Using Visual Content to Increase Engagement: A 12 Step Program

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Did you know that a post containing visuals gets 94 percent more views than posts without any visuals? Here are some examples of how you can make your post stand out with visual content.

Screenshots

One of the best things about screenshots is the speed with which you can make some. With screenshots, you can save time that you would have to otherwise spend on designing. You can actually write a good post with just the screenshots. If you are not comfortable using the Print Screen function on your desktop or laptop, get software like Jing. If you are using an iMac, you can use Skitch.

Graphs and Charts

If you want to post heavy duty details, you can back them up with graphs and charts. You can get these from Google Analytics. Graphs and charts are quickly recognized and make it easier to follow stories. Graphs are useful in storytelling and can help people visualize your post.

Slide-Shares

A slide-share is basically a revamped presentation. No more dull looking slides with cramped text. Note that slide-shares should be prepared carefully because in most cases, there is no presenter to explain the content.

You can make slide-shares for list posts, storytelling or even a short tutorial. Make sure that each slide contains a single thought and has a short phrase or sentence to explain it. Each slide should ease into the next and be interesting, so that the user is encouraged to keep flipping the slides.

Webinars, Video Courses and Screen-Shares

Video Tutorials and WebinarsIf you run video courses for live viewers on your website, webinars can give your business a new dimension. If you get it right, webinars can show that you know your content, are comfortable with questions and are happy to receive feedback.

Educational websites can benefit from sharing screen-shares in posts. You can also create screen-shares from a series of older posts. It will breathe new life into them and help you refresh the content to your viewers.

Custom Headers and Illustrations

If you want your posts to have more personality, infuse them with some custom headers and illustrations. Custom headings can make posts more engaging. Your viewers will be hooked before they even know it.

If you are trying to explain a complex idea, such graphics can become a bridge to help readers grasp what you are teaching. Custom headers and illustrations can give your website or post a deeper personality. Another benefit is, your customers will come to associate your brand with the illustrations, making it easily recognizable if they are shared elsewhere. If you can cannot make illustrations on your own, no problem. You can always engage a designer to do it for you. You can find some good ones on Dribble.com.

Instagram and Vines

Visual Engagement with Instagram and Vine

You can also add interesting posts with short videos. You can create such videos with services like Vine and Instagram. Each of these videos will only be 6 to 15 seconds long so you have to be very creative when making these videos. Keep the video simple and try leveraging descriptions and subtitles for the content.

Infographic

If you want your post to be memorable, try converting the content into an infographic. Infographics are shareable because they are interesting. Sometimes, you may have to present statistics and numbers and these are normally very dull. By converting them into a infographic, you can make the data impactful.

You do not have to be a graphic designer to create an infographic. There are many tools such as Visme which allow you to create infographics, presentations and charts for free.

Social Images with Quotes

Quotable images are also a good way to make your posts more interesting. Just pick some interesting thoughts from your content and place them on relevant images and you are done.

Social images are also easy to share. The result is, more people will read your posts. Social images are also very popular on Twitter. Buffer recently said that tweets with embedded images are 150 percent more likely to be shared than other tweets. You can quote ideas from guest writers, authors, or even ask questions on the images.

Animated gifs and Memes

Animated memes are unlike social images. The best thing about them is that they can go viral. Memes are usually ironic, funny and they use pop culture. They build on situations or themes that people are already familiar with and give them a new context. If you do not have time to create sample images, you can get some from Meme Generator; just add content later.

Animated gifs are another form of memes. The only drawback is, they cannot be shared on Facebook.

Interactive Visuals

Interactive visuals are not very common and that is precisely why you should make them. Readers are looking for uncommon experiences and when they see an interactive visual, they are more likely to read your post because they are curious. Adding audio to the interactive visual is also a good idea.

Data Visualization

If you are making some claims in your post, be ready to back it up with proof. Use this chance to transform that data into visual form. People love data, especially when it is in a story form.

Content Generated by Users

If your website or blog has a dedicated fan following, you can use user-generated data in your posts. It is a good way to involve the audience in content creation. Do not forget to quote them. Your followers will be happy that you have given them a greater say in the discussion and they will welcome the opportunity.

You can start by holding a caption contest and invite people to give their take on an illustration or cartoon.

Some types of visual content work better in certain situations than others. Keep experimenting with different types of visuals until you find the right mix and then continue using them as often as you can. Try to keep the quality of the visual content high. A grainy, irrelevant or distorted image will not help you. Ideally, the visual should be able to stand on its own without any need for the content. As much as possible, keep the size of the visual content lesser than 100 Kb. The best posts are those that weave visuals and content into a story.

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