What Is Visual Content – How it can help you

visual content definitionMost bloggers are thrilled to have viral visual content generating traffic to their blog. If you don’t have that or aren’t quite sure what it is, then you should be working hard to understand how to get and use it. Textual content is the meat and potatoes (or bread and butter) of you blog;  in today’s digital world, visual content plays an integral role in attracting new visitors to your site.

Visual Content Marketing

Visual content is basis for visual content marketing or the technique that catches the eyes and curiosity of potential readers, subscribers or customers. Visual content can mean many things to bloggers, small business owners and graphic designers but to be clear I’d like to define what is visual content and how it can help you.

Most bloggers and internet marketers would broadly define visual content as any graphics, images, icons, illustrations, video etc (i.e. non-textual content) that supports, supplements and reinforces written text. Perhaps a better definition would include not only the graphic content that is used visually but also in what situation it is most useful.

At the simplest level, no one would generally use an icon for a featured image or a scenic picture for a logo. That makes no sense.  So what you create and how you use it will clearly affect your success. The end goal of great visual content is to attract and engage with new or current subscribers.

Stunning visual content used for marketing invokes a reaction, a curiosity to find out more about the source of the content. Viral visual content goes one step further in that the reader then shares what he or she has found with others.

Visual Content On Social Media

 sharing visual content to social media drives traffic | designedbliss.com sharing visual content to social media drives traffic | designedbliss.com

The growth of social media in the last number of years shows how important visual content is to marketing and traffic generation. Similarly, viral visual content increases your probability to stand out above the normal stream of media and text white noise on the Internet. Stunning, eye-catching visual content can be one important component to viral traffic generation. As reported in Forbes magazine by the Social Science Research Network it is estimated that 65% of the population learns visually and 42% tend to finish reading textual content when visual content is included.  That’s an important stat to pay attention to.

Why? Because visual content breaks up the monotony of large text blocks while reinforcing key points within text. So good visual content can not only help generate traffic but keep visitors on your site longer.

The importance of logos, images, banners, portfolios, featured images (aka basic graphics) is obviously part of your visual content. While not every graphic on your blog will be virally shared, having professional looking graphics never hurts.

Beyond basic graphic elements, visual content can be grouped and categorized according to what the content provides and how it is used. Research shows that about 90% of the information we process is visual in nature. Top that off with our current short attention spans;  we are now down to about 8 seconds according to researchers.   It’s not too surprise that eye catching visual content has become more important then ever within the digital world.

The old adage “a picture is worth a thousands words” could be applied to all of the visual content types included (and not included) here.  So the real issue becomes how do you get viral visual content?

Viral Visual Content

Of course, it depends on your starting point. If you’re good at drawing or photography you can start completely from scratch by generating your starting images.  However, most of us don’t have that skill.  So, you to hire a graphic designer or create unique graphics from free starting sources.  The important point is to end up with visual content that is uniquely yours. Learning to find and use graphic resources is easier then it may look. Making professional ones takes time and practice.

Graphic elements that become part of your overall visual content include images, icons, video and illustrations, to name a few. Those are really the basics of your site but not necessarily the visual content that best markets your product or service.  Combining graphics into visual content with text and color overlays or other eye catching techniques is what you can ultimately share to the world on you favorite social media channel(s).

Creating visual content doesn’t necessarily make or guarantee that it will be viral, but if it’s eye catching with a great message you’ll attract visitors to your site and that’s a great start.

However, the probability of viral content goes up when you used and post to social media channels on a regular basis. With social media you can target your audience based on a variety of attributes that you have determined make up your “perfect audience”, customer, reader or subscriber.

Pinterest is a special medium that is different from social media (ie Facebook, Instagram or Tumbler). Whether you realize it or not, Pinterest is completely a content medium where ideas are shared mostly through visual means. I say mostly because with Pinterest brief text content, titles, or quotes are included to engage Pinterest users. Pinterest is a search engine much like Google is a search engine.  Great visual content with engaging titles and captions can greatly increase you odds of being seen on this completely visual search engine.  And unlike Google, Pinterest users can share what they’ve found and like with others;  that’s a powerful technique to get your content seen by more Pinterest users.

 

Similarly, social media, think Facebook or Instagram for instance, is based on sharing mechanisms with family and friends in addition to targeted audiences you define.

While Pinterest is obviously a little different then social media channels like Facebook, both Pinterest and most social media channels require eye catching graphics to catch the attention of potential visitors, subscribers and possibly long term clients to your blog.

Finally

Great visual content’s purpose is to clearly attract and then promote your content. So while the focus here is not to tell you how to use Pinterest, Facebook or any other social media channels, the focus is to first understand that visual content is here to stay.  The second that it can help you build your online presence, and the third is to know the best available techniques to make professional looking visual content for use in whatever way you choose.

That said,  you’ll should start thinking about how to make and improve your visually eye-catching content. Better visual content should increase your potential for your content to go viral.

Remember, you don’t have to be able to draw to make great graphics. You need to understand where to find your potential resources, how to use them to make your message stand out, and what kind of visual content you are going to use for your purpose. Not every visual content method has to be in your arsenal of tools. Use the ones that fit the tone of your message and style of your site.

Professional looking, eye catching visual content is a powerful tool at your disposal.

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