The Blue Kite Blog

7 Simple Ideas to Make Your Content More Visual

By | February 21, 2013

When is the last time you got excited by reading a long chunky swath of text on your computer?

If you’re like most people in today’s digital age, you’re turned off by walls of text.

And, the proof is in the numbers.

For example, photos on Faceobok are liked two times more than text updates and 40 percent of people respond better to visuals than plain text.

And, not only are images it more appealing, but people process images 60,000 times faster than text.

You can find even more compelling statistics about visual content right here.

So, how do you make your content more visual? Here are seven ideas to help you get started:

1. Find stock photos to help tell the story.

Whether you’re developing an ebook or writing a blog post, it helps to weave strong images throughout. This helps break up the content and makes it stand out more when sharing on social networks.

And, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Thanks to Creative Commons licensing, you can use images from Flickr or as long as you give attribution. This works especially well for blog posts and lower resolution needs.

2. Share your own photos. 

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to share your own photos. Candid shots of your team, your workspace, your products and your events can add interest to your content and help humanize your brand.

3. Use customer-generated images. 

Sometimes, the best photos can come from your customers. Encourage customers to submit or tag photos of them using your product.

MailChimp has an entire gallery of photos of customers wearing the free shirts they give away with the signature chimp on them. And Which Wich gives away free sandwich to people who take photos of themselves with a Which Wich sandwich bag on top of a 14,000 foot mountain. Both of these are really cool ways to get your customers involved and get great photos in the process.

4. Use screen shots to show examples. 

Remember those educational blog posts I talked about earlier this week? Screen shots can be a great way to show examples and walk people through how to do something.

For example, earlier this week, one of my clients used screen shots to demonstrate some of the new features that came out in the latest version of their phone system’s operating software. Sometimes, showing is far better than telling.

5. Create comics or cartoons.

Social Media ghost town cartoon

Sometimes the best way to tell a story or convey a message is through a comic or cartoon. Tom Fishburne, the “marketoonist” does this exceptionally well and now he helps brands communicate through cartoons.  For example, this comic one he created about one of my blog posts.

But what if you’re not a talented artist? You can use sites like CartoonStock to purchase cartoons – many of which are fairly low cost for web use.

 6. Design Infographics.

In the past year or two, you’ve likely seen a huge spike in infographics. Essentially, these are graphics that are used to showcase statistics or break down complex information or processes into something that’s easier to digest. You can check out my Pinterest board for some good examples.

If you don’t have this capability in-house, you can hire companies to create these for you. Or, if you need a low-budget option, Stephanie Schwab offers up some free and inexpensive infographic creation tools.

7. Use Presentations.

If you talk to groups on a regular basis, chances are good that you’ve got an entire file folder full of presentations that haven’t seen the light of day. So, why not breathe new life into them by using Slideshare?

Once you’ve loaded your presentations into Slideshare, you can embed them into your blog posts to make it easy for visitors to flip through the information. You can even showcase presentations on your LinkedIn page. For instance, here’s a blog post about social media strategy where I embedded a presentation.

Slideshare also works well for eBooks and white papers and gives you the same ability to embed the content on your site. This can be a more effective way to share the information than requiring people to download it – especially if it’s free.

Are you using visuals in your content marketing? What have you seen work for you?

P.S. We’ll be continuing this series on compelling content next week. So be sure you’re subscribed via email or RSS so you don’t miss out!