Sometimes the Internet can seem like a constant stream of text. Lengthy Facebook posts, 140 character tweets, and long blog articles can make you feel inundated with words. So when posting your own content, it’s easy for it to get lost. And while social media lets us post images, we all know about those tricky algorithms that are constantly being revised and implemented. So, how do you catch peoples’ eye on platforms that are saturated with lots of copy? And how do you stand out on visual platforms like Instagram and Pinterest? This is where the importance of visual marketing tactics come into play.
These tactics can be something as grand as rebranding your entire website and social media presence, to something as small as designing custom social media buttons. But with visual marketing, even the littlest of tweaks can have a major impact on your followers, traffic and even sales. So let’s get into some of the best visual marketing tactics to level up your content.
1. Create A Template for Your Graphics
Visual content creation can feel very time consuming when you’re a solopreneur with tons of other things to tend to. No one wants to spend an hour creating a pinnable image or blog graphic. The best way to manage this is to set up a template for your favorite design program (Photoshop, Canva, PicMonkey). That way your graphics are pretty much automated (and I think one thing we all need more of is automation).
Set up your text boxes, font style and call to action. After that, all you’ll need to do is drop in a new image and throw your new copy each time. The other benefit of having a template is that you’ll use the same layout each time, which means your pinnable images, Facebook photos and Instagram infographics will have a cohesive look. For a platform like Pinterest, you can even create 2-3 different templates for the same content (I’ll get to the benefit of that tactic right below).
2. Multiple Images For Your Pins
So now you have your template set up for your favorite design program. A couple of different templates with different styles (that are still on brand and part of your style guide) can bring life to old content and provide a boost for newer content. Every member of your audience is not the same. Some love to see bright images with minimal text while others like to see underexposed images with text that pops out.
Check out these three pin images we created that all tie back to the same blog post. We have a separate template for each with the basic elements (text, shapes, colors) and to update for content each time, we find a new image, change the copy and export it! This can all take you less than 15 minutes. So if you’re not already doing this, it’s something to consider. Different designs and layouts gives your content more life and a wider reach. It also allows you to monitor which design performs the best and gives you more original content to promote!
3. Non “Stocky” Images
Stock photos have definitely come a long way since the days of the cheesy businessmen sitting around a table smiling at a random graph on a board (if you want a good laugh check out Vince Vaughn and Dave Franco’s stock photo spoofs.)
Nowadays there are a bunch of great websites to source free lifestyle stock photos. These resources have some really great lifestyle visuals and are thankfully more relevant and topical than the average stock inventory. The catch with this, though, is that everyone on the Internet has access to these photos as well. Scrolling through Pinterest, I see duplicates of the same image all the time. It also becomes exhausting to constantly scan through dozens of stock photo sites in search of the perfect image that can perfectly sum up your vision and reflect your brand identity.
An easy way to avoid all of this is to take your own custom brand photography. Although it may seem overwhelming, it is more than possible and you are more than capable of pulling it off. It is also a great skill to have as a brand owner. You’ll get to put your own personal touches on all of your imagery and cater your images to your content perfectly.
Not a professional photographer? Don’t worry, most people aren’t. All you need is your iPhone to start.
4. Video Content
For many of us, video content seems like a serious undertaking. It’s an unknown world for many writers. And it can seem a little scary for those of us who prefer to keep our faces away from the camera (or for those of us who hate to hear our voices on recordings like me). I hate to break it to you, but video content is the new frontier. There are oodles of statistics about how well video content plays for visual marketing purposes. Like the fact that the highest engagement on Facebook comes from videos. And that 4 times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product rather than read about it.
But don’t fear, video content can be as simple as a testimonial from one of your customers or a screencast tutorial video. And if you want to take that leap and get in front of the camera, even better! People love to see the face behind a brand. You can build a crazy dedicated following when you show off who you really are. At the end of the day, people connect best with elements of human interaction so show off your personality and start engaging your audience.
5. Add a Visual Call to Action
Even the smallest of tweaks can have a huge difference in your direct traffic. For example adding a visual call to action on your social media banners on Facebook or your Medium profile. Check out this example from Hubspot’s Facebook page. Their graphic is clear cut and their caption tells viewers exactly what to do.
Infographics have proven to be seriously eye-catching. They’ve proven to be liked and shared on social media 3 times more than any other type of content. Especially on Pinterest, a good infographic can help your pin stand out and attract more clicks and saves. It lets readers get a sneak peek to the blog post waiting on the other side of that “Read Me” button. And they’re pretty easy to create. Check out some of the infographics that caught my eye while scrolling through Pinterest.
7. Targeted Email Campaign For Blog Posts
Blog post roundups are definitely a great way to get your subscribers to see all of your recent content. But, including a bunch of different posts in one email, can decrease the engagement of the actual posts (we’ve experienced this first hand).
Instead of compiling all of your blog posts and shooting them out to people once a week, create an email blast for just one of your posts and see what that does to your click through rate. Give your subscribers a clear call to action in your well-designed email campaign. If you need some inspiration for beautifully laid out email designs, see some of our favorite examples here.
8. Designing your own social media buttons
The bright red, deep blue and sky blue colors of Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter logos are probably pretty jarring against most of your lovely branded websites and blogs. So why not infuse your brand aesthetic into these buttons instead? Customizing your social media buttons can make a huge difference in your social media engagement. When I land on a page, often times I don’t even notice the social media buttons on the side of a page because my eyes have just learned to ignore them. But when those social buttons have a unique design or colors? They stand out! Also, aligning your social media buttons contributes to the overall cohesiveness of your website’s color scheme. There are a bunch of great tutorials on exactly how to design these buttons. Check out PicMonkey and Canva as additional resources.
Visual marketing has the power to attract new users and keep them on your site. Although a lot of these tips may seem like tiny changes, they are great ways you can keep your branding fresh and make a difference in your traffic and overall look of your content and website. To start, focus on one or two things you can do today. Then work your way down the list. Each one of these tactics is actionable and will move your brand forward so don’t put them off. Not sure where to start or need accountability? Download our actionable checklist to keep you on track to implement all 8 tactics in less than 2 weeks, even if you think you have zero time!
Customers love details and details will make your brand and content memorable. Do you have other tactics that have worked for you. Let us know in the comments below.