner.
Image content has several advantages for your content marketing: It speaks to the audience directly, it immediately stirs up emotions, and – provided the right image material has been selected – it can be digested easier and faster than bleak words. 90% of the information processed by the brain is of a visual nature. Our brain can process images much faster than text. To put it simply: Visual content gets to the heart of the message.
The growing popularity of portals such as Pinterest, Tumblr, Flickr and Instagram highlights the fact that visual content is quickly surpassing text content. Equally, Facebook posts with pictures and videos tend to be more popular and are proven to generate more likes and shares than pure text posts. In respect to content marketing and viral marketing, it therefore makes sense to strongly utilise image and video content. This development towards increased imagery also plays into the hands of the emerging trend of storytelling, as it’s much more enjoyable to be told a story than to read it yourself. Together, visual content and storytelling are a solid foundation for your content marketing.
8 tips for more imagery in your content marketing:
1. Pictures speak louder than words
Why use many words, if your message can be summarised and communicated precisely in one expressive image? The American tampon manufacturer Tampax could have written a long description of drip-free tampons, but chose this convincing image. This visual scores extra points by avoiding a direct presentation of the advertised product, playing with the momentum of referenced sub-specifications and encouraging the audience to think. This content strategy ensures that the image remains with the viewer much longer and the advert’s effect therefore lasts longer.
2. Generate added value
Of course, no website or blog can succeed without any text, relying purely on visual stimuli. That would be a disaster for your content marketing – not just from an SEO perspective. Generally speaking, the image material of your web presence should be an effective supplement to your verbal content and thus add quality value. Visually enriched content is more likely to be distributed and shared, increasing your content’s long-term visibility. It is an important pillar of your content marketing. Nobody expects your image material to mirror every aspect of your entire blog content. It only needs to increase the user’s click impulse and to convey a first impression of the text content he can expect.
3. Spark the user’s imagination with your content marketing
When selecting visuals for the content strategy of your website, you should always bear this in mind: With the right inspiring images, a whole new world can develop in the mind of the viewer – an atmosphere is created, emotions are aroused, imagination is stimulated. This encourages a sense of closeness between content and viewer which ultimately impacts on the consumer’s behaviour. Close-ups and macro details carry a particularly high emotional value, as they minimise the distance between content and viewer even more. Ideally, your visual content should be aligned with your target group’s needs and interests and should mirror the environment in which they live.
4. Show your face
People prefer buying from people. This is why it is so important for people who want to sell something to be visible to their clients. The content marketing strategy should give the company human features, a face. The video production firm Epipheo shows how to do just that in their image video:
5. Provide support
Complex facts can often be summarised, short and sweet, in infographics or graphic checklists. The visual presentation has a simplifying effect. Complicated connections become easy to understand. Well-designed infographics can also prove to be real traffic drivers through social media shares and can contribute to your content marketing in the long term. Infographics achieve the maximum effect if they’re not just informative, but also trigger current topics. In this example, that is the FIFA World Cup:
Especially when it comes to selling abstract services, strong visuals in your content marketing allow the user to visualise your offer, making it tangible. Visualisations of creative uses of existing products also stand out and grab attention, whether this is utilised to promote a specific product or to create viral content. DIY instructions have become a real hype in recent years; they are usually distributed very successfully in the social media and are thus an effective content marketing tool.
7. Use your creativity, show individuality and ingrate the user
But where do you get the right photographs for your own content strategy? Stock photographs are one option. However, these are often too general and not tailored to you, your brand or your website. Now you require images that communicate your brand in a creative and individual manner. And you want to engage your users. This combination leads to option two: user generated content. Australia.com encourages its Facebook followers to submit their own holiday snaps. This generates a buoyant supply of fresh and authentic visual content, while making the users feel part of the brand – in this case, the country. The fact that the page boasts 5.7 million likes, and rising, shows that this approach really pays off. What’s more, their individual posts also receive up to 100,000 likes and 2,000 shares – a perfect example of awesome content marketing!
8. Listen to your users
Finally, you should always remember to adjust your content marketing to your users’ preferences. To maximise your interaction with your users, take a look at the analytics of your website or social media profile, find out what type of content brought the favourable reactions and continue to give them more of the same. Say you notice that your users like to share listicles with animated gifs – focus on these when developing your future content strategy.
Take a moment to evaluate which one of these tips is most suited to your own content strategy, how you can combine the various points made and how you can apply them. The article A successful content marketing cycle in 6 steps will help you with your evaluation and content planning.