This is a guest contribution from Pooja.
You look around you, and there’s competition everywhere. Companies are mushrooming day and night. You wonder how many of these are there really.
145,000 businesses each year – that’s your number.
Competition online is fierce. Only a few years ago, marketing gurus would have suggested you try social media to beat your competitors. Now, the whole world is on social media, along with your competition, so you don’t know what else you can do.
Being on every social media platform out there is no longer enough (or necessary). It’s smarter to evaluate what you do with those accounts.
My point? Content is no longer king. Epic content is.
So, although it’s good that you’re utilizing social media to share more content, I’d look at how you’re sharing – is it truly epic content?
Smart marketers and entrepreneurs have shifted focus from content strategy to visual content strategy. They are sharing engaging and exciting stuff online that’s far better plain text.
Why? Because visual content rocks. It simply works better than normal text.
A whopping 40% of people will respond better to your visual content.
Facebook, one of the biggest online-based companies, was smart enough to understand and utilize this stat by launching Timeline a few years ago.
Timeline saw a 65% increase in engagement for Facebook.
What does it mean for you?
If you want to beat your competition, create great and “snackable” content with visual marketing online.
Don’t get me wrong – you still do need text.
But when combined the right way with visual elements, your content’s shareability and engagement can go through the roof.
How to Use Visual Content Marketing on Your Social Media
On social media, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube are the four big players. But did you know there are some new cool kids on the block that you can use?
Vine is a video-sharing app launched by Twitter. Use Vine to create 6-second looping videos and promote your message.
Lowe’s uses Vine to share quick home-improvement how-to tips – here’s one that teaches you how to keep squirrels away from your plants.
If you’re in the business of complex data and statistics, you can create cool infographics that deliver the point across in a much more entertaining and quicker manner.
Visme is a great tool to create beautiful infographics (and a lot more like presentations, CTAs, banners) for free. Canva is another favourite design tool to create customized images for your blog or website.
There are tons of other tools that won’t cost you a fortune to create easy-to-digest or snackable visual data.
The Shift from Social to Visual-Social in 3 Ways
#1 Create Your Own
Remarkably, 80% of the pins on Pinterest are repins.
That means if you become one of those 20% original creators of good content, your followers will do the heavy-lifting for you happily.
So focus on creating awesome, mind-blowing visual content. Like I shared earlier, there are a lot of tools at your disposal and they won’t cost you a thing.
It’s very easy to create original and traffic-driving content with a smartphone.
Get creative and think outside the box by capturing pictures and running them through a few filters by using apps like Instagram or Phonto among others.
Or you can also invest a small fee in a professional photo-editing program like PicMonkey.
#2 Mix Up Text and Images
Images with text descriptions and overlays are even more effective. Sometimes, an image alone may not convey a point you want to share.
Text works like a charm in this case.
You can also add purposeful copy like a call-to-action to your image. And you don’t even have to use a lot of words. Like this one by Dropbox:
Or this one. BirchBox uses contrasting colors and rich imagery with call-to-action text that tells a viewer what to do next.
#3 Optimize Your Images for SEO
We don’t really know what goes inside the head of Google. The Google ranking recipe has about 200 different ingredients that make it so smart.
Some of these are having strong blog titles, keyword density and optimizing image filename, captions and alt tags for keywords.
It’s not enough to have amazing visual content – you must be found by people before they share your content at all.
Google loves images and is happy to send you a ton of image-based traffic.
Make sure all your visual content is optimized for keywords you’re aiming. Otherwise, it’s a lot of effort gone down the drain!
All you have to do is change your code like this if your keyword is “Soccer Player”.
<img src=”soccer-player.jpg” alt=”Soccer Player”/>
Another cool tip is to optimize the size of your image for faster load times (without compromising on the quality of course). The faster your site loads, the more points Google gives you.
Don’t forget the good ol’ caption for your images. They are pretty widely read (due to the real-estate they acquire), only next to your blog titles.
In conclusion, don’t just have visual content but create a visual content strategy to humanize interactions.
Are you creating visual content to beat your competition? If not, what’s stopping you? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Pooja has been featured on Problogger, Firepole, JeffBullas, MarketingProfs, Hongkiat and more. She teaches aspiring writers how to become self-employed, create wealth and live better lives by launching their online writing biz. Steal her free mini-course to make your first $1000 (and more) writing at home