How To Create an Effective Visual Marketing Strategy For Your Blog

Visual content is a powerful tool: Visuals attract attention, engage, get shared, and keep your brand memorable.

But more importantly, visual content is a versatile one. You can incorporate it into every strategy, from lead generation to conversions, from boosting traffic to brand visibility.

visual strategy

Visuals attract attention, engage, get shared, and keep your brand memorable. But more importantly, visual content is a versatile one. You can incorporate it into every strategy, from lead generation to conversions, from boosting traffic to brand visibility.

Your visual strategy should inform on any marketing effort you make, and strengthen your overall digital assets to solidly increase success.

But what does it mean for you? There is almost no possible way you haven’t at been using visual content already.

But are you getting the most out of it?

Here are some ways you can improve your visual strategy, and start really reaping the benefits.

Know What Your Audience Wants

Your audience is looking for something pretty specific, even if they don’t know it. They want high quality, entertaining, informative, and a host of other adjectives that are going to vary somewhat depending on your niche.

One of the most crucial steps to improving engagement is to have a genuine understanding of what it is your audience is most attracted to. Because it isn’t all about being seen; you could have a piece of content viewed 1,000 times on Twitter, but if it isn’t shared or commented on, is it really being effective?

This is the delicate distinction between visibility and engagement that not everyone understands. If those 1,000 Twitter followers don’t share your visuals, then next time the same 1,000 people will see the next piece of content instead of, say, 1,100 that have increased from that former share.

Engagement should always be the goal. So know what will push them to engage.

>>> Actionable items:

  • Use Pinterest and Twitter analytics at least weekly to understand what works best for your audience. Try to understand why a specific visual got more attention than the others and incorporate your findings into your blog editorial calendar!
  • Create timely visuals. Schedule fun memes to congratulate your audience on big holidays. But not only that. Use these calendars of weird holidays, notable anniversaries and birthdays to post related visuals and visual quotes. Both work extremely well for engagement!

National Polar Bear Day

[Look at this example of Coca-Cola celebrating National Polar Bear Day. How can one not share it?]

Look At What Is Working For Others

The most obvious place to look for audience interests is in what is working from others. Given how likely it is that your content viewers are looking at others within your niche, the information is right there for the taking.

You don’t know need to know the view numbers, you need to see the rate of engagement and begin developing a pattern to follow.

Social platforms are going to be the biggest source for this data, as people are more likely to comment and share there than on blogs. But that doesn’t discount the numbers shown on the websites themselves. Really, any share numbers or comments there will be a big indication of what is working.

>>> Actionable items:

  • If you don’t know your competitors yet or you want to expand your list, use this simple tool
  • Use  to (1) Find your competitors’ most popular blog posts and (2) Analyze your competitors’ Facebook marketing tactics: Loads of info to learn from!

BuzzSumo

[Top content of my competitor identified by BuzzSumo]

Try Asking For Feedback IN The Content With Apester

This is a personal favorite of mine, and one of the best marketing apps available. Apester is a digital storytelling application that creates feedback surveys directly in visual content. You have probably seen them on websites and even embedded in videos.

Each survey presents a single, simple question and a few multiple choice answers. Not only is it a great way to get viewer information, it is an automatic engagement tool that is effortless on the side of the one being asked.

You can also send people from one to another in a unique journey that will expose them to more content while they respond along the way. Very cool, and very effective.

>>> Actionable item:

To see who is using Apester, and how you might emulate the more engaging of those customers, check out this list. Not everyone has quite figured out how to utilize the tool to their advantage yet, but those who do are seeing real number increases in their overall data. It is hard not to be impressed.

Apester in action

Create Better Images Using Pablo and Canva

Of course, improving visual content engagement might start with just having better visual content, period. If you have found your own lagging it might be time to start considering that the quality is the problem which is where both Pablo and Canva can step in.

Both are really easy to use content production tools that work across multiple formats (infographics, edited images, banners, charts, etc). They take a lot of the necessary knowledge and skill out of the process, and instead let you follow step by step tools and drag and drop features to make something professional grade. Great news for all of us who never went to school for graphic design.

Best of all, both are affordable.

>>> Actionable items:

  • Both Pablo and Canva are essentially free tools. What you pay for are the photos that you use to create your visuals. You can use your favorite source of photos and upload your own pictures, though, saving money. Here’s my favorite source of high-quality photography but there are many more sites.
  • Create templates! Canva lets you create and re-use templates: You can change text, the concept, and the background image (see above) but use the pre-made template to save time. This ensures your blog visual content is branded in the same way which makes your site more memorable.

Cyfe dashboard

Visualize Your Data and Old Content

Your old content provides loads of visual marketing inspiration. Look at your blog archive and identify content that you can turn into a cheat sheet, an infographic or into a visual white paper.

The idea is, if one particular article is doing well, chances are, its visual version will result in another boost. Plus it will give you the opportunity to re-enforce the success of the original by linking to it from the new content.

Here’s an awesome example of such visualization in action: FirstSiteGuide has turned their web guide into a PDF, created a “visual roadmap” of the tutorial and built a visual “guide structure” showing the contents of the guide. This way, the visualizations have provided new opportunities for marketing and lead generation!

Visualization of existing content

>>> Actionable items:

To turn your old content into a visual asset, use these visualization tools and resources:

Know Each Platform Specifics

People tend to pick a platform based on overall popularity, but how well do you know it? Each platform has its specifics when it comes to visual content.

  • Maybe you are using Twitter, but the content could benefit from further context and elaboration.
    • Tip: Don’t flood your feed with visuals on Twitter because images, while improving engagement, may also irritate and result in some unfollows. Use images only a couple of times a day when you want to diversify your Twitter feed.
  • Or perhaps you want direct CTAs and so Instagram with its ban on description linking isn’t really the place for you.
  • You could be lagging in viewers because of Facebook’s bizarre criteria on what qualifies as promotional, and so half your content isn’t being reached by your audience (boost pandering from an increasingly finicky platform).
    • Tip: Use this tool to see if your image qualifies for Facebook promoted ads.

Consider adapting your visual strategy to each platform keeping in mind its specific guidelines (especially if you are planning to re-enforce your strategy by investing in advertising campaigns).

>>> Actionable item:

Use a social media dashboard to keep an eye on your blog stats and your social media channels to spot a good trend the moment it comes. This will make it easier for you to analyze your multiple marketing channels and compare them.

I use Cyfe which is very cheap and lets me see the stats from my own blog, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., all on one page. If one of my visuals does particularly well, Cyfe lets me see it the day it happens:

Cyfe social media monitoring dashboard

There is also that it is ignoring many other networks that might be beneficial. How is your strategy on Pinterest? Have you ever considered Reddit? What about Quora?

Social platforms vary a great deal, and it is important that you take that into account.

Do you have any tips for visual content engagement? Let us know in the comments!

Comments

    • says

      Thanks for reading, Sue! You are right, Canva totally rocks!

  1. says

    Hi Sue,
    This post of your is really a piece of good information. I have already been using Pinterest for same that you have stated and even use canva to generating good info-graphics.

    Also thanks for sharing.
    Robin khokhar recently posted…6 Ways TO Make Money OnlineMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks for the comment, Robin! Pinterest rocks, especially if you figure out how to use it.

  2. says

    Hey Jessy,

    Nice article down here. Thanks for sharing with us. Before now I understand deeply that creating effective graphics works great as they say a picture is worth over a thousand words.

    That’s why I’ve chosen to further my photoshop skills over the past few months and while I’m getting better at it. I make use of tools like Canva and Pablo like you mentioned earlier.

    Those are great tools.

    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    -Babs.

  3. says

    Hi, Jessy,

    This is a good volume on visual content strategy. I love it.

    Nice to read your post here. And I must confess it’s a metric ton of information on visual content. Most of the apps are unfamiliar but that stops today, right?

    I’ve always been a fan of canva and have used it occasionally.

    I strongly resonate with all the points, but have always known 1 and 2. Now that you’ve shoved these dollops of useful information on us, I’m off to getting my hands dirty.

    Thanks for the great tips, Jessy. Hope you’ll have a wonderful week.

    – Yusuff Busayo.

  4. says

    Awesome list, Sue!

    I’ve used Pablo and Canva before…they are great tools to make quick images for your posts on social media. I’m intrigued by Apester – I haven’t heard of that tool. Going to check it out now.

    Thanks so much for this information.

  5. says

    Thanks for sharing an extremely valuable post Jesse!

    And for sharing so many awesome, and extremely helpful
    resources and tools.

    Now, thanks to your outstanding post, I not only have a much
    better understanding, of the vitally important role visuals play in
    our content marketing strategy, but you’ve also given us some awesome
    tools, and other resources to help apply what
    we’ve learned!Thanks!

    And thanks for showcasing him Sue!
    Mark recently posted…How Extremely Savvy Small Business Owners Effectively Out Market Their Big Buck Major Competitors!My Profile

  6. says

    Hey Jessy,

    I’m slowly getting into using more visual content.

    You provided a lot of information on different tools we can use. So far I’m only using Pablo and Canva and they have been working out great.

    I want to start creating my own infographics. So far I’ve been using visual.ly for ready made infographics. I think it’s a good idea to use content you’ve already written to create infographics.

    Thanks for sharing! Have a great upcoming weekend!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…Commit, Connect, Convert (3 Tricks To Becoming An Online Heavyweight)My Profile

  7. says

    Hi, Jesse. This is a great post.

    The Pablo by Buffer is new to me. They also got the Chrome Extension.

    Along with FlatIcon, there are sites like Iconmonstr, Fontello and IcoMoon. They have a wide variety of CC icons.

    Turning content into visual assets is something I have to concentrate on. The whole web is now turning visual. If you want the readers appreciate your content, visual content is the best bet.

    Good tools for creating infographics.
    Cheers.
    Akshay recently posted…The Complete Guide to Blog TypographyMy Profile

  8. says

    Hi Jessy,

    Thanks for pulling back the curtain and getting into some specifics about this important topic.

    You made some excellent points such as the one about not flooding the feed with visuals on Twitter because it might upset some people.

    Great to see you’re a Canva fan too

    I’m going to take on board what you said about repurposing or boosting popular old blog posts. Smart idea.

    Thanks to you again, and thanks to Sue for introducing you to us

    Kim
    Kim Willis recently posted…“I Know That Already” (Sure you do, snigger snigger)My Profile

    • says

      Thanks for the comment, Kim! Glad you liked it and that you actually got some action plan out of it! Please do let me know how it goes for you!

  9. says

    very nice article .. and first time visit this website …
    And ..

  10. says

    thanks for sharing this nice information on Creating an Effective Visual Marketing Strategy For Blog

  11. says

    Hi Jessy!

    I am in very visual niche, clothes upcycling, sewing new from old, and your article is an amazing resource for me! Definitely saving to refer to it later and try things you’re suggesting.
    Apester could become my favourite too, as my audience is at different levels in sewing, but also there are so many techniques they would be interested in, videos are also main tutorial tool… so even without knowing Apester, from what you explain, I can see how it could work.
    Thank you so much for the awesome article!
    Sue, you’ve got wonderful guests on your blog! Thank you!
    Mariana
    Mariana Kirova recently posted…19 Tips How To Make Upcycled Clothes That Look GreatMy Profile

  12. says

    I was looking for this kind of post for visual marketing and got nice point of information through out post. I will follow this point into our online marketing and thanks a lots for sharing with us.
    Regards
    Rama Krishna

  13. says

    Canva is my favorite, it makes the whole process easy and fast.

  14. Deynn says

    For me, visual contents help a lot in terms of digital marketing. A study shows that visual gets 94% more views than text-based information, infographics increase web traffic by an average of 12% and viewers spend 100% more time on page with visual content. It’s easier to understand images and infographics that’s why people tend to read post and blogs that are rich with visuals.

  15. says

    Hey Jessy,

    What an amazing blog post!!

    I completely agree with you that visuals attract attention and keep the brand memorable.I too use visual content in my blog. With the help of visual content the relationship and correlation can be easily identified and understood.

    I usually use tableau tool to make my visualization. But after reading your blog I will surely try Flaticon tool that is one of the best sources of icons to use in visualizations

    Thanks for sharing such a useful blog post!!
    Tyler Lubben recently posted…Tableau Mapping Home Offices & Client OfficesMy Profile

  16. says

    What a stunning blog entry!!

    I totally concur with you that visuals pull in consideration and keep the brand memorable.I too utilize visual substance in my website. With the assistance of visual substance the relationship and connection can be effortlessly distinguished and caught on.

    I ordinarily utilize scene apparatus to make my perception. In any case, subsequent to perusing your site I will clearly attempt Flaticon instrument that is one of the best wellsprings of symbols to use in perceptions

    A debt of gratitude is in order for sharing such a valuable blog entry!!

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