I talk a lot about content so when I had the opportunity to talk about using visuals at Pubcon Austin, I was excited.
See, we often get stuck thinking that content has to be blog posts or product information, FAQ pages or ebooks. But when we really think about content, content isn’t just words. Content is a means of giving people answers to their questions, connecting them to our brand, and making them feel something.
Words aren’t always the best way to do that and there’s a number of reasons for that. First, people don’t read: 55% of people will spend 15 seconds or less reading a blog post. Those who do, won’t actually remember what they read.
However, what stands out there, is that while those who read may not remember, those who see or experience something will. And as a marketer, where the rule of seven is a big deal, getting someone to remember your brand is huge. If we can show them something they remember, we are one step ahead.
At this point, it’s no surprise when Google makes a change. They do it all the time. Recently however, they made a few changes that were specifically related to images and video:
- Google Testing Instagram Like Stories in SERPs
- Google Launching New Image Results
- Video Carousels Nearly Doubled In Numbers
What do each of these tell us? At the most basic level, nothing. While none of these things seemingly have a huge impact on sites, they do present new opportunities. New opportunities to create imagery and videos for search. Opportunities that maybe didn’t seem right in places like Snapchat or Instagram but might be a higher priority should Google start rolling out more features like these.
Creating the Right Content
Which leads us to the next part – where do we start? Images and videos sound great but also a bit overwhelming.
In any content-related presentation, I start with the question, “What is your goal?” The reason being that content for the sake of content does nothing. It simply consumes time and money. Your content must have a goal.
Choosing goals for your content will depend on your overall business and marketing objectives but they often include the following:
- Search Visibility
- Social Visibility
- Brand Awareness
Using Your Data
Once I have my goals, I can look at my data to understand what’s working on my site:
- What topics are driving engagement?
- What topics are driving revenue?
- What types of content have the most visibility?
Using Outside Data
Along with our own data, we must look at other outside factors. Throw your site into SEMRush and filter by which results have images, videos, carousels, etc. See what you’re already ranking for and if you can add an image to that existing piece or create an image around that topics, to get you into those results.
Thinking about social? Paste Pinterest or YouTube into SEMRush and filter by your target keywords (thanks Andrea for that tip!).
We can also use BuzzSumo to determine which content, specifically infographics, images, and videos, are generating shares.
Large amounts of data can be overwhelming but taking the time to understand what’s working and what’s out there, allows you to gain a real understanding of the type of visual content you need.
Let’s Get Creative
Once you have your goals and assessed the data, the next step is actually creating the content. Ugh, am I right?
How can we use what we already have to create some awesome visual content? Let’s take a look at a few examples:
Customer Reviews & Testimonials
People love social proof and they love videos. Why not take existing testimonials and turn them into quotable graphics for social?
What about interviews? Last summer, we had a few clients come in and give us video testimonials. Those testimonials are now a part of our about page and used throughout the site.
News & Blog Posts
Here at KoMarketing, we each spend quite a bit of time keeping up on the latest marketing news. After all, search is a fast-paced environment and as we already noted above, things can change in a heartbeat. That news scan often results in emails being sent around the office or blog posts here on the site.
Over at Cypress North, an agency out of Buffalo, they take that news and turn them into Marketing O’Clock videos on Instagram. Get the latest in what’s happening in the world of digital marketing:
Blog posts are another great way to leverage content. Have lists that perform well and match with your goals? Take that list and turn it into an Instagram slideshow, a presentation on SlideShare, or build out quote images for social.
Find assets that already resonate with your audience and take advantage of them!
Tools to Make It Look Good
I mentioned earlier that visual content can be a bit intimidating. The majority of us aren’t graphic designers nor are we videographers. We also likely don’t have extra budget lying around to have professionals do it for us.
Thankfully, technology has made this easier. There are a number of tools, many with free versions that make you look like you actually know what you’re doing when it comes to visual content. Here are a few:
Go Make Awesome Things
The average person spends 32 minutes per day scrolling on Instagram. Why? Because people like what they can see.
Adding visuals to your content marketing strategy must become a priority but like anything else, it needs to be done strategically. Use your data, evaluate the landscape, and start building the content that’s right for your business. Go make awesome things!
KoMarketing has helped a number of clients grow their content program. Have questions on your existing content strategy? Contact us and see how we can help.