It is true, especially online, that a picture is worth a thousand words. Visual content communicates quickly and directly. It can stir powerful emotions and make a real impact. Visual content is very popular online and is only growing in popularity. It’s also relatively easy to create.
Visual content is especially good for social media, where the most shared content is visual. It’s also great for landing pages, advertisements, and mobile sites. Images can effectively communicate your brand to those who see them.
Types of Visual Content
Visual content can take many forms, including:
You can also create a combination of the above.You can work text into your images to give them more impact. For example, present an image with an inspirational quote. Add a simple statistic to an image to give it more impact. Give your audience a visual outline instead of a text article. Questions also work well with images because they get people talking.
How to Use Visual Content Effectively
Choose images that are relevant. They should be uncluttered, uncomplicated, and easy to understand. Your audience should be able to get the message at a glance. such as this example here.
Use tools to create and edit images. With the right tools, you can do things like get a stock image and add your own text to it. You can cut, crop, and perform other kinds of edits on your images to make them your own.
Things to Avoid
Avoid using images that are confusing or distracting. If it doesn’t communicate immediately, it shouldn’t be used. An image should enhance rather than confuse or distract.
Don’t use images that are potentially offensive or inappropriate. If there’s any way someone could take it the wrong way, don’t use it. A badly chosen image may get you a great deal of exposure you don’t want. Be sensitive and make sure you’re sharing your content on-brand.
Crowdsourcing Visual Content Creation
An easy way to create wonderful visual content that engages your audience is to crowd source. Ask for reader contributions. Give them the guidelines for the images you want, and then share those images on your social media platforms or on your website. This is a great technique because it gets your audience directly involved with your brand.
How to Get Ideas
The best way to get ideas for visual content is to look at what other brands are sharing. Follow your favorite or most popular brands and see what they post. Pay especially close attention to the content that their audience shares or that goes viral. Of course, pay even closer attention to what your current customers are sharing.
1. Brainstorm a list of visual content ideas and start an idea file.
2. Look at other brands to see what they share and what’s the most popular with their audience. Make a list of those in your idea file, along with links to the most popular content.
3. Make a list of software and online tools to help you create and edit your visuals. Take note of anything you already own, such as image-editing software.
4. Now select one format of visual content and create something related to one of the topics you identified earlier. It could also be based on the topic you used in the text-based content you created or something you’ve created in the past.
Lesson 3: Audio Content
Audio content is extremely popular, especially among people who can listen to it during their commute or during work. For the most part, audio content is made in the form of podcasts, which are like Internet radio shows that listeners can stream or download. It’s easy to make podcasts and post them online, and many podcasts have loyal subscribers. Audio content allows your distinct voice to come through, literally and figuratively.
Creating a Podcast
Each podcast should stay focused on one theme or topic. You should plan the format of your podcast, including its length and any regular features it will have. Your podcast could consist of interviews, or you might have a guest host. In general, it’s good to have more than one voice, although this isn’t always the case.
Length and frequency are important considerations. Short podcasts generally get more listeners than long ones. If you run over thirty minutes, you start to risk losing your audience. If your podcasts go long, consider cutting them up into smaller, more easily digestible chunks.
Choose a schedule that you can stick to. Posting episodes often isn’t as important as posting them regularly. Your listeners will come to expect a new episode at the time you set, so make a schedule you can stick to.
Decide to what extent you want to script your podcasts. It’s good to at least have an outline of what you’ll cover. If you completely script your podcast, make sure you don’t sound like you’re reading it off a piece of paper. Try to sound as natural as possible.
Many podcasts offer transcripts so that their listeners can go back and find key points they want to remember. You can also offer an outline with key points if it’s too much trouble to transcribe.
Other Types of Audio Content
You can create other types of audio content as well. Instructional audio files that teach people how to do things step by step and audio webinars are just a couple examples. However, any audio content can also be turned into a podcast.
You don’t need a great deal of sophisticated equipment to record audio content. The only essential piece of gear is a high-quality microphone. Sound quality is important in audio files. If the sound quality isn’t good, this will turn people off. As far as recording and editing gear, there are many free and inexpensive programs that allow you to do everything you need, such as the free Audacity software.
Publishing Audio Content
In addition to embedding audio files on your site to make them available, list them in directories like iTunes. This greatly increases their visibility. Make sure that in each listing, you mention your website and where people can find you elsewhere online.
Reviews are a big part of these directories, so actively seek out reviews. Offer audio content on your site and ask your listeners to rate your audios. With a higher ranking, more people will find them through directories.
1. Brainstorm and list different kinds of audio content you would like to offer.
2. Identify the tools and skills you need to produce your own audios.
3. Select one format of audio that you can create quickly, such as an inspirational message, an audio version of an article, or a brief interview with a colleague.
4. Using one of the topics from the list you created earlier, create your audio content. If you don’t have top-notch equipment right now, just use the free Audacity software and the microphone on your computer to get started.
To Your Success