If you use content marketing as part of your business strategy, you’ll be all too aware of the necessity for visuals. A pressing need, however, doesn’t always make coming up with ideas any easier!
Today’s post is a series of questions to help you think beyond an obligatory stock photo. The questions are designed to give you food for thought. To help you make visual content an integral part of your content marketing and social media strategies.
VISUAL CONTENT IDEAS
The questions will look at using visuals to:
- reinforcing brand identity;
- demonstrate uniqueness;
- improve the user experience; and
- nurture know, like and trust.
KEEP IT BRANDED
It’s not just about keeping fonts and colours consistent. This matters, of course, it’s part and parcel of a brand identity. It’s more to do with the the experience people have when they come into contact with anything to do with your company. The same experience, over and over, wherever they find you.
How can visuals reinforce this?
- Is the visual authentic? What about it makes it yours, not just the same as everyone else? How does it demonstrate your core values to me? Can you show me your story?
- Can I take a peek behind the scenes? What’s the story behind each order? What happens when I buy something from you? Show me, don’t tell me. Who’s knitting my sweater, who’s grabbing my box off the shelf in the warehouse, who’s answering my support calls?
- Can you demonstrate your process? Can I see my flowers growing in the field, being picked and arranged? Can you show me how you source your ethical raw materials? Can I watch you create your art?
- Can you show me something about who you are, not just your latest product? Can you demonstrate your reliability, standards, quality control or values?
- Is there an opportunity to show me a more fun side to your brand? Have you had a recent event or celebration you can share? How can you show the human side to your business?
- Do I know it’s yours as soon as I see it? Are your visuals all working together to produce one harmonious, engaging, memorable brand experience?
MAKE YOUR VISUALS UNIQUE
It’s hard to be unique. It’s all been done before. Someone somewhere will make the same product as you or provide the same service. But, you’re not them, are you? Your combination of experience, training, talent, expertise, personality, process, vision, beliefs…your story, gives you a unique perspective on your product or service.
How can your visuals relay this to me?
- Are your visuals different or are you just following the crowd? How will I spot you in the crowd? What can you tweak, add, change or improve?
- Maybe you could surprise me? Perhaps there’s something about the way you operate that is different from others in your niche. Can you stop me in my tracks and make me look twice? Will I be talking about you or mentioning you to a friend?
- Are you using the same format every time? Can you try something new? Perhaps a live streaming video - nobody can produce exactly the same video as you, after all, you’re the most unique bit of all!
- Can you give a different view of the same thing? How do you go above and beyond your competitors. What’s your unique touch?
IMPROVE YOUR USER’S EXPERIENCE
Do you know your ideal reader/customer? How do they prefer to consume information? How do they feel when they've come into contact with your brand? Will they want to come back? User Experience or UX is a hot topic in design. It puts the needs of the user at the forefront. How they experience your brand is paramount to building loyalty.
How could you use visuals to improve how they experience your company?
- Can you identify where most of your traffic's coming from? Are your visuals optimised for that source? Are you reinforcing your brand beyond the confines of your website or shop?
- Can you make a complex idea simpler by using a diagram? Can you do more to engage visual learners?
- Can you use images to make the article easier to scan? Can you summarise the main points in a graphic?
NURTURING KNOW, LIKE & TRUST
When we connect with visitors and potential customers, we want them to stay a while or, hopefully, come back for more. We want to start to build a relationship, one that stems from the know, like and trust factor.
As we’ve already seen, visuals are fundamental to showing people who we are, what we stand for, why we do what we do the way we do it. They tell our story and show people why our story is unique.
How can we use visuals to nurture trust?
- Is it relevant and useful, not just a visual added for the sake of it?
- Can you entertain or educate me? Can you galvanise me into action? Can you make me laugh or cry? Is it addressing my pain points?
- Is it shareable? Have you made the headline visual? Will the image help me remember you after I've gone?
- Are you visuals accurate? Is your information reliable?
- Can you share user-generated content? Can you turn your best customers into brand advocates?
There are a lot of questions, but I hope it sparks some new ideas in your mind. Perhaps you could use the list alongside your current editorial calendar process.
As your visuals develop and you reap the benefits of the hard work you’ve invested in them, these questions will become easier and easier to answer. Increased engagement will give you the data you need to see what work and what doesn’t.