8 Types of Visual Marketing Content You Should Know About
90% of the information that is transmitted to the brain is visual. A quick glance through startup websites or your social media newsfeed confirms that brands have taken this information and run with it, creating all types of visual content — from memes to full-on video productions — to hook their audience.
The effective impact of business visuals can be categorized into two main end goals:
1. Building a visual brand identity: The visual content and design choices you make for your brand are just as influential as your written content. The key to a memorable and recognizable brand persona includes a content strategy that weaves photos, videos and graphics into text in one unified style.
2. Expanding reach: Visuals are portable, digestible, and easier to share than ever…Create irresistible content and let your audience’s sharing power do the rest of the work and spread the word about your brand.
We’ve compiled a list of visual content types with these two intentions in mind to give you an overview of what’s available for your brand, and ideas on how to create and implement them. While some visual content formats have been discussed and viewed ad nauseum (ahem, infographics) some of these business visuals might surprise you!
Content You Should Be Using For Visual Marketing
|1. Illustrated E-books||2. Infographics|
|3. Videos||4. Interactive Videos|
|5. Interactive Infographics||6. Demo Videos|
|7. Animated Slideshows||8.Animated GIFs|
1. Illustrated E-books
E-books are ideal for establishing authority in a given topic and thereby expanding your audience. They are long enough to provide publishers with more space to expand on information than an infographic, yet short enough to be read in one sitting. They widely differ in content and goals, but each have some very important things in common — they have a long shelf life, potentially as long as your homepage video, and they are also incredibly portable. E-books are often used as the main content piece in a long-term promotional campaign to grow a brand’s email list. You’ve probably seen this several times yourself, or even sacrificed your own contact information to gain access to a particularly juicy piece of information.
A major thing to keep in mind with an e-book is it’s longevity. It’s a significant piece of content that will represent a brand for quite a while, and visually speaking it should be treated as such. It’s often the most lasting trace of a brand’s first impression that will stay with the customer, so…it pays to do it right.
Because it’s lengthier and packs more content, make sure you don’t just deliver a pdf file transferred from a Word document. Take care when you’re formatting the e-book, consider some illustrations or graphics, and take advantage of the amazing opportunity you have received to brand yourself.
Mighty Meeting‘s illustrated e-book matches perfectly with their video assets and website!
Infographics are now so ubiquitous that it’s hard to remember a time when every other blog post or article wasn’t just an intro and outro for it’s own infographic content. Some great explanations of infographics and their impact have been written, so if you’re interested in a detailed description of infographics and why they are effective, get started with this Forbes article.
Meanwhile, I’d like to explore what infographics can be used for, and what sort of information looks best in a static infographic, perhaps unbeknownst to you, you’ve been sitting on some valuable fodder for a piping hot new ‘graphic.
- Visualize data from a recent survey
If your goal is to build brand identity, make an infographic of your annual report or past milestones met and use this to show off the progress you’ve made to advocate for future resources.
Infographics that increase brand awareness can visualize the latest stats on a topic that affects your niche.
[Click to enlarge]
- Explain a complicated concept
Tech based and medical companies can greatly benefit from introducing their latest product or service offering in a visually stimulating way.
An infographic branded PSA or tech hack can give your audience something of value but also bring attention to your brand.
- Comparing two things
Either/Or constructions and long-winded explanations may make your point, but often the most effective comparison is a simple split screen with one element next to the other. Use such a construction to show the industry average versus your own company.
Create a before and after visual of the state of your product 10 years ago, and what it looks like now — the visual juxtaposition will both educate and lure your audience.
[Click to enlarge]
Check it out on Flikli’s own styleguide!
- Visualize a larger than life concept
Sometimes the impact of your business deals with such massive numbers and volume that a comparative visualization is the best way to bring it home to your audience. If you are an environmental or tech company with equipment in space, remote places or far underground (or underwater) an infographic can put a massive scale into one big visualization.
Take astronomic numbers and figures from your industry niche and make them scalable…
[Click to enlarge]
This infographic had to visualize one whale of a concept…
Infographics are even more portable than explainer videos. They can be downloaded or printed out to be used as pamphlets and posters. If it’s a particularly useful piece of content, then the possibility of a viral impact can generate volumes of traffic for your site for a relatively minor investment. As with every piece of visual brand content, make sure you keep your infographics statistically accurate and visually attractive for the best impact.
As Flikli is primarily an explainer video agency, it goes without saying that we’re pretty into videos. Why? Besides the simple and undeniable fact that people love video and it makes your message look great…We actually have an entire article dedicated to the benefits of video.
Meanwhile, if you’re just starting to get a feel for visual marketing and the different types of visual content now, here are some astounding facts you should know about video content:
- Posts with videos attract 3x more inbound links than plain text posts (SEOmoz)
- In a Custom Content Council study, 62% of respondents reported using video in their content marketing (Custom Content Council)
Videos aren’t only useful in introducing a particular product or service. While an explainer video on your homepage and social media channels works to spread the news about your brand efficiently, you can also use animated videos to become an industry expert in your niche, or as social proof of your brand.
We’ll let our video do the talking here:
Consider using a video to:
- Train new staff
- Help clients understand complex topics in your niche
- Bring testimonials to life
- Make yourself more visible in search engines
4. Interactive Videos
Interactive videos are the next level of video. According to a recent study by Sizmek, interactive video has already gained steam in mature markets and is poised to go global by 2014.
This linear video has an interactive overlay that allows viewers to easily click to relevant information and resources
As a brand tool, interactive videos are invaluable, given their power to put the audience in the driver’s seat to drive their own visual experience. An interactive menu lets your viewers watch a short video on one of your products or features, and then hop right back to a list of other possibilities. Meanwhile, ‘choose your own adventure style’ videos can help you cater to different customer personas in one fell stroke by letting them click through decisions in their personal buyers journey.
The possibilities for interactive video content are endless, but their greatest feature is giving your viewers an unforgettable and personalized visual experience directly on your site.
5. Interactive Infographics
If you’re looking for a great way to share specific statistics about your industry that could possibly touch on a pain point or trigger a personal connection with your target audience, put it in an interactive infographic. Not only will you reap the given benefits of attractive data visualization via your infographic, but you will also help your different customer personas tailor the information they receive to make it more applicable to their lives.
6. Demo Videos
Demo videos are an offshoot of our previous video category, and are also known as ‘screencast’ or ‘how-to’ videos.
The saying ‘show don’t tell’ will take you far when you’re explaining a process — whether it details how, where and when to sign up for something, explains how to use a particularly complex aspect of your product, or leading your audience on a tour of your tools features.
Deckstream combined animation with a screencast to demonstrate their product in an engaging way!
7. Animated Slideshows
This one may seem like a given, but it’s a scandalous truth that all around the world ‘death by PowerPoint’ is still happening — even when you can add animated timed transitions into your PowerPoint! No matter how dry your last quarter finance reports may seem, they, too deserve to be presented in a dynamic and exciting way.
Financial reports aren’t the only slideshows worth animating. In professional circles, Slideshare has become a potent B2B engagement platform, and is strictly dedicated to publishing and sharing slidedecks. If you’ve got a past presentation that might be relevant to others, you can easily make that into marketing content that continues to work for you long after the presentation is over. Consider jazzing the presentation up with big fonts, plenty of visuals, and a touch of animation of course — it’s too easy, and a great way to establish authority on a subject in your niche in a catchy, shareable format.
8. Animated GIFs
Animated GIFs….Aren’t those the ridiculous internet memes passed around sites like 9gag and imgur? Well, yes (In case the terms ‘GIF’ ‘9gag,’ and ‘imgur’ are foreign to you, check out our short refresher on GIFs here). But with the ability to post them across Twitter and Google+, and hack it onto Facebook, gifs are actually becoming more popular within the realm of business visuals as well.
GIFs are incredibly short — a few stills packed together to send a short, shareable message. We’ve also cooked some up here at Flikli as an extracurricular project. It beats a static image because, while it’s limited to a few seconds, it still tells a pretty logical and emotional story. Entire coherent conversations can be had using gifs, see: tumblr.
How do you reappropriate these little snippets to your business? Use a fun GIF to increase brand awareness by:
Showing off your products in a clever visual bite
Showcasing a fun side of company culture
Flikli’s FLK blog regularly publishes pieces on visual content marketing and video content– if you found this post valuable, you’ll enjoy our monthly tidbits as well, sign up for them here!
in Visual Marketing
on 9 October 2014
Jill of all trades and enthusiastic latte artist. Réka has redonned her Hungarian hat and set up shop in Eastern Europe to soak in the trademark kitsch and grunge...and to give the world a big bay window into Flikli life. In the off hours she produces some strings of words that rarely peek their heads out, and plays with pretty pictures on Tumblr. You can find real-time Reka on Google+