Why Visual Content is so Important
As humans, we are wired visually. Studies show that our brains typically process visual information 60,000 faster than text (CMI report 2016). That means, if your audience is human, your marketing strategy needs to include visual content. People will retain 65% of information if it includes a relevant image, compared to only 10% without. Imagery also facilitates a person’s understanding of the message you are trying to get across. On average, it takes 11.8 touchpoints (times for someone to see your post) before they take action. If your audience retains and understands the information that you are trying to relay, they are more likely to be intrigued and take action.
Now, it’s great if you produce a really great image attached to some content, and its gets lots of engagement, but the key here is to be consistent. This is how you build a following. By not only sharing great imagery that is inspiring, but by consistently providing value to your audience that keeps them coming back for more. Remember, it’s not all about your business and the products or services you offer, it is about inspiring your readers by providing value and in turn you will build a loyal, relevant audience.
Furthermore, an article written on Buffer.com showed that Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets. And the more retweets, the greater reach and chances of engagement.
We don’t all have access to top of the range SLR’s or Photoshop, however there are other tools that can be used to create just as effective imagery. We just need to be a bit more creative in our execution. Most of us have access to smartphones that have great cameras. Get creative, try different angles, play around with boomerang settings, take photos in unique locations. For those of us in Australia, we are blessed with great scenery and landscapes that set the stage for amazing photos!
Play by the Rules!
Have you heard about The rule of Thirds? The Rule of Thirds is a method for composing the elements of an image to be visually pleasing and to be in sync with the way our eyes prefer to scan an image. It is about taking the eyes of your audience on a journey. By applying this concept to your imagery, you are sure to draw the eyes of your audience in with your captivating images!
Using The Rule of Thirds means that the subject isn’t centered in the image, rather, the main focal point is a bit off to one side. The Rule of Thirds is helpful for highlighting interesting elements within the image, such as mountains in the background. The exact placement depends on the type of image of course. For instance, if you are capturing an image of a flying bird, leave enough space in the direction to which the bird is flying to give a feeling of motion. By doing this you can almost feel that you are following the bird on its flight path.
If your image doesn’t apply to The Rule of Thirds, use cropping tools to assist you!
For example, see below the photos I took of an Australian Sea Eagle at Forresters Beach, NSW. In the original image, the bird is lost in the centre of the picture, and the image doesn’t tell a story. By using editing tools, such as cropping the image (Canva), and applying The Rule of Thirds, you are now taken on a journey of the birds flight path. This concept can be used in any of your images.
Add you’re own flavour!
If the concept of Photoshop immediately puts you off, don’t worry there is a solution. The Australian owned company Canva is a great alternative platform for editing images (I used it in the above example). And did I mention, it’s FREE!
Canva is extremely user friendly, and easy to navigate. The platform allows you to adjust your image size to fit any ratio. This means you can make square images for Instagram (i.e. 600 x 600 px), or 16:9 (1920 x 1080 px) for Facebook.
On Canva you can also add your brand attributes, such as the text your company uses and logo. This helps provide uniformity across your images, by watermarking them with your brand logo and creating a consistent theme with your font style (see above).
Take your audience on a journey
With your imagery, you can also tag the location’s where your photos were taken. People can then check out where you’ve been which can pique inspiration for your audience to follow you around to all the great destinations that you go to take photos. By tagging locations, restaurants, public places etc., you are also broadening your chances of being found on the likes of Instagram, because people that follow those restaurants, people, locations and so on, will see your post.
The Types of Imagery you can use:
Eye-catching, creative photography
Video— YouTube & Vimeo
Infographics— visual information
Data visualization— standalone charts and graphs
Comics— relevant comic strips or cartoons
Memes— popular memes customised to fit the context of your post or update. Generally used for comedic value.
Visual note-taking— casually-designed layout of ideas, vision boards, typically text-heavy
I hope that helps, good luck and I look forward to seeing your creative imagery!