10 types of visual content you should be creating

Going viral isn’t impossible, and these visual formats make doing so even easier.

Visual content has proven to be among the most efficient and effective ways to communicate. It’s also your best chance to go viral.

What types of visual content work best? Let’s take a look:

1. Infographics

Infographics are the epitome of visual content, which makes them a great place to begin this list. They make information approachable and easy to understand.

Infographics are “liked” and shared on social media three times more than other any other content type, and when you use them in content marketing, they can increase profits by as much as 12 percent. (Here are 10 more reasons why infographics are important.)

It’s best to use infographics when you have a lot of statistical data to convey, or if you want to make complicated information easier to understand.

2. Eye-catching photos

Photos give organizations a face, which makes those organizations significantly more relatable. Additionally, using photos to provide a peek behind the scenes can help audiences become interested in a brand.

Photos can also help highlight products and services. Show your products in action. Ninety percent of people say images influence their purchase decisions.

When using photos, reflect your organization’s unique selling point. Additionally, capture your organization’s values through color, composition and other visual elements.

Adding images to your content can drive 94 percent more views than if you don’t include any images in your content. Plus, audiences are more likely to remember information when it is presented visually.

3. Videos

Use video to give your content a voice.

This YouTube video has some useful information on how video content can enhance your business:

Also, consider these statistics:

  • Sixty-four percent of shoppers are more motivated to purchase a product after watching a video about it.
  • If you use the word “video” in an email, the likelihood that people will open the email will increase by 19 percent. Additionally, the email’s click-through rate will increase by 65 percent, and the rate of email unsubscribers will decrease by 26 percent.
  • Seventy-four percent of all internet traffic will go to video by 2017.

There are more reasons why video should take a leading role in your content marketing plan, including:

  • Improved SEO
  • Better customer retention
  • Higher engagement
  • Stronger emotional connections

4. Calls to action

Ask your audience to “click here,” “buy now,” “follow us,” “share,” “add to cart,” “subscribe here for a free gift,” etc. Putting those calls to action into your content as visuals will grab your audience’s attention.

It’s best to use calls to action in exclusive content, events, offers and sales. Calls to action are a mine of untapped potential: 70 percent of businesses fail to use them.

5. Inspiring quote cards

Inspiring quotes can be an effective way to motivate people to take action or feel a certain way about a brand or product.

Use your organization’s style, color, typography and other visual cues to tailor the quote to your message. Here is a great example from Target:

Quotes cards are easy to create and share online—and can quickly go viral.

6. Data visualizations and graphical data

Data visualizations include charts, maps, diagrams and graphs. If your graphs are easy to understand and feature relevant information, they can quite easily go viral. Forty percent of people understand data better when it’s presented visually.

Data visualizations are best for illustrating facts, figures and extrapolations, and they can help audiences see trends or patterns in data. Again, use colors, typography and other visual clues that fit your organization’s style.

Here is a data visualization of Macrometeorites by Roxana Torre that shows the number of recorded meteorites over time:

7. Screenshots

Use screenshots for everything from instructional content to showing live captures of information. They’re great for customer reviews and testimonials. (Dimensional Research found that 90 percent of respondents were influenced by positive reviews when making a purchase decision.)

8. Tutorials

Create tutorials about anything from life hacks to recipes. Do so through videos, images, text or a combination of all three.

In “Effects of Text Illustrations: A Review of Research, Educational Communication and Technology,” the authors state that people who follow directions with text and illustrations perform 323 percent better than people following directions without illustrations.

9. Quizzes and visual puzzles

Another great way to encourage audience engagement is through quizzes and visual puzzles.

Quizzes and puzzles can spark creativity and make product information easier to digest. This will encourage your audience to consider using a product that is otherwise difficult to relate to.

10. Memes and comics

Everyone loves a laugh, and in the internet world, few things spark more laughs than memes.

As far back as in 1999, memes bumped up site visits from as little as four visits a day to 15,000. That’s a respectable figure even by today’s standards.

What success have you had with visual content?

Mohammad Farooq blogs at ReveringThoughts. A version of this article originally appeared on JeffBullas.com.


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