Ready for one more New Year's resolutions? It's just 6 words but packs a punch.
Use visuals in your B2B content.
Consider this stat: The right visuals have the power to increase a person’s willingness to read an article by 80%.
We live in a predominantly visual world. In fact, studies have shown that the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text -- wowza! Are you harnessing the full power of this PR tactic in your B2B marketing?
Another study showed that people who were presented with visual information (such as infographics or video) were able to retain 65% of the information three days later, compared to 10% when visuals weren’t included. The ability to visualize is an incredibly influential part of the human learning process. It would be negligent to ignore this in your B2B content just because it requires a little bit more effort than the written word.
When you review your arsenal of PR tactics, don’t ignore the powerful impact of visuals.
How Visuals Can Benefit Your B2B Content
When’s the last time you were drawn to read an article based on paragraphs of text? Unless it had an amazing opening or was so on point with your life or business, I doubt it. We are naturally drawn to articles with attractive visuals.
A visual can generate more engagement for your article, and compel people to take a certain action. Content with relevant visuals attracts a whopping 94% more views than content without relevant visuals. For example, calls to action are most likely to convert your readers into B2B leads when they include an eye-catching visual component. So strive to use visuals in all aspects of your content.
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Empower SEO Results
Would you like to stay even further ahead of the infamous Google search engine? Visual content has the power to get you there. When you optimize that stunning, high quality visual graphic correctly, it will help you rank higher in search engines.
How do you optimize your visuals? Since Google doesn’t know how to interpret images on its own, it uses what’s known as the alt text, or alt tags, to determine what the image is about, and how it fits in with your SEO efforts. Make sure your alt text includes your keyword.
Increase Your Social Following
What motivates people to like and share on social media? Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, or whatever network you choose, visual graphics engage more.
Vary the kinds of visuals you share across your social networks -- include infographics, quotes, tips, statistics, screenshots, and how-to graphics that engage your audience and increase likes, shares, and follows.
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The Six Pillars of Effective Visual Content
1. Make it Unique
Dispel any nagging feeling that your audience has seen it before. Make it stand out from your other visuals, and those of your competitors. Yet, remember that “unique” doesn’t mean disruptive -- keep it in harmony with your brand’s established tone.
Look at this unique visual content example from General Electric. This interactive globe shows how GE is working in various industries (such as infrastructure, energy, and healthcare) around the world to effect change and deliver a new industrial era. It’s unusal but also fit with its innovative, technologically advanced brand.
2. Pay Attention to Design Elements
You don’t need a degree in graphic design to create compelling images with a designer’s eye. However there are a few key points you’ll want to remember:
- Simplicity. Don’t overwhelm your visuals with too much information.
- Interesting. Your visuals should stand out, and catch a reader’s attention.
- Text. Don’t overload your image with text, but make what text you have easy to read.
- Colors. Choose colors that fit your brand identity and the tone of the information you want to convey.
Design can always be improved. Next time you’re looking at art and graphics, strive to learn more about the emotional effects of design elements on people. Study lines, shapes, textures, and spaces to see how you can create similar effects in your designs.
Take, for example, this graphic from Grammarly, an online subscription tool that helps writers proofread their work. It is simple and clean, not cluttered, with bold, easy-to-ready text that draws the eye in, and one image that accentuates the point the company is trying to make. Plus, it makes the point in a humorous way.
Now, this infographic from Pepto Bismol shows what can happen when you attempt to cram too much visual information into your graphic. The eye doesn’t know where to go, and isn’t drawn to any one point. The text gets lost in the confusion. Most audiences would quickly move on, without investing the time to decipher the brand’s message.
3. Size It Appropriately
You want your image to look appropriate for whatever platform you use. Each social media platform uses pre-determined sizes. Otherwise, your careful and creative work could be cropped out or look out of place on a social network.
4. Make It Real
People are more likely to connect with images of real people or real stories. The realer, the better. You could use photos of behind-the-scenes moments of your company’s employees, actual customers using your product, or photos of how your company is making a difference in the community.
Show how you’re not just a company -- you’re people who have created a product or service to help other people. That caring, human side will attract audiences to your visual content.
Take this instagram post from Zendesk. It shows part of its team working in its local community, painting for a program called Housing Intiatives. The company appears as a group of real, down-to-earth people who care about their community.
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5. Choose Relevant Images
Not every image will fit your industry or your brand. Choose your images carefully to reflect the principles of your company -- this way, you will attract readers who are serious and who are most likely to become qualified B2B leads.
Use images to show that your company is still relevant in the current social climate. Display how you fit into to current trends that are on people’s minds.
6. Create Visuals in a Sharable Format
Do research to see what your target audience likes and shares. Could infographics work for your B2B company? How about video? Slideshare? The right format could buttress your visual efforts to succeed.
A Few Points to Remember:
- Visuals have been proven to improve conversion rates, SEO, and social following.
- Use real people and real stories to create truly compelling visuals.
- Make your visuals sharable and appropriately sized for social sharing.
- Always look for ways to improve your visual designs.