5 rookie visual content marketing mistakes

Oct 21, 2016 by
5 rookie visual content marketing mistakes

Unless you’ve been completely absent from social media (and the Internet in general) in recent years, you’re probably aware that visual content is becoming increasingly prevalent.

In fact, Researchers found that coloured visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%! In a 2015 survey, 73% of content planners stated their intent to publish more engaging content during 2016 and 55% said they would be prioritising visual content.

Content editor Nate Birt states:

No matter where you market your products or services – from websites to billboards to print – including visuals should be a core tactic your communications strategy.

Visual content can come in many forms, such as infographics, Slideshare presentations, explainer videos and branded images for social media. As marketers are realising how powerful visual media is for engaging audiences, visual content is becoming an integral part of marketing campaigns worldwide. However, not all visual content is good visual content! Avoid these common mistakes if you’re considering using visual content as part of your digital marketing strategy.

1 – You rely on text too much

This mistake is particularly prevalent in terrible infographics, but it applies to all forms of visual content. People tend to gravitate towards visual content because it’s highly stimulating, but also because it requires less brainpower to consume!

In order to make your content engaging, you want your audience to have to do as little work as possible to process it. By telling a story with visuals rather than text, this will increase the content’s chances of being consumed and shared.

2 – The quality of your images are bad

Colourful stripesWhile it’s great that there are freely available tools such as Canva to help you with your visual content campaigns, sometimes it’s a lot better to hire a designer than go the DIY approach. Visual content that features sloppy cropping, generic stock images, terrible colour contrasts and inappropriate typography never does well. Your visual content should be an extension of your brand (just like all content), so it’s important that you keep the quality high, even if you have to pay a little extra.

3 – You don’t produce content for your audience

This applies to content marketing in general, but it’s a point that many visual marketers slip up on. It’s all well and good creating a skillfully crafted branded image that you really love, but what about your audience?

Visual content is artistic in nature, but it isn’t an art project. It serves the purpose of boosting your brand, helping to explain information more clearly, engaging an (often distracted) audience and, ultimately, improving the profitability of your company. Therefore, make sure your visual content is designed for your audience’s liking rather than your own – you will reap the benefits.

4 – You don’t optimise for specific social networks

Social networks have very different demographics, so visual content should be tailored accordingly. One of the worst rookie mistakes is to have a piece of content created and then publish it to a handful of different social platforms without making any alterations.

Someone looking for cool images on Instagram is going to appreciate a very different style of visual content to someone browsing for business connections on LinkedIn, and so forth. Additionally, all different social media platforms have different size limitations for images, so format your visual content individually. It takes a bit more time but the results are more than worth it.

For more information on social media image formatting, check out this awesome infographic by Make A Website Hub.

5 – You lack strategy

SEO specialist Brian Dean refers to the widespread phenomenon of publishing content and then hoping that it will draw in huge amounts of traffic by itself as “publish and pray” – very appropriate.

This also applies to visual content. If you create great visual content but have no strategy in place to promote it, then don’t expect it to generate any engagement! There is a myth that if you create great content, then the audience will come. This is false. You need to create great content and promote it effectively for the audience to come – this applies to visual content just as much as it does to textual content such as blog posts and white papers. Best of luck!