There’s always something new to learn, an innovative strategy to uncover and a potentially successful hypothesis to use in an experiment. But in the midst of the ever-evolving infrastructureof the online world, one thing is becoming increasingly clear: visual content is the way of the future.
Sure, written content will still have its place -- at least for the next few years. But entrepreneurs that are refusing to get on board with this new frontier of visual content will almost certainly miss out.
I’ve always found visual content tricky for small businesses, particularly when it comes to video content. It seems that business owners feel really hesitant about implementing it, despite the huge demand from consumers.
Perhaps it’s a fear of transparency and putting yourself out there. After all, the Internet is a pretty brutal place -- especially YouTube. Maybe it’s a concern that visual content in general will be too expensive to produce to justify the investment. But you can’t hide behind fear forever.
Visual content continues to rise in popularity throughout the web. It’s what people want, and as digital entrepreneurs, it’s what we need to supply.
Types of visuals to use
I believe that what we currently know about visual content is just the beginning. It will continue to evolve as consumers grow more and more innovative in their desires.
But, for now, there seem to be six main types of visual content companies should focus on:
- Video: Remember, YouTube is a social network that comes with a pre-loaded community just waiting to see how your business can inform and entertain them. Facebook has also made a huge push toward video the past few months.
- Photography: This includes stock photos, but it also encompasses photos that you can take of yourself, your company and your team. This type of photography can add an incredibly personal element to your digital marketing.
- Infographics: I’m convinced that your average consumer won’t appreciate data unless it’s laid out in an infographic format. Chances are, your business has some form of data that it can use to engage and captivate your audience. Put it to good use with an infographic.
- Screenshots: As a digital entrepreneur, I do a lot of mind maps, workflows and product designs that could benefit my audience. Instead of putting together something fancy, sometimes a simple screenshot will suffice.
- Memes: Not everyone is funny. If you’re not, that’s OK. But for entrepreneurs that can wield humor well, don’t be afraid to jump on a popular meme and give your take.
- Graphics: These are miscellaneous graphics and vectors that often work well as featured images, quote photos or other visuals that complement your content.
Whether you want measurable content-marketing success or simply need a stronger impact on social media, it all comes down to visuals. Don’t mistake it for a fad. In fact, the popularity of visual marketing is only going to increase. You’ve got to get on board and start the process now before it’s too late.
Making the visual-content investment
High-quality visual content requires a commitment. You’ve got to decide that it’s worth the investment for your brand (it is).
Once you decide to go all in, there are a couple of things you need to do to prepare. With the right preparation, you’ll see great results along this new frontier.
Create a strategy that fits your brand.
Not everyone is cut out to be a video personality. That’s just the harsh truth. As an entrepreneur, it’s important to play to your strengths while being keenly aware of your weaknesses. You know what will work for your brand and what won’t.
Don’t try to develop a strategy based on what you think is popular. Cater it to the strengths of your brand, its messaging and its goals. That may mean that you focus only on infographics in the beginning, or that you go all out with video.
Make it personal, and make it good.
Get a team to help you succeed.
Entrepreneurs often fall into the trap of trying to do everything on their own. But it doesn’t need to be that way. In fact, the most successful entrepreneurs understand the power of surrounding yourself with brilliant people. If you aren’t a designer or videographer, don’t be afraid of enlisting the help of someone else.
Visual content has a lot of moving parts, from script writing, outlining, storyboards, graphic design to cinematography and more. Once you understand your strategy, find people that can help you make it a reality.
Are you ready for the future of visual content? Are you actively investing in this new frontier?
If you’re already making the move into visual content, share your best tips and tricks for doing so by leaving a comment below.