Humans are without a doubt, the most visual creatures on earth. Nothing entices us more than anything that is pleasing to look at–eye candies if you may. In fact, the human brain processes images approximately sixty thousand times faster than ordinary written text. Now, here’s a fact that may blow you away: We retain only about ten percent of what we hear and twenty percent of what we read and a whopping eighty percent of what we see. Now, should you be a wise digital marketer, you would find ways to creatively exploit this human quirk or trait.
Suppose you are an online marketing agency specializing in link building services, this fact alone should send idea pings and signals to your head. As it is, most, if not all digital marketers would want their content seen and above all, shared. For social media specialists and marketers, this means one thing: Peppering your posts with eye-popping images would almost guarantee you more shares as more shares denote better engagement. In fact, it has been shown that visual content largely dominates social media, much more than written text. By now, you should have an idea of just how significant the usage of images is, but as there is profusion and a multitude of options when it comes to images, it begs the question: What sort of images should you use?
Well, a recent survey has shown that despite the influx of videos, infographics and illustrations lately, people would still prefer the classic take by reading posts laden with a variety of photographs. However, if you include animated gifs into the mix, then photographs pale in comparison as animated graphics seems to dominate the charts when it comes to the total social shares by blog post image type. Instagram and Twitter already has an avenue for animated gifs to be played, while Tumblr has always been littered with posts teeming with animated gifs. It seems that only until recently Facebook was left out of the loop. But late last year, the social media juggernaut has finally allowed GIFS to be playable in their news feed making this image type a formidable contender in being the preferable image platform. As bloggers and content writers, this is a welcome opportunity for you to widen the scope of making your posts more engaging.
USING ANIMATED GIFS
By utilizing GIFS, your audience is not limited to seeing stills and photos nor are they constrained to watch a video. This makes the image platform a welcome compromise to the dilemma of wanting to watch a video without the lengthy interval as gifs are relatively short and quick to view—nothing more than a few seconds of your audience’s time. And that is not all; GIFS are quite easy to use as finding the appropriate one for your post does not take much of your effort other than scanning through available and existing gifs in Giphy.com which is offered for free. However, should you not find anything suitable; you can easily create one for your own with the online tool gifmaker.com. Quite easy to use, very straightforward and engaging, these attributes are precisely why gifs have been dominating social media platforms all over the web.
You may think that utilizing illustrations is a bit old-school and outdated. Although this may be true, it is unbeknownst to most, illustrations give your content, blogs and posts that personal feel that would give your readers the impression that you considered giving your write-ups enough effort to go the extra mile of making them a lot more personalized and detailed. Additionally, personalized illustrations guarantee your posts a sense of peculiarity and inimitability at some degree. Graphs made by excel will never be at par to graphs made with artistic skill and given a touch of personality. How is this achieved? Simple, you utilize your own handwriting and your own skills in drafting graphs. You do not need to be in possession of calligraphy skills and artistic panache, but you do need to make sure your handwriting and drawings are understandable enough to your readers. Your sketches may look nothing more than doodles to you, but you can be assured that they attract and hold the attention of your readers and since they are created by hand rather than by a machine, it gives the illustration a certain edge above the others.
Apart from illustrations giving your posts a personalized color, it also allows the poster for humor to pervade his or her post. Let us face it, humor can hardly be achievable with rigidly stiff lines and graphs drawn on excel. Squiggly lines and haphazardly drawn graphs are incomparable to computer generated shapes and charts.
Utilization of infographics is the powerhouse of content with substantial information. Though, it is not as effective as it used to be, it is still shareable content that will still stomp the competition. Infographics are quite difficult to make and requires quite a bit of time, but it is possible to make them and still have your message conveyed. There is a multitude of infographic creation tools online, but there are three creation tools that are a cut above the rest. These are:
*Canva- Canva is the well-known image creator and image editor for the web. People who have no design skills will still be able to create attractive graphics fast.
*Google Charts- Although, you would still need to save the charts to use them as pieces for your infographic, Google offers you one of the best free infographic tools available.
*Infogr.am- If you want an infographic generator that is teeming with options, then Infogr.am should be your choice as it offers more options for free than most of its competitors. Additionally, it’s built-in sharing functionality and ease of use makes this the prime choice for bloggers and content writers who want to insert infographics into their posts.
Though you can use photos randomly generated by stock photos or searched for in search engines, using your own photos guarantees your post a degree of authenticity and originality. However, as not all of us are gifted with a photographer’s eye, this is easier said than done. Should you have top notch standards for visual content, it is best if you consider hiring a professional photographer—one whose works are in line and appropriate for the type of content you generate. If this is not an option, use your smartphone and just give it your best attempt. In any case, your photographs may look like they have been taken by an amateur, they are still far better than photos collected from stock photos.
If you want compelling content that would be shared and re-shared by your audience, let them feast their eyes on something other than a big block of text. Creating inspired images does not have to be expensive as you can even do it with a simple sketch achieved through a pencil or through an online free software such as Canva.
So, fellow bloggers and content writers, let your words paint a literal picture for you by utilizing various platforms in images. It will certainly do wonders for your SEO, and it will do wonders in granting you wide readership.