We’re in the midst of a visual content upsurge and there are no signs of slowdown.
Social channels like Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat and others have revolutionized the way we consume content on a daily basis, and B2B marketers are taking note (51% of B2B marketers considered visual content creation a top priority in 2016).
Take into account that 37% of marketers tabbed visual marketing as the most important content form for their business—second to blogging at 38 percent—and it’s clear that marketers understand the importance of quality visual content.
So what types of visual content are most important in your marketing efforts, and how do they fit into an effective inbound marketing plan? Let’s have a closer look.
Types of Visual Content
Here are some types of visual content B2B companies should use as part of their inbound marketing:
Whether a component of your blogging or social media strategy, high-quality and relevant images are crucial for capturing visitors’ attention and keeping them engaged—articles with relevant images get 94% more views than those without images, and Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than their imageless counterparts.
From Facebook Live to gated videos (those requiring a visitor to fill out a form to gain access), B2B companies have a variety of opportunities to get video content in front of their target audience(s). Need inspiration? Consider a product demo video or a brief two-minute video explaining a common pain point your company can solve.
Think of infographics like the graphic novel of digital content—they’re easier to digest than plain text and have surged in popularity as of late because of their visual appeal. Infographics are most commonly used in blog articles to help tell a story or share complex data in a more digestible way, but also have value as advanced content pieces further down the funnel to prompt conversions.
Using a call-to-action (CTA) is the primary way to capture conversions on a blog article, as it inspires visitors to take action. However, simple text CTAs are less visible than a well-designed CTA with the title of the content piece. Here’s a clean, concise example from HubSpot at the end of an article:
Some of the most common website animation techniques include drop-down and slide-in menus, fade-in effects, and hover effects (e.g., buttons and overlay text). Fade-in effects are a simple but effective tactic on a company blog page, as it directs visitors’ attention to each blog article:
Presentations used to be something that stayed in the boardroom, but slide hosting services like LinkedIn’s SlideShare have made it simple to share them publicly on a web page or blog. Consider creating a SlideShare presentation showcasing company culture (like in the example below), which you can use on your "team" page, or simply use it to educate your audience on a topic without using 1,000 words.
The Impact of Visual Content in an Inbound Marketing Strategy
While images, videos and CTAs are already staples of an inbound marketing strategy, infographics, website animation and presentations are becoming must-have visual content sources, as they help diversify your pool of content and encourage visitor engagement.
1. Increased Engagement = More Conversion Opportunities
Since visual content tends to keep visitors more engaged than plain text, they're more likely to stay on a specific web page longer, consume additional content and fill out a form. The more you can introduce visual content into your content arsenal, the higher the likelihood of attracting visitors and converting them into leads.
2. Increase in Inbound Links
Engaging visual content like infographics and videos always have a chance of going viral on social media platforms. This not only boosts your social reach and drives brand awareness, but also presents more opportunities for inbound links. Reputable sources that find your content especially helpful might want to link to that brand new video or infographic in their next blog article, which can increase your ranking in the SERPs (search engine results page).
3. Generates Value Throughout the Sales Funnel
The beauty of visual content is its relevance throughout the sales funnel. While blog articles are meant to drive value at the top of the sales funnel, visual content such as gated videos and infographics can be used to nurture leads and turn them into customers. Some examples include product demo videos and smart CTAs, which are meant to create value in the middle and bottom of the sales funnel.
Add More Visual Content to Your Inbound Marketing Arsenal
Still waiting to create that first infographic? Is website animation on your radar? Hopefully by now you see the impact that well-planned and executed visual content can have on your inbound marketing efforts, and can't wait to put these ideas into action!
For more on increasing the visibility of your content, check out our guide below.