What is visual content?

visual contentHave you ever looked up a “how to” on Google? It’s pretty remarkable how much information is out there. A few weeks ago, my garbage disposal stopped working. As a visual learner, I turned to YouTube for help instead of an article. When it’s my hand remaining in one piece that’s at stake, I’m not going to leave anything up to interpretation. Sure enough, after a 5 min instructional video and a few minutes work, my garbage disposal is back to the grind. It’s visual content like that “how to” video that are helping people learn and communicate. Make sure your brand isn’t missing out on tools to better tell your story. Let’s dive into what is visual content, why to use it, and some examples from businesses big and small.

Content marketing

Before we get to the question of “what is visual content,” let’s define Content Marketing. Then we can have a better understanding of how visual content plays into the greater theme of content marketing. “Content marketing is a marketing technique of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action,” according to the Content Marketing Institute. Instead of getting your audience’s attention by only promoting and talking about your product or service, share information that your audience values.

Cavemen, the original visual content marketers?

Visual content is content that communicates or compliments the valuable information in a visual way. Pretty simple concept. Humans have been using visuals to communicate for thousands of years. The Chauvet Cave paintings are said to be 20,000 to 30,000 years old. While the medium has evolved, the idea is still the same. Tell better stories with visuals. Are cavemen the original content marketers? I don’t think so. But I love the idea of an infographic painted on a cave wall communicating the benefits of fire or the wheel.

Telling better stories with visuals

Search “visual content” and you can find all kinds of infographics and slide decks sharing why you should use visuals in your content. There are stats on how the human brain can process images faster than text, whitepapers on how videos foster more engagement on your website, and how photos get shared more on social networks. But when it gets down what really matters, visuals help tell better stories. It’s proven to work, we’ve been doing it for thousands of years.

Brands using visual content in storytelling

  • Linkedin’s The Sophisticated Marketer’s Guide to Linkedin is a great example of a brand pairing great content with visuals to communicate a story. It’s full of charts, graphics, and other visuals to help show how marketers can increase awareness, influence perception, generate leads, and ultimately drive revenue with LinkedIn.Linkedin
  • Thinking about getting rid of that ugly bathroom wallpaper and painting. Not sure whether to use a paintbrush or roller? The Lowe’s YouTube channel is here to help. “Painting Tips: Paint Brushes vs Paint Rollers” YouTube video is one example of how they are using video to help DIYers get the job done.
  • Don’t have the budget or creative team of Linkedin or Lowe’s? Small businesses can use simple photos to have a big impact. Take J. Clark Walker for example. He’s a barber in Manhattan that pairs customer stories with photos of their haircuts on Instagram. It’s a great example of how a simple photo and some copy can be paired to tell a story that’s engaging and impactful.J.Clark.Walker

Looking to bring your content to life and tell better stories? Use some visuals that align with your brand and help communicate the ideas you’re sharing. To take your visual content to the next step, apply these design basics.

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