We know that visual content matters. In fact, content containing compelling images attracts 94% more total views on average.
But how do you ensure your visual content is actually seen?
Distribution. And I’m not talking just haphazardly shooting your Infographic link out into the void of the Internet. I’m talking about strategic, data-driven distribution.
If you have a kickass SlideShare presentation, it’s not enough to post it on your blog and share that link a few times on social. Of course, strategically using your owned media channels to spread that content far and wide is important, but you can also leverage some channels that blur the line between owned and earned media in order to reach a larger audience.
Before you embark on your distribution journey, I’ll caution you by reminding you that the golden rule of content marketing applies to distribution just as much as it does to your content. Your goal is to HELP on these platforms. Don’t obnoxiously fan your feathers like a male peacock during mating season. If you present your content in a way that is overly sales-y, no one is going to feel compelled to read it, and your authenticity goes down the toilet.
Without further ado, flex your visual content muscles on these platforms.
SlideShare: You know that feeling you get when you see a really, really ridiculously good SlideShare presentation? It’s somewhere between thinking unicorns do exist and “THANK YOU” that compels you to share. The information and the visuals are aligned in a way that just makes sense. SlideShare isn’t specifically for sharing presentations, however—you can also share your Infographics and other visual content.
Tip: Best practices for seeing success on SlideShare include choosing the right topic, making it look great, tagging it appropriately, and sharing the actual SlideShare link to get it trending (more on that below).
Twitter: Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets than tweets without images. Don’t underestimate the value of optimizing your images so they look good on Twitter or creating an extra image especially for Twitter.
Tip: Sharing your SlideShare links directly on Twitter embeds the SlideShare within Twitter, which can add some variety to your tweets so you’re not sharing the same image every time.
Facebook: For the most part, Facebook isn’t doing much for free for a lot of brands amid the Reachpocalypse. Where we’ve found value on Facebook, however, is by sharing mini-albums that feature images linked by a common theme: company happenings, events, an eCard collection, etc.
Tip: Facebook has evolved, and the way people use Facebook has evolved accordingly. People don’t want to interact with brands, they want to interact with humans. Keep your posts relevant, topical, and provocative, and never promotional.
Google+: Google+ is often considered to be the ghost town of social platforms. And in some ways, it is—your Google+ page isn’t going to grow overnight, so if you don’t have a large audience, your visual content likely won’t do a heck of a lot to shake some engagement from your unresponsive audience. The magic on Google+ is in the communities. Research and join communities that would be interested in your particular piece of content (e.g. a SlideShare on blogging tips for beginners would likely do well in a G+ group called “Blogging for Beginners”). Add UTM tracking to your URLs and track to see how many referrals come from certain G+ communities.
Shameless Plug Tip: Join our Google+ community! It’s full of active, engaged, and intelligent marketers, and we’d love to see your content there. Seriously.
LinkedIn: Similar to Google+ communities, LinkedIn’s groups are also great. (We have a group on LinkedIn, too!) Research and join those that will find your content most helpful. Participate in discussions regularly before sharing your content.
Tip: When posting on your own company page, consider including a full-size image instead of just a link preview. A lot of social media automation tools don’t allow for you to schedule this, so you may have to do it live, but it’s worth it—on average, we see 2X the number of impressions on posts with larger images than on posts with link previews.
Pinterest: When optimized for Pinterest, clear, awesome images and infographics perform incredibly well. It’s worth it to create assets that fit the long, skinny Pinterest style. There are also some great content marketing boards to follow and re-pin from.
Tip: Your image name, Pin descriptions and board names should include clear keywords. This will help them show up in Google search results. It’s also best to pin directly from your blog so the pin includes your domain name in the URL.
Visually: If you have an infographic, you’ve GOT to get it on Visual.ly. As a community for data visualization, it’s chock-full of amazing infographics and presentations, and a community that’s eager to see them.
Tip: Add your Visual.ly links to your social media mix (the link preview on Twitter shows up amazingly) to help get them trending!
Submit Infographics: An infographic directory that accepts infographic submissions. Although it’s not the most lively community out there on the Internet, Infographics are grouped by subject area, so it will be contextually displayed among similar topics.
Reddit: The front page of the Internet. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m really only compelled to share what I consider to be the coolest content on Reddit. If you’re new to Reddit, I would recommend clicking around and getting to know how it works from an individual perspective. Once you’re comfortable sharing content and participating in subreddits, go forth and build your Karma.
Tip: Follow the Rules of Reddit. Just be cool, okay?
GrowthHackers: Perhaps one of the most helpful B2B communities out there, GrowthHackers’ goal is to provide the best growth-related content on the web. Like Reddit, I’d recommend you make sure you thoroughly understand the guidelines, and focus on being helpful at all times.
Tip: Although most of the platforms on this list are “what you get is what you give”, this is especially true for GrowthHackers.
Quibb: Almost like the Internet’s A-List (almost), Quibb is a members-only network full of professionals who share industry news and analysis. You have to become a member to share content, which involves completing a simple application and getting accepted by the community. It’s a great way for B2B marketers to ensure their content is reaching the eyes of other professionals in the biz.
Tip: Don’t be too self-promotional.
Quora: If you’re doing content right, a particular piece of content will resolve one of your buyer personas’ particular pain points. As a question and answer platform, I find transparency and authenticity to be much more prominent here than on any other platform. Use your visual content to support your answer to a selected question.
Tip: Use Quora to generate content ideas! Follow topics, track the common themes that people are wondering about, and create some helpful content. If one person is asking about it on Quora, chances are others are looking for answers, too.
Keep the golden rule of content marketing in mind, and distribute your visual content with care.