Creating visual content is an important part of digital marketing that has the ability to convey messages through visual elements such as photographs, images, video, graphics, among others. This type of marketing is successful because people do not limit themselves only to verbal communication but also includes everything from gestures to images to colors.
Graphic design and marketing almost always come together to develop visual content that is not only informative but also satisfying to look at from the perspective of clients/customers. Marketers provide ideas that can advertise and get people involved to boost a brand or make conversions. Graphic designers on the other hand create images and designs that help portray these ideas, gain attention, and make them a reality.
In order to create visual content that is worth a share, you must have a good foundation in understanding your target clients. Knowing your customers’ needs will help you create and implement visual content that will add value and boost their trust in your brand. Here are some of the best practices you can do to create visual content that is worth to be shared a thousand times.
Best Practices to Create Visual Content That’s Worth a Thousand Shares
1. Always plan ahead
Planning your current project is a must, but planning ahead can surely take your progress further and easier. Although it seems obvious at this point, it is important to note that even before creating and publishing content, you should plan it. If you are clear about what you are going to do, the task will be much less complicated. Also, planning helps you align your projects together to create a much greater impact on your audiences.
To generate a good visual content plan you must take into account the following:
- What are your content topics going to be about? At this point, you need to plan every content for your current campaign that will help your clients/customers walk through their customer journey flawlessly.
- How are you going to develop it? Given your ideas and visual content topics, you need to have a consistent standard in designing them. This way, your customers will know that every content you publish is related to a specific campaign. Laying out the ideas together and creating a good workflow will help the team get everything done with ease and encounter fewer problems along the way.
- Where are you going to publish it? Needless to say, for every platform where you plan to publish your content, you must have a custom strategy to implement for it to be more effective.
If you plan to place your visual content on a blog, you need it to have more, supporting written content with in-depth information to keep your readers reading and for SEO purposes. If it’s for social media platforms, you need to have the right hashtags, and some catchphrases to help attract attention.
- How are you going to spread it? This is another important consideration; you need to reach the right people and customers in order to make your content really worth sharing. If you really intend to add value using your content, then it must be presented to the people who really need it.
As previously mentioned, supporting your visual content with written content that contains keywords and the right hashtags are a few of the best solutions. By boosting your content with paid ads, you can also reach more people and align it with proper segmentation.
Now that the most basic task is in place, the next part is to practice making use of your knowledge effectively as a graphic designer and/or marketer:
2. Always consider quality
The goal is to create visual content that is worth sharing, right? For this reason, it is important that you always consider quality. But what can we consider as high-quality visual content?
A design or a video that evokes emotion, that is intriguing, adds value to other people, and that has an intention to speak of things people don’t easily realize or communicate– that is high-quality content. Good design executions or video capturing and editing can determine how good a designer or a video creator is, but being able to get an important message across your audience speaks of much better ability.
Shareable visual content are those with underlying messages and has a solution to provide. Remember that beauty and aesthetics are important in design but what moves more people to share are the emotions (whether it’s happiness, satisfaction, or even sadness) that were provoked by your work.
3. Practice establishing a consistent visual brand
Establishing a cohesive visual brand is important for every growing business. Using the same brand elements in your designs establishes trust in your existing customers/clients while slowly growing root in people you’ve reached subconsciously. This is one of the reasons why we always remember McDonald’s whenever we associate red and yellow with food or Coke when associated with a drink that has red and white colors.
This strategy is especially effective for loyal brand patrons who have had experienced satisfactory services or purchases. The trust established and the good user experience automatically builds attraction and helps in the decision making to share the word (or visuals, in this case).
To achieve this, here are some things that you need to constantly practice:
- Include the same header and footer, using your logo on infographics, reports, reports, and brochures.
- Apply the same brand fonts and colors consistently across all your materials.
- Use the same styles of symbols and icons in each document.
- Use a constant color scheme
4. Retrofit and reuse old design
Retrofitting and reusing existing designs can really be a game-changer. First of all, it speeds up your workflow. But what is even more important is that you can trust that you are producing consistent and cohesive designs.
You can repurpose documents you’ve created for a client or project, add different content, and change it up a bit for a new client or other target audience so that you can get the most out of a small amount of design work. Even if you’re creating documents just to share internally, like project briefs or company newsletters, you can differentiate yourself and your team by creating documents that have a consistent visual style.
5. Work on your visuals
Make life easier for your user, enhancing your visual content for marketing creates a bigger probability that users will interact with it. To facilitate this, you must work on:
- Images & Illustrations
The images and illustrations you use must be aligned to the message that you want to communicate to your audience. Stock photo websites are good sites to visit in the case you need images that will suit your design.
The choice of colors is an important issue in our lives, regardless of whether you are a man or a woman, as well as when you choose your clothes, the color of your house, your car, etc. We are human and we let ourselves be carried away by our senses, that is why we must work on this part. The choice of the style of our visual content must be in accordance with our value, corporate and visual image and for obvious reasons, with the message that we are going to want to convey.
The typeface is the perfect color match, since some do not fit together, and especially if they are large and showy letters, we must take good care of the combination between the background and the letters. And again clarity appears as the key point. Choose fonts that are legible and try to arrange them strategically in the space you have available, distribution is essential.
- Flat design
In my personal case, I am more of a skeuomorph lover, which is clearly more realistic, but given the technological evolution with mobile devices and responsive design, it is important that what we see on our computer is flexible and malleable so that it allows a quality interaction on mobile platforms. Remember that people make use of them almost all the time they connect to social networks.
- Visual weight
A large percentage of people are a bit lazy when it comes to accessing content. Only if you manage to catch their attention at first with only text, it is a bit complicated, while with visual content, your chances increase by 100%, so, content such as images, videos, graphics, gifs, memes, webinars, screenshots, infographics, drawings, and whatever comes to your mind, it should be on your networks yes or yes, since that helps interaction with your users.
6. Practice the principle of visual hierarchy
Like Gestalt principles, visual hierarchy rules are an important design aspect that can help marketers devise campaigns for clients. Visual hierarchy is most essential for most types of visual projects.
The leading concept is that each element of a design has a purpose ordered from most to least important. The designer applies these rules by giving visual importance to aspects such as titles and slogans, or striking images and calls to action.
Leading the audience to read or look at elements by order of priority makes sure that they don’t miss the important message of your content. It will also be easier for them to grasp the whole content and decide if it’s worth sharing or not. This is why using your design and marketing skills, you have to attract and get them involved fast with the element of greatest priority.
Technical design and audiovisual skills do a lot to make visual content shareable, however, sometimes it needs more boost to generate more shares. To achieve this, optimization and social skills are just what you need. The following are some advice that will help you connect and build a network and increase your audience:
7. Encourage dissemination
A call to action persuades audiences to take another step and execute the desired action. It is usually used in websites to encourage users to subscribe, explore, and make purchases. A call to action can be a straightforward call but can also come with additional promotional discounts or exclusive offers.
Calls to action are important because they lead users to know what to do next. For visual content, a simple phrase or two is enough to include in your design or video. Most of the time, simple encouragement is just what’s needed to make your audience help you share your content. This is also one of the best strategies when you are trying to create visual content
8. Expand your reach through collaboration
To expand your reach and create a bigger network, it is good to work in collaboration with your colleagues and people who work in the same niche as yours. Make contact with other content generators that are related to the main topic that you develop in your publication channels.
To take advantage of the benefits of this feedback, you can use resources such as Facebook Live, Instagram Live, or YouTube Livestream. Generating expectations in your audience will capture their attention. Don’t forget to do a good job outreach first! If you don’t, no one will see it.
9. Optimize your content
Designing and applying a correct optimization strategy is what you need to position your content both in search engines and on social networks. If you want your visual content to occupy the first positions in the search results, do not forget the following tips:
- Use keywords in the title and description of the video or image.
- In the case of video platforms like YouTube, always include tags (labels) that relate to the main topic. For this task also use your keywords.
- If you share images or videos on social networks, do not forget to put hashtags. But beware! do not use too many and always try to make them totally related to your topic. Otherwise, they could penalize you.
- In the images that you include in your blog posts, include metatags or meta tags. Never let the file name be the original, modify it to be related to the main theme.
10. Engage with your audience
Make your audience feel like part of your content. You run with the advantage that the visual content allows you to connect in a more direct way with the users, take advantage of it! Depending on the brand image you have created, the tone you use may be formal and distant or close and informal.
To attract the attention of users, include CTAs (Calls To Action) and make them interact through the resources offered by the different platforms. You can ask for opinions through comments or you can include interactive elements in stories. By engaging with your audience, you are making them feel welcome and it is easier to gain momentum on discussions and create new ones in the future.
To create visual content that is worth a thousand shares, you need to be determined to constantly practice and experiment. You can’t expect to get your exact, desired results once you publish your content. It requires patience and you must consistently monitor and analyze how people are reacting to your published content. Always listen to your target audiences, customers, or clients’ needs. You must always align your campaigns based on what they want at the moment. You must always keep the current trends and events in check and lastly, always learn from other successful marketers.
Author’s Short Bio:
Jenn Pereira is a technology and digital marketing writer. She loves UX/UI design, web and mobile app development. She works as a Marketing Head of Removal.AI, a platform that offers an AI technology used to remove image background automatically for eCommerce.