Content marketing is a must-have for businesses across all industries. Blog posts, social media updates, and well-timed emails are all excellent ways to convince subscribers and long-time customers to take action on your site.
But did you know it’s possible to dramatically improve your website and brand image by including more visual content?
Visual content can include images, videos, and GIFs, but the core idea remains unchanged. This type of content is an effective way to grab your audiences’ attention and add value to their lives. In most cases, you can encourage your visitors to take the next step in the sales process through your visuals.
For example, if a visitor is interested in your product but not sure if they want to commit to a purchase, a video product demonstration may change their mind.
And that’s just one example.
Today, we’ll share several things you should know about how visual content can affect your content strategy. These benefits extend to most brands, regardless of their industry or resources.
Are you ready? Let’s get started!
1. People Remember Visuals more than Written Content
The first thing you need to know about visual content is people are more likely to remember your message. Written content can have a powerful effect on your visitors, but it’s only one piece of the puzzle.
If you want people to continuously turn to your brand when they have industry-specific questions, you have to make sure they remember your brand name and how you helped them.
Let’s say you’re the owner of an email marketing SaaS, and you want to convince your readers that they can reach more people through email. You could simply repeat yourself in your writing, but an image or video is more likely to stick out to your audience.
Imagine you’re reading an article about the value of email, and suddenly you see this:
There’s a good chance you’ll remember this statistic the next time you’re working on your email campaign.
Including infographics and other visuals in your blog content is a great way to make sure users remember your brand long after they leave. There are mixed numbers that show the connection between visuals and memory, but the consensus is people tend to remember visuals longer and clearer than they remember text.
2. Consumers Want More Videos
Despite the surge in visual media, consumers still want more from business leaders and marketing teams. In fact, 43% of online shoppers say they want to see more video content in the coming year. We can expect to see this number increase as more people get their hands on smartphones and access to social media channels that operate on visual content.
You can create a wide range of video content based on your products and your customers’ needs. We suggest starting by figuring out your target audience’s goals and pain points. Use what you learn to create videos that answer burning questions, offer a straightforward how-to guide, or even a list of general industry tips.
If we go back to our previous example, an email marketing SaaS may decide on the following three video topics:
- Do you need email marketing in 2022? (burning question)
- How to create your first campaign (how-to guide)
- 10 clever ways to grow your email list (tips and tricks)
These three videos are excellent topics for this business because they address questions and concerns that many new marketers have when entering the field or thinking about trying this product or service.
You can also repurpose your existing blog posts into engaging videos. We recommend checking your top posts on Google Analytics and creating videos that convey similar information. Next, you’ll want to upload the video to a site like YouTube. Not only does YouTube get over 2 billion monthly visitors, which is another opportunity to increase traffic, but you’ll also speed up your store by hosting videos off-site.
3. Curated User-Generated Content can Boost Engagement
Next, let’s talk about using visuals with content curation to boost engagement. Content curation is essentially gathering comments, feedback, and other content from your customers and compiling it for existing subscribers and future visitors.
Curated visuals on your social media feed or website will likely lead to more visitors trusting your business. People often look for social proof before shopping with a new company. Surveys reveal that 88% of online shoppers say they look at reviews (both written and video) before committing to a brand.
When new users find your social media page for the first time and see a list of glowing reviews with images or videos, their following action will likely involve visiting your website.
If you want to know how this can impact your sales and engagement, consider this; 85% of shoppers say that visual user-generated content (UGC) is more effective than traditional brand marketing.
Now, let’s add more context by explaining the results of Coca-Cola’s Share a Coke UGC campaign. You likely remember when Coke included names on their cans a few years ago. They asked their audience to share pictures of themselves drinking themed and personalized Coke cans. It was pretty big, to say the least.
You may be saying, “Okay, curated UGC certainly led to more engagement. But was it enough to make a difference?”
We’re glad you asked.
Data shows that this one UGC campaign resulted in:
- 70% of all brand mentions on social media included the #ShareaCoke hashtag
- 89.000+ shares on Twitter and 496,000+ on Instagram
- Posts had a share rate of 14%, beating out the old average of 3-4%
- Coke saw a jaw-dropping 11% increase in sales
Curated content gives you the freedom to pick the very best UGC associated with your brand and create a list of visual posts that are bound to draw in more customers.
4. Images and Videos Help with SEO
Images and videos can help you boost your search position on Google, which means more eyes on your content and the rest of your website. The thing is, optimizing your visuals for SEO is a little bit different from traditional SEO.
Google can’t “see” visuals in the traditional sense. Instead, you have to tell it what your image is all about if you want to make sure you get the top spot for your chosen keywords.
You’ll want to ensure your chosen keyword is included in the filename, image title, caption, and alt-text. When adding information to your alt-text, be as descriptive as possible. I like to pretend I’m describing the photo to someone over the phone.
It’s also crucial to connect your image or video to the rest of the content on the page. If you wrote an entire article about cats but only included images and keyword tags with the word dog, Google may get confused when determining the purpose (and placement) of your page. But if the on-page text and image data are all about cats, Google will have a much easier time ranking your website.
Optimizing your videos can also have a tremendous impact on your overall content marketing strategy. Here are a few facts worth remembering:
As you can see, video can help across multiple marketing channels. The most interesting fact above is how pages with videos are 50x more likely to get ranked organically when compared to posts that use plain text with no visuals.
You can improve your video SEO by using the right keywords in the description, title, and within our video. If you want to improve your odds of getting picked up by search engines, include closed captions. Crawlers will scan captions to try to figure out the context of videos. If you strategically use your keywords throughout the video, you’ll likely get more eyes on your content.
You’ll also want to choose the right tags when uploading your post to YouTube or your website. Tags add another layer of context to your visual content, which can help you generate traffic, especially if you have a new channel or website.
5. Visual Product Demonstrations Highlight Value
Finally, we are going to talk about product demonstrations. Think about the last time you made a big purchase online. Did you go for it and click buy now, or did you look for a demonstration first? Most online shoppers want to see a product in action before they even think about pulling out their debit card.
This thought process makes sense. Consumers know they have more options than ever before. A brand needs to prove that it can provide value before visitors consider becoming customers. If you don’t show that your product works, you can bet that a competitor will show their product in action first and funnel a majority of your traffic.
Your product landing page is an excellent place to include a branded product demonstration. Shoppers that make it to this part of your site are seriously considering making a purchase. You can use visuals to highlight the benefits of your product or service and convince users to take action.
Research shows that when brand leaders add videos to their landing pages, they see an 80% conversion boost. This is primarily due to the value presented through visuals that marketers can’t capture in text.
For example, let’s say you want to buy a new vacuum cleaner. Which of these two landing pages is more appealing to you:
- First, a landing page with the different specs and features included with the vacuum cleaner.
- The second has a shorter list of benefits, but a video shows the vacuum cleaner tackling the everyday messes you see around your home. Below the demonstration, you see several visuals showing off the color variations.
If you said example two, you’re not alone. Most of us would choose the second option. Visual demonstrations that showcase both cosmetics and functionality can help your audience imagine themselves using your product, which typically leads to more sales and engagement.
Visual content is just as crucial as traditional blog posts and written social media updates. If you hope to grow your small business, enhance brand awareness, and improve your content marketing, start thinking about ways to add images and videos to your existing marketing strategy.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different content ideas. Eventually, you’ll figure out what works best for your brand and your customers. We all offer different products and have unique audiences. Use what makes your brand special to captivate your audience with eye-catching visuals.