A picture’s worth a thousand words

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Social media columnist
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Most people think of content marketing as producing text-based content, writing words and sentences to sell a product or convey an idea. While that is true, that’s not all content is.

Content also consists of images, infographics, logos, and other visual elements of your business, such as your website’s look and feel. All these visual elements matter when it comes to marketing.

You’ve probably noticed that so many things are more visual on the internet today than they used to be. People create photographic memes to pass around an idea or thought, they share pictures, and due to the advent of social media like Instagram and Pinterest, marketing is more visual than ever before.

Studies have found that when people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later.

Today we have Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, as well as images being shared on Facebook. All social media has gone visual. Twitter has recently announced that you can add an image to a tweet without it being included as part of the 140 characters you are allowed.

Blogs now are more visual, too, due to the easy way bloggers can add compelling graphics to blog posts. Creating visual content has never been easier due to software and apps like Canva.com and Pixlr.com - popular, free and easy to use online.

You should be prepared to share an image of yourself online, even if the only one you want to share is a professional headshot.

Visual marketing is not at its peak; it’s just getting started. If you’re not adding images to your online content, you need to start doing so now.

It’s important to understand how images draw readers to your content, and how they might repel readers too. If you create videos for your audience, it’s important to understand how long a video should be for your audience and what types of images to include to get the best results and the most action.

If you start making it a habit now to pair helpful visuals with relevant content, you’ll be ahead of the visual marketing game. You want your images and content to tell a story that sparks your audience to act in the way you want them to act - whether that is to buy something, comment, share or sign up for something.

People are attracted to images, especially of people’s faces (including their eyes). You may notice if you use an image of your own face, or a nice face that looks inviting, showing the eyes of a person along with your content will get a better reaction and more results. This is because as humans we feel more connected to real people by seeing their face. Visual marketing recognises this need and helps connect content marketing with visual elements.

Seeing a visual of your products or some sort of visual representation of your services will help your audience remember your business better than if they only read a description. If you can capture your business in pictures, whether infographics or other types of images, you’ll automatically see bigger results in terms of actions like sharing, liking, and actually buying.

Depending on what type of business you have, you may have to really think outside the box to come up with appropriate visuals, but it can be done. No matter what type of business you have, if you give it some thought you can create a visual marketing campaign that gets big results.

BREAKING NEWS

Facebook Introduces New Resources for Business Influencers: Facebook introduced new resources for business influencers, including a downloadable Business Influencer Guide “to help business leaders get started, build a strategy and connect with their audience on Facebook” and a hub for “high quality and timely education and best practices… [for] influencers and communications professionals.”

Facebook Begins to Block Live Broadcasts That Feature Unlicensed Use of Copyrighted Music, Introduces Online Courses for Journalists: Facebook launched its first-ever online training for journalists, “free e-learning courses inspired by conversations with editors and journalists across the globe who asked for a single destination where they can learn about Facebook’s products, tools and services for use in their work.”

Twitter Rolls Out Quick Replies and Welcome Messages in Direct Messages: Twitter introduced two new Direct Message features, quick replies and welcome messages, which are “designed to help businesses create rich, responsive, full-service experiences that directly advance the work of customer service teams and open up new possibilities for how people engage with businesses on Twitter.”

Twitter Expands Highlights Feature to iOS: Last year, Twitter rolled out Highlights on the Twitter for Android app. Once enabled, Highlights offers “a simple summary of the best Tweets for you, delivered via rich push notification.”

LinkedIn Introduces Save Feature for LinkedIn Sponsored Content: In addition to saving articles shared or written by other members, LinkedIn users now have “the ability to save LinkedIn Sponsored Content… on iOS and Android.”

Pinterest Tests New Collection of Promoted Pins: Pinterest announced it’s “developing a collection of Promoted Pins designed to bring every kind of idea to life.”

YouTube Adds New Comment Features: YouTube rolled out three new comment features and is beta testing a new moderation feature set to roll out “in the coming months.”

YouTube Rolls Out End Screens Feature for All Creators: YouTube launched End Screens, “a new mobile-friendly tool that lets you engage viewers right as your video finishes and encourages them to watch more on their devices.”