In a world where consumers are constantly bombarded with advertising it its many forms, it’s no surprise that content marketing is ever on the rise. It’s the creation of valuable and relevant resources for a specific audience — without directly selling a product and service.
Encompassing blog posts, newsletters and social media, we tend to associate content marketing with written text. However, as digital technology has evolved, so too has the application of content marketing. Now, effective content marketing can — and should— incorporate visual elements including graphics, videos, infographics and images, and even virtual and augmented reality.
Taking a visual-first approach not only entices your audience to click on your content, but also keeps them around for longer and makes them more likely to retain information — with research showing people remember 80% of what they see, but only 20% of what they read.
The good news is, you don’t have to be a professional designer to create beautiful visuals that enhance your content marketing efforts. Read on for five simple design solutions that can help you create visual-first content:
Whether you’re working with blog post banners, email newsletter headers or social media posts, Canva makes it easy to create visually appealing content marketing assets for your brand or business. With a simple drag-and-drop functionality, it allows even complete beginners to create eye-catching designs in minutes. It has both a desktop and mobile app, so you can create and export your work even when you’re on the go.
Canva is also excellent for setting up templates which can be customized with your business branding and used to create marketing assets in bulk. While the basic app is free, you can also pay $12.95 to use Canva For Work, which allows you to set up visual style guides for your organization. You can also seamlessly collaborate with other people in your team and access unlimited storage for your designs.
Infographics are an underrated tool that can exponentially amplify your content marketing efforts. They’re an excellent way to add extra visual interest to your long-form content and visually represent complex information in a digestible way. Not only that, but according to research from Hubspot, infographics are shared three times more than any other visual content on social media.
Infogram is a web-based platform that allows you to quickly create engaging infographics. You just input the data you wish to convey and it converts it into your choice of over 35 types of charts which can then be combined into an infographic. You can also use Infogram to effortlessly create interactive maps, which can be helpful when used within blog posts, newsletters, or anywhere on your website.
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If you’re not already using video as part of your content marketing strategy, now is the time to take the leap. Research shows that videos get shared 1200% more than text and images combined and that video attracts 300% more web traffic. However, you don’t necessarily need to start a YouTube channel to harness the power of video. Videos can simply be used to enhance your current content marketing efforts. For example, data from Hubspot shows adding video to your emails can increase click rates by 300%.
Promo by Slidely is essentially the Canva of videos. Packed with hundreds of templates and royalty-free music and images, it allows you to easily create professional looking videos within minutes. Relied upon by brands like Disney, Bose, and Virgin, it’s not hard to see why it’s the number one video maker in the world. There are various pricing options, with the cheapest starting at $39 per month.
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According to CMI, 70% of consumers prefer to learn about a company via a blog and other kinds of content, making such efforts an integral part of any marketing strategy. Online publications allow you to build trust with your audience, establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry, and educate about your product offering and services. They also create enormous SEO potential for you to rank for your chosen keywords — particularly through long-form content.
However, when it comes to keeping your audience engaged throughout these longer reads, it’s important to think outside the box. Stock images are helpful, but they won’t always work without a stronger design strategy, and a deeper commitment to weaving your visual language through every piece of content you produce. Setka Editor is a tool that allows you to create magazine-quality editorial layouts and to include unique visual elements that enhance the reading experience, improve bounce rates, and increase time spent on page. The editor works within any platform or CMS to quickly and efficiently create a stunning visual content experience without CSS or HTML proficiency required.
Finally, there’s no denying the power of Instagram Stories, especially for businesses. They allow organizations to improve overall engagement on their account, build rapport with their customers, and drive traffic to other content marketing efforts such as a new blog post or sign-up form for your newsletter. However, with Instagram Stories being so widely utilized by businesses — one third of most-viewed Stories reportedly belong to companies — it’s important to stand out from the crowd.
Unfold is a free app that provides templates you can use to create beautiful Instagram Stories. You can choose from a range of shapes and effects to ensure your story design is truly unique. Simply add in your own images or videos, customize the fonts and colors, and export your design to your Stories to publish.