B2B content marketing without visual content has become the ignored stepchild of content marketing. It lurks in the corners and doesn’t gain the limelight. Here’s the takeaway: In a content-flooded world, you won’t stand out without engaging visuals.
Do you hold back from investing in visual content for fear of complicated programs and a large investment? Fear no more! Visual content creation is easier—and more essential—than ever before.
You’ve probably heard it before—visuals are a must in the content marketing arena. It was true then, and it only increases in value over time.
Let’s review why visual content is so vital to your overall B2B content strategy, and what you can do to get in the game.
Why You Need to Leverage Visuals in Your B2B Content Marketing
Images Help People Remember Your Brand
Using well-defined styles in your visual content helps establish your brand in people’s minds. Create images that encapsulate your company’s personality and your brand will be more recognizable.
Add your brand’s logo to each image, and it will be an extra step that imprints your brand on the mind of your audience.
Take this example from one of my blog posts. In every piece of visual content, I include my logo—here it’s centered at the very bottom. It’s not the primary focus, but it’s there so that people will associate the piece with my brand. Small details like this can go a long way towards enhancing brand awareness.
“Brands are creating content that informs and entertains customers with the intent to engage and eventually convert them.” –Juntae Dulane
They Trigger an Emotional Response
Visuals are a powerful tool in generating the right emotions in your readers. Psychology has proven that certain colors are inherently linked to emotions within the human brain.
For example, orange evokes playful and energetic emotions, while blue creates a trustworthy and overall inviting feeling. Colors play a major role in how your audience interacts with your content.
Even the symmetry (or asymmetry) of your image can add to this emotional element. You can create feelings of chaos or order, intimacy or isolation, all within the layout of your visual graphics.
Take this example from Cisco Security. The color blue inspires trustworthiness—the exact feeling you want from your security software. And the icons inspire confidence in the brand’s technical abilities.
People Are on Content Overload
The internet is an overflowing sea of content — with more being added every nanosecond! So why do visuals help? For starters, 65% of people are visual learners, with the human brain processing images 60,000 times faster than text. I don’t know about you, but that’s the kind of power I want working for me.
The easier it is for your audience to process your information, the more they will retain, and the longer they will remain on your content.
Take this infographic from General Electric, with its statistical data and graphs. If this was made into straight textual content, it would be dry and boring. Yet, in this colorful and lively infographic, the information is easier to absorb with the key points easy to grasp.
“If you find that words alone fail to grab your audience’s attention, create infographics that would visually appeal to them”–Neal Schaffer
Social Media Demands It
Visuals are the media part of B2B social media marketing — it’s a key reason we log on and engage. If you want your content to be shareable, visual graphics are essential. When is the last time you shared an article with no image? Or clicked on a title with no image on social media? Mostly likely, rarely to never. That’s because images are the lifeblood of social media.
If you hope to incorporate social media effectively into your content marketing (it’s a necessity in this day and age), then images are an imperative.
Adobe shows how to create killer content that gets uber results. Take their Twitter page. Within seconds, they show off their visual content skills with video, a slideshow, and images associated with every post. Their variety of visual content keeps their audience happy.
“Social media is the quickest, most efficient, and most cost-effective way to communicate your message to the world” –Neal Schaffer
It’s Great For SEO
Images play a humungous part in SEO best practices. Every image you use should be optimized for SEO—to do this, all you need is to use your target keyword in your image’s title, file name, and alt text. While this is not visible to site visitors, it will be visible to (and carry a lot of weight) with search engines.
Plus, every time that a visual element gets shared, it adds another backlink that improves your SEO.
8 Cool Tools to Add to Your Visual Content Creation Toolbox
Every social network has its own dimensions for images—but doing them all by hand can be a chore. Make it easier with this handy tool from Sprout Social, which allows you to pick the dimension that looks the best for your social network.
This tool makes it super easy to create an interactive multimedia slideshow. The combination of cool art effects, music, and your own images produces an engaging story Plus, it syncs with your Facebook, Instagram, and Flickr account to make visual creation a breeze.
This is really several tools in one. It allows you to pick specific, social-media-related sizes, and add from a library of free visual and text elements to create visually engaging and compelling images. Canva also has a variety of templates for a very professional look.
This cinematographic tool brings your ordinary photos to life—almost literally. It adds movement to key parts of your photo, drawing in the eye and making the image pop.
5. Awesome Screenshot
Do you have an instructional post where you would like to visually walk people through the steps? This handy tool allows you to do this in minutes—take a screenshot, and then use this tool to mark it up with arrows, boxes, and text that will create a visual guide for your audience.
Want to produce helpful infographics, but don’t know where to start? Infogr.am makes it an easy process—just choose your template, input your information (data, images, and branding), and watch the program bring your infographic to life. Once done, it provides easy-to-share formats so you can get the final product out to your audience.
Interested in adding video to your visual B2B content strategy repertoire? Have no fear. Camtasia is here. This tool is perfect for how-to and demonstration videos. It allows you to simultaneously take a video of your screen and add voice-over to bring your audience on a hands-on journey to your desktop.
Many brands have found it useful to incorporate whiteboard animation into their video line-up. This online tool draws whiteboard-style using your own images. You can then add voice-over, as well as your own music. At the end, it will look like you hired a professional whiteboard animator to draw what this program does in a matter of minutes.
A Few Points to Keep in Mind…
- In this age of social media, visual content is an absolute necessity for any B2B business
- Visual content is an essential part of SEO best practices
- Nowadays, people are overloaded with content and retain information better when it’s presented visually
- Colorful images are a great way to engage your readers emotionally in what they read
And remember, making data come to life is easy when you pair good information with striking graphics, take a look at our infographic and explore more.