Let’s Get Visual: Why Your Content Could Use a Little Eye Candy

December 26, 2013 Emily Bauer

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but what does that translate to in the world of content marketing? Although we can’t say how many specific words are equal to one picture in terms of marketing value, we do know that visuals are a huge bonus for content marketing and great way engage your readers on more than one level.

Great content marketing involves a number of key components, including timeliness in scheduling, relevance to current trends, and superb writing with credible authors; but creating visual interest through the use of pictures, logos or infographics can be just as important as any aspect of the written content.

If you’re not convinced that visual content is necessary to take your marketing campaign to the next level, here are the top reasons to include a bit of eye candy in your future content.

Eye-Catching Content

An image can communicate with your audience much more quickly than a block of text, simply because it’s easier to digest. Including any form of imaged-based content alongside your blog post or update can instantly create a new visual interest that was previously lacking and may attract more eyes to your page. The presence of visual content can even improve a website’s SEO ranking if you properly name the image files with relevant keywords or phrases.

The Viral Value of Images Vs. Text

In addition to garnering more attention for your written content through search engines and individual readership, images increase the likelihood of going viral through social media channels. One of the ways images trump written content is that they convey information more quickly and simply than plain old text. And when it comes to sharing links via social media, easy and digestible content will find its way to more newsfeeds more quickly. On many social media platforms, the image and title (and maybe a brief excerpt) are all that your fans and followers will see before clicking on a shared link.

Various Types of Visual Content

The use of visual content on a professional website needn’t be limited to adorning each update with your company logo. In fact, you don’t even need to use the same type of visual content for every single piece on your blog, let alone the same static image. Keep things fresh by choosing between photographs, icons, infographics, graphs, and even GIFs to provide your content with a variety of eye candy. Remember to consider how each type of visual material may contribute to the user experience.

Photograph: A still photograph provides your content with a much-needed visual boost in the simplest form possible. A photograph can be artistic or standard depending on whether you are trying to inject creativity into your content marketing or simply display a product.

Cartoon or Icon: Alternatively, the use of a drawn icon or cartoon can lighten the tone of your content. Cartoon images can be either realistic or completely silly, which will alter the way the reader approaches your content.

Infographic: Arguably the best of all worlds, an infographic can be used in the place of written content or as an extremely informative aide to your article or blog post. Plus, infographics are easily sharable content.

Visual Graph: Again, readers love being able to visualize the data being discussed on your website. Make numbers and stats easier to digest by integrating a pie chart, bar graph or Venn diagram into your content—whichever is most appropriate for displaying your specific set of data.

GIF: A short video clip looping on repeat, GIFS are popular alternatives to static images. The use of a GIF indicates that your brand is more playful than stoic, as these files are often silly and accompany more humorous pieces.

Create a Sense of Cohesion Between Content & Brand

Images can also be used to more securely tie in your brand to the content you publish. Just as your text-based content marketing relies on maintaining a branded tone, persona and sense of industry expertise, your images should also present a branded identity to your readers and any visitors to your page. In contingency with your website design and overall brand appearance, employ pictures to create a visual theme in your content marketing.

For instance, most of the images used on Uberflip’s blog share a simple cartoonish style with pastel or matte background colours, yet each image is unique to and fitting of the content it accompanies. Whether you use specific colour schemes, styles or icons, a visual theme can provide a sense of cohesion across all of your content marketing.

Bonus Fact: Pantone named ‘Radiant Orchid’ as the 2014 colour of the year, so use of this blasé purple hue may help align your content marketing with current trends.

Reasons To Get Visual With Your Content Marketing

There’s a reason sites like Instagram and Pinterest are so popular—humans are visual creatures by nature and pictures catch our eye more easily than text. Many people are visual learners and more likely to be interested in written content when it is accompanied by a relevant picture or informative infographic. Including images as part of your content marketing strategy can provide a boost to your written content and entice readers who may otherwise skip over text-only articles or blog posts.

Check out our infographic collection for lots of fun and interesting visual content!

About the Author

Emily is a freelance writer based in Toronto, Ontario who covers a range of topics from technology to travel. She holds a Bachelor in English Literature and Business from the University of Waterloo. No matter how many projects she is working on, Emily always finds time for baking, reading, and yoga.

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