If a picture is worth a thousand words, visual content marketing must be worth millions.
As companies mature in their use of content marketing from simply creating “more” content for SEO purposes to creating really useful content designed to reach specific customer segments to influence business outcomes, the importance of content differentiation becomes paramount.
According to the Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs’ annual studies, over 90% of B2B and B2C marketers are using content marketing. That’s a tremendous amount of competition and to stand out, successful marketers are elevating their content quality and use of visual elements.
In my opinion, it’s not enough to inform. Content needs to make us feel. Providing buyers with useful and entertaining content that leverages enaging images, video and interactive features creates an infotaining experience that stands head and shoulders above other marketers.
Here are a few ways to incorporate compelling visual elements in your content:
- Create themed content using a metaphor that carries visual elements across the content types used in the campaign, across channels. This eBook series is a perfect example: Vintage Alice in Wonderland images are used in the eBooks, infographics, quote image tiles and as accents in supporting blog posts.
- Take the customer point of view and think about the experience of discovering, consuming and acting on that content. What do you want them to do after consuming the content? How do you want them to feel? Use compelling images and video to support those experiential objectives, vs being literal. An article about insurance would use an image of a family, safe and secure vs. a photo of an insurance agreement.
- Have a sense of humor. Whether your business is B2C or B2B, humans will almost certainly be involved. Find what customers would think is humorous, make light of a common situation that most everyone in your industry can relate to. I can only imagine the impact of creating a clever cartoon with CMI’s Joe Pulizzi as the Mad Hatter. Or better yet, what if we “cast” CMWorld keynote speaker Kevin Spacey as a different Alice in Wonderland character in each of these eBooks? I think you ge the idea.
Make customer empathy a priority with content planning and find ways to incorporate visual metaphors and a bit of visual humor in your content. Not only will visual content inform your buyers in more interesting ways, it will help create an emotional connection that can a long ways towards helping your brand stand out from the content competition.
Along with my contribution above, 9 other speakers from Content Marketing World have shared their insights into the world of visual content in this newest edition in our series of content marketing eBooks, “A Visual Content Marketing Strategy“.
From using video to humor to repurposing content visually, the advice in this eBook will show you the way to a better approach towards visual content and includes contributions from an impressive cast of characters in the content marketing industry:
Maggie Burke @MaggieEMCTV
Senior Director, Corporate Marketing at EMC Corporation
“Find the Hidden Stories”
Jason Miller @jasonmillerca
Senior Manager, Content & Social Media at LinkedIn
“The Visual is the New Headline”
Pam Didner @pamdidner
Author of Global Content Marketing
Get Visual Through Repurposing
Tim Washer @timwasher
Senior Marketing Manager of Social Media at Cisco Systems
“Embrace the Nonsense”
Steve Clayton @stevecla
Chief Storyteller at Microsoft
“One Second, Forever Connected”
Mark Schaefer @markwschaefer
Executive Director at Schaefer Marketing Solutions
“Melding Online and Offline”
Director of Brand Partnerships at Tumblr
“The Rise of Visual Communication”
Lee Odden @leeodden
CEO at TopRank Online Marketing
“The Infotainment Imperative”
Carla Johnson @carlajohnson
President, Type A Communications
“See, Understand, Believe”
Jim Kukral @JimKukral
CEO at FunnerVids.com
“Give Content New Life with Video”
You can view the full Visual Content Marketing eBook here:
A Visual Content Marketing Strategy is the third in our series of 4 Content Marketing eBooks featuring a selection of speakers from the 2014 #CMWorld conference. These eBooks cover Strategy, Audience Development, Visual Content and ROI.
You can find the first two eBooks here:
- Building a Content Marketing Strategy
- Building an Audience Development Strategy for Content Marketing
Seeing is Believing. This series of eBooks is a result of TopRank Online Marketing partnering with Content Marketing Institute, the organization behind the Content Marketing World conference along with our sponsor Curata. This eBook series serves as a great example of how we create, collaborate and curate content to promote the largest conference on content marketing in the world.
The next eBook in the series to publish will be Showing Real ROI For Your Content Marketing featuring content marketing insights from experts that include: Nicole Smith from Dell’s TechPageOne, Joe Pulizzi from Content Marketing Insitute, Jay Acunzo from NextView Ventures, JoAnn Sciarrino from UNC Chapel Hill, Michael Brenner from NewsCred, Andrew Davis from Brandscaping, Julie Fleischer from Kraft Foods, Robert Rose from Content Marketing Insitute, Pawan Deshpande from Curata and Ardath Albee from Marketing Interactions.
Watch for the Content Marketing ROI eBook to post here, on Monday August 25th. You won’t want to miss it!
Want to learn more?
Content Marketing World presentation: I will be presenting at #CMWorld September 9th at 3:30pm (Content + Influencer Marketing = A Powerful Way to Grow Your Business) on how to connect with industry influencers to co-create amazing content to grow your business. I’ll be sharing some of the strategies and tactics I used to create influencer eBooks just like the one above.
Hands on Content Marketing Lab: TopRank’s Susan Misukanis is moderating a full day lab, Content Marketing for Technology and Software Companies September 11 where you will get to learn from top content marketing practitioners from Dell (Connie Bensen), LinkedIn (Koka Sexton and Deanna Lazzaroni) and Pam Didner, previously with Intel and author of the new book, Global Content Marketing. If you work in the tech/software world, this lab is going to ROCK!
Don’t miss out on the largest content marketing conference in the world. If you you’re thinking of attending Content Marketing World Conference in Cleveland, OH Sept 8-11, I can save you $100 off of the registration if you use the code: TopRank.