Maybe you haven’t thought about it before, but your online presence is predominantly composed of a series of visuals used in your digital marketing strategy. If you have a podcast or YouTube channel up and running, there also an audio aspect. Anyhow, I dare to say that at least 80 percent of customer and client experiences online start with an engaging visual.
It wasn’t a mere coincidence that content marketing has flourished over the past years. Content marketers have been building their entire strategy on the fact that 90 percent of the information that comes to the brain is visual. Let’s see what you can do to improve the visual aspects of your online presence to delight your customers, improve engagement and conversion rates, and in the end, extend your reach.
Homepage & other website pages
Your official website is a cornerstone of your digital marketing efforts and a point from which you can extend your online presence.
A home page is the first visual aspect of your online presence that your visitors will have face-to-face communication with. And it better be engaging, because in the next few seconds a visitor may as well leave it. So, if you want to make it more engaging, you should incorporate a relevant background image, logo, strong typefaces, short converting message and a call-to-action button.
Since the logo and background image are the most prominent visuals, let’s see how you can get improved versions of the ones you might be already using.
The background image is the container of your homepage content. It has to be powerful, engaging and yet not intrusive. Since it adds to aesthetics, you have to use the best photo possible. You can get your hands on a photo taken or designed by a professional photographer or illustrator from the abundance of stock images online.
There are plenty of stock image websites online, so feel free to visit any of them. After you purchase the license, you are free to use it on your website. This method is way more affordable than hiring a professional designer or illustrator to do a custom job for you.
You will be surprised by the number of high-quality images and illustrations on sale. These can also be used to advertise your products, as well as on the other web pages on your website and, as you will see later, in your blog post.
Furthermore, high-quality images can help you to establish credibility among online content consumers. In fact, the quality of visuals is the number one criteria for assessing the credibility of the content and website. In one of the studies of the Stanford Web Credibility project, 46 percent of participants said exactly that.
The logo is a very important visual aspect, one that serves as a seed that your brand strategy will grow from. A place where visitors expect to see a company logo is in the upper left corner of your website, and that’s exactly where you will see it on most websites.
Now, if you run a small business, you might think that you don’t have the budget to finance a professional custom-tailored logo as they are pricey. But did you know that you can get a fantastic-looking and affordable logo created by a professional logo designer?
Before engaging in a relationship with a company, consumers like to get to know it. Actually, to be precise, 52% of visitors do. This is what the About Us page is for. To make it more appealing to the visitors and easier to relate to your business, including different forms of media. Why? Because if they have already bothered to visit it, you should reward them with attention-grabbing content.
Things worth considering:
Individual and team photos – these will help visitors to visualize your company. If you feel like adding some character to your brand, you can include photos of your team in action in-house, as well as shots of you having fun together outside the office.
Videos – a video on this page will help you to convey a powerful message in a matter of seconds for those that can’t be bothered to read.
Do you know that 38 percent of marketers say that blogging is the most important form of content for their business? Visual marketing comes in a close second with 37 percent, perhaps because articles with visual elements get 94 percent more views than the plain text ones. These facts lead to a simple conclusion: by incorporating visuals in your blog posts, you will increase its engagement potential.
The most common visuals used in the blog posts are photographs, illustrations, memes, and infographics. As I’ve already mentioned, a great source of images and illustrations for your blog are stock images. You should keep in mind that there are few rules to follow when it comes to incorporating these into your content strategy.
The rule of the thumb is consistency. The visuals should be consistent with your overall website design and theme. If you decide to go with illustrations, stick with your decision and try not to diverge from the plan by suddenly mixing them up with photographs. Using the right images from the same art category will help your visitors connect with your brand and this will boost your conversion rates.
The second rule restricts the amount of visual content found in a blog post. The cover image should be found in all of your blog posts. Besides a compelling headline, the cover image is the next thing that should compel the user to click and read the article. Additionally, the cover image should always be relevant to the article theme.
Generally, you should refrain from flooding your articles with images unless they complement the general purpose of your content. For instance, guide articles should contain screenshots or “how to” images, so that readers can visualize the solution and easily follow through.
When it comes to infographics, you should know that they are very powerful visual elements that you should leverage. They present a powerful synergy of data and images, and since people process images much faster than text, they can really engage visitors and make them want to stay until they are done “reading” an infographic.
YouTube has become the most popular platform for uploading and sharing video content. There are more than 1.3 billion YouTube users and 50 percent of those who are subscribed to channels would drop whatever they were doing to take a break and watch a new video on the channel they’ve subscribed to.
Becoming active on YouTube will definitely help you to extend your online presence, depending on how much time and money you put into it. Creating compelling videos is not an easy task. It is something that you will have to learn over time and get equipment if you want to appear professional to your audience.
YouTube is much more than sharing your business/product/service promotional video. Don’t forget about the social media aspect of it. Here are few tips on how to use YouTube for your business in order to increase engagement and conversion rates:
- Start regularly uploading new video content – This is the best way to start boosting your business credibility and visibility. Don’t have any ideas? Post interviews with staff, create series of behind the scene videos, break webinars and webcasts down into episodes, etc.
- Leverage the video description – Make sure to include your website link in the description below the video and ask viewers to go and check it out if they are interested. Things can start happening if you politely ask the audience to like, subscribe and click the links. The video description should be short (2-3 sentences) and informative. Make sure to stick a keyword or two when you are writing it.
- Don’t neglect the comment section – This is where you can directly engage in the conversation with your audience. Stay tuned and make sure to use the momentum and respond to the questions. Refrain from posting generic responses. Instead, personalize your interaction.
If this sounds like too much, don’t worry, there is an alternative. You can identify the most popular YouTuber in your industry and ask him to make a review video on one of your products or services. This way you will tap into his audience and video producing skills and drive more traffic to your website.
In the end, we come to social media marketing. Social media platforms have been used for business promotion for quite some time now. If you are not using visuals in your social media marketing strategy you should definitely start doing it, because competitors are already ahead of you. Actually, 74 percent of social media marketers use visuals in their SMM efforts.
If you are already doing it, don’t get too confident, there is always room for the improvement. Do you share blog post on your social media profile? Make sure to keep at least 20% of your blog posts shared through your official social media profile. It is better if you write a unique post message for each share. And, of course, include the cover image of the article. To spice up your visuals, you can add a portrait photo of the writer.
Infographics are also a viable content option for your posts on social media. They are engaging and can get a lot of shares, thus driving the attention exactly where you need it.
Since social media hits the sweet spot between community interaction and visual presentations, you should organize quizzes and giveaways every once in a while.
If you want to succeed in these efforts you absolutely have to look at visuals as an important asset to your digital marketing campaign. By carefully picking the right visuals to represent the information you want to convey, you will not only increase engagement and conversion but also overall user experience, thus keeping the visitors returning for more.
Dereck Gligorijevic is a blogger who is always willing to assist you in making a beautiful online home for your next big adventure!