In the age of social media, visual content sells. However, social media is not the only factor that contributed to the rise of visuals. During the last couple of decades, our lifestyles have changed as well.
We live in a fast-paced environment, we jump from one thing to another, from one story to another in just a few seconds, we don’t have time, patience, and mood for long texts anymore. And visuals can achieve in an instance what a text can do in ten minutes.
However, even visual content needs to evolve. And so, it did. Overtime. People consume it nowadays but at the same time, they want something more. They want to be and feel engaged by what they read or see. They want to feel like they are part of the action, and that the action is part of them.
We now know that social media posts that include visuals are more likely to get likes and comments and as a consequence, get people engaged in the stories they tell. LinkedIn posts with images have 98% more comments than regular textual posts. And, this is quite normal, since people process images 60,000 times faster than text.
Need more proof?
Well, know that 84% of all communication was visual in 2020. In fact, visual information on the Internet has increased by a staggering 9900% since 2007. Moreover, the share rate of articles with an image every 75 to 100 words is 200% compared to traditional text-based articles with less or no images.
I think the above numbers are proof enough that visual content matters.
Now, that we’ve settled the basis of our current topic, let’s dig in and find out how to create visually engaging content for a website.
1. Align your visual story with your website goal
The first thing you need to consider when creating a marketing strategy is your main goal. What is that you want to achieve? What is your purpose? What goals can you set up in order to build or develop your brand?
Of course, you need to answer these questions. But this is not all that matters here.
It matters to align these goals and your content marketing strategy as well and create a balance as well between them.
Here, you have several options available. You can create visual content to tell your brand stories. Or you can create stories to help your brand develop along with the audience. Or, even easier, you can use the stories to capture the audience and keep them coming back for more once they get used to your style.
A good example, in this case, is Google, with their original Google Doodles idea.
It’s the main page of a search engine. Nothing to see here unless you want to search for something… Well, yes and no. Because they have the doodles as well. And, there’s something about them that makes us sometimes open Google’s page just for fun.
They change every day or every once in a while, depending on various variables. The important thing is that they do change. Often. And, whether you know when it will happen or not, you come back almost every day, refresh the page and expect to see something new, funny, or educational. You expect something engaging.
2. Understand the rules of your audience’s behavior
One of the most interesting topics in today’s marketing sector is the relationship between visual content and consumer behavior. From impulse shoppers to rational buyers, everyone is at some level susceptible to the influence of visual imagery.
Starting with the colors, the logo and up to every new piece of visual content you publish, everything can influence your audience and get them closer or further away from you, depending on what you do and how good you do it.
You don’t need DaVinci’s genius to master this area but you need to learn how your target audience wants and likes and adapt your strategy to them.
3. Master the art of a great UI design
UI design is yet another important element of a marketing campaign. It is also related to the previous chapter, where we discussed the user behavior and the decisions they make based on visual inputs.
UI or User Interface is what the audience sees when they get in contact, first hand, with your website or your display ads.
Through UI, you communicate your values, your styles, your brand image.
At the same time, UI helps you engage with your audience, get them closer, more interested, more curious.
The best part is that you can adapt your visual styling and design to both websites and traditional advertising. Moreover, you can use the same styling for outdoor or indoor signage which you can also use as a free marketing tool with a free digital display software.
All in all, it matters less where you want to publish your materials, as long as the audience is there. It matters, however, how you present them. And here’s where UI comes in handy for the marketer. Because when it comes to visual marketing, appearances are sometimes everything that matters.
4. Use social proof as visual content
Social proof is a simple marketing concept that people will more likely be influenced to follow you or buy something from you if other people have already had positive experiences with your products or services. And, of course, they have shared those experiences on social media.
You have several options here like visual testimonials, Infographics depicting your great sales numbers, influencer endorsement, trust seals to add to your website, or even visual case studies.
Here’s a simple and yet powerful example of how a brand can use social proof as visual content:
However, the best-case scenario is to have an influencer or influential members of a community speak for you.
Nevertheless, you can achieve great results from content customers via UGC (user-generated content) on social media or by sharing their testimonials and reviews on your own.
5. Make sure you stay close to your brand
People like surprises when it comes to gifts. They don’t like them, however, when they bring the unexpected into their favorite brands, flavors, and hobbies.
For example, when you buy one of your favorite chocolate bars, you expect it to be exactly how you know it. No surprises.
The same applies to branding and most especially, visual branding and styles.
Your visual branding is important in today’s market, when everything is about visual content, as I have already mentioned before.
Staying close to it implies you need to concentrate on keeping a balance between new content and your branding styles and colors. Make sure there’s a balance between these two marketing elements, that your branded image is easy to spot even when you publish some meaningless meme or a funny cat picture.
6. Find the right tools to create and collaborate
Visual content is one of the best ways to enhance your marketing strategy and get the audience to follow and listen to you. However, it’s not enough to know what you need to do, eventually, you will have to do it as well. Create your content, I mean.
This step becomes increasingly easier when you find the right tools to work with. I, for example, like to create a balance between the tools I use, the time I have to design and create the content, and the way I am doing it. I also love to have a community of peers involved in similar processes, a community of people who help each other.
5 Collections with awesome new web design examples
Curated content is good for marketing, especially when you find time to create lists and collections for your audience and give them a lot of data in one place, making it accessible and easy to read.
However, in this case, we are the ones that will benefit from such a strategy, by getting inspiration from these beautiful lists of website designs already curated for people who are looking to build anew or to rethink their visual marketing strategy.
2. 33 of the best design to get inspiration from
3. 31 Home page design ideas
4. Beautiful examples of responsive designs
5. Web designs that will make people click on your link
If the content is the king of marketing, then visual content should be his conquering army. We live in a world that is dominated by visual imagery, colors, faces, memes, and designs. Everything is now visual in some way or another and this is why we, as marketers, need to adapt and create according to what the audience behaves.
According to their needs and wants.
With this article, I tried to point a few things about how visual content can help you, why it is helpful, and give you some little pieces of advice as well on how to adapt your strategy to engage people.
What other strategies are you using to get ahead of the competition and create visually engaging content for your audience?