People love visuals. It really is as simple as that. Want to engage your audience? Give them something to really connect to. They are already on the Internet looking to do so. And with so many options available for visual content delivery—photos, videos, gifs, infographics, animations, etc.—there's no excuse not to use them in some way.
Here are five tips to help you engage with your audience using visual content.
All visual content, be it a small static icon or an instructional video, carries a message. Remove it if it doesn’t carry a message because it is clutter. Similarly, if there is too much imagery it becomes cluttered and your message will be lost. Figure out what you want your visuals to say and make sure the message is clear. Get second opinions whenever possible. Just because you are sure your message is clear, doesn’t mean everyone else would agree.
Examples: Want to communicate that there are real, loving humans behind your brand? Why not post images about your outing to the local non-for-profit. Trying to convey how drastically using your product has helped other businesses? Offer informative graphic-focused charts rather than plain tables with numbers.
Keep It Short (and to the point)
This ties in with the previous point. Just like written content, visual content shouldn’t drag on unnecessarily. Too many relevant visuals create clutter. Your audience wants engagement, but not overwhelmed. Remember people have short attention spans, especially when it comes to the internet.
Example: Just because you have years of data to offer your potential clients, doesn't mean they want to see it all at once. Infographics should visually represent your message with as few steps and as little descriptive text as possible. With a few exceptions videos should also be as short and concise as possible. If you have multiple messages to deliver with video, make multiple videos.
Connect Emotionally & Inspire
What ads really stick with you? The ones that made you feel something. We've know every visual carries a message. Make sure that message resonates with your audience. Know your audience and use that knowledge to figure out what type of visuals they most connect to and crave. If you can crack that code you will inspire them to share your content.
Example: No matter what audience you are trying to reach understand what it is that's shared. Are they connecting to beautiful photography? Perhaps they are looking for clever memes. Or maybe they want beautifully animated infographics.
Sharing is Caring
Your audience wants to be heard. So hear them. Whenever possible ask for their visual contributions. Don't just create graphics yourself. Let your customers share their own visual stories. This is especially easy with the power of hashtags. This will solidify your relationship to the online community.
Example: Ask you customers to use relevant hashtags. Encourage them to respond to clever YouTube videos. Then share these creations to encourage more creations.
Make it Attractive and Current
Two points that go hand-in-hand. If it's not visually appealing people will not want to give it any mind. Know what your audience is attracted to TODAY. Today's taste will drastically change by tomorrow. Luckily, if you know your audience and maintain a strong relationship they will share with you what is current. Then it's just about adapting and offering them what they want.
Example: GIFs. GIFs have had quite the history of coming in style, then going out of style, now they are back with vengeance (presuming they are used appropriately and effectively).