Regardless of how much you love to read text articles, or listen to podcasts, you still comprehend and interpret visual presentations a lot more quickly. It has been proven time and again that a significant part of human interaction is visual rather than verbal and that visual always comes before verbal in terms of how people interpret things. This is most probably the reason why visual content is now being pushed by online marketing experts. As an Internet marketer, you need to learn how you can take full advantage of man’s visual nature.
1. Create a Concept Map
Before you actually start creating your content, you’d want to identify the central concept your content will focus on. Next, you’ll have to identify the keywords you’ll be using. This helps you ensure that the message you want to impart is effectively delivered.
2. Think Graphics
Bear in mind that content doesn’t have to be exclusively in text form and it doesn’t even have to be published in just a single version. Content can (and probably should) be repurposed into various other forms. When you do repurpose your content, it’s best to keep videos, infographics, and other visual presentations foremost in your mind. Photos, illustrations, graphs, charts, and figures can provide a short reprieve from a wall of text that’s sure to be appreciated by your audience.
3. Choose Your Sentences and Paragraphs Well
Sure, I told you to start by identifying the keywords you’ll be using in your content. This doesn’t mean, however, that you should stuff your content to the hilt with your chosen keywords. What you need to do instead is to use variations like synonyms and vary the length of your sentences as well. Although short sentences are appreciated for conveying valuable information without wasting a reader’s time, too many of them in succession will sound curt and boring. Variety is the key. You should also take paragraph length into consideration. For online content, it’s best to use short paragraphs, as they are more scan-friendly.
4. Use Subheadings and Lists
Other than graphics, you can also break the wall of text with one or more subheadings, depending on the length of your content. Subheadings are especially useful when you’re creating a how-to or any other type of procedural content. Vertical lists, whether numbered or bulleted, can also be a very effective way of breaking the monotony of text. Although subheadings and lists are also in text form, the fact that they’re presented in a different style (bold, italicized, indented, etc.) provides much-needed variety.
5. Focus on People
Of course you want your content to rank high on search results pages, but that doesn’t mean you should create content for search engine crawlers. At the end of the day, it is still your target market (take note: PEOPLE) who determines your brand’s popularity or lack of it. It is the people who will determine whether your website gets more traffic or not and whether site visits are converted into sales or not. When you create content with people rather than search engines in mind, your content stands a better chance of becoming popular and it actually becomes a lot easier for you to optimize your pages.
6. Perfect Your Headline
The headline is often the first thing a person sees when he/she views content. In fact, it often determines whether someone will actually click through to read your content or not. The more specific your headline is the more visual it will be to your audience. For example, “7 Tips for Creating Visual Content” will likely be deemed more attractive than “Creating Visual Content.”
7. Keep It Simple
Tip #5 tells you to write for people rather than for search engines. Well, since you’re writing for people, you have to make sure the people you write for can easily comprehend and interpret your content. This is why it’s best to avoid creating content that’s too complex or too technical. You should also avoid discussing more than one point in a single content. When you create your concept map, therefore, make sure your chosen theme covers only one important point. If you choose to use graphics in your content, make sure the graphics aren’t too busy and the color scheme you use isn’t jarring to the eyes. Choose colors that complement instead of clash with each other.
8. Unleash Your Creativity
Don’t pressure yourself too much when you finally sit down to create your content. Too much pressure might just hold back the artist in you. Remember that creativity is the key to making your content more visual. Although tip #3 tells you to choose your sentences and paragraphs carefully, that does not mean you have to keep second-guessing yourself as you write. What you need to do instead is just let your words and thoughts flow freely as you follow your concept map. Start reviewing and editing only after the content has been made.
When you successfully evoke the right kind of emotions with your visual content, people are sure to get into a buying mood. After all, 40% of people respond a lot better to visual presentations than pure text content. There are, of course, some challenges involved in creating truly winning visual content. One of these challenges has to do with the fact that only a few people are good in both writing and designing content. Psychology has repeatedly shown that “left-brain” individuals are generally good in language while “right-brain” people are good in visuals.
So, what should you do if you’re only good at writing or design, but not at balancing both? The solution is quite simple, really. Get someone else to do the work you aren’t very good at. Who says you have to go at it alone? You don’t even have to be directly involved in content creation! You could, for instance, hire a content creation team composed of individuals with various fields of expertise. You also have the option of outsourcing the visual or language part of content creation, depending on which part you feel comfortable handling in-house. Any of these two options should take care of both your text and visual needs.
Storytelling is an integral part of content marketing, and one of the best ways to tell a story is through visual content. The good news is that there are plenty of ways for you to address not just the cognitive, but also the visual requirements of your target audience whenever you create online content. By taking the above tips to heart, you should successfully get off to a good start. Who knows? One of these days perhaps you’ll be the one giving advice and tips on how to create a truly successful visual content strategy.