Picture Perfect: How to Use Visuals to Drive More Traffic
Pinterest rising as a major source of customers for e-commerce brands.
Instagram skyrocketing as one of the most popular social platforms with one billion active users.
These are just a couple of examples of how effective visual content is being used to capture people’s attention.
Yes, content is king, but visual content reigns supreme.
If the argument is still not made, here are some statistics culled by HubSpot as to why images are an integral part of all successful content marketing strategies:
- 32% of marketers say that using images is the most important element of their content marketing
- When customers read or hear content, they only retain 10% of information three days later. However, if the content is paired with images, the same customers remember 65% of the content
- Infographics can drive up website traffic by up to 12%
- Online retailers who use Shopify report that customers referred by Pinterest spend an average of $80, higher than any other social media channel
- Facebook posts with images get 2.3x more engagement than text-only posts
How are successful marketers using visual content to drive traffic to their websites and get more engagement? The techniques range from simple to advanced. If you’re just beginning, the following strategies are a good place to start:
Use a Featured Image on Your Blog Posts
Every blog post needs a hero image — that one visual that perfectly summarizes or captures the idea of your content. If using WordPress, it’s easy to add a featured image on every blog post you publish.
Adding a featured image on a blog post is almost intuitive. Yet, many marketers and business owners fail to do it and by doing so, miss an opportunity to generate more organic traffic for their blog posts.
The most obvious importance of having a featured image on your blog posts is social sharing. When your readers like something you publish, they’re probably going to share it on social media (especially if you have clear calls to action or widgets encouraging them to do so). When they do this, Facebook and Twitter automatically search for an image that can be attached together with the post. If there’s none, a raw link is posted, which doesn’t attract as much attention compared to posts with images.
If possible, get a designer to design a custom featured image that is unique to your blog post. Also, don’t forget to use proper image attribution with highly searched keywords to help increase the SEO value of your content.
Include Screenshots When Applicable
“How-to” articles are some of the most popular, most shared, and most engaging content. However, you can amplify the reach that you get and the value that you give to your readers if you use screenshots together with this type of content, especially if you’re talking about multi-step and complex processes.
Why? For one, 65% of the population are visual learners. The majority of your readers will be able to implement your how-to tutorials if you include images showing the execution of each step. In fact, a study revealed that readers are able to follow instructions 323% better if visuals are used to accompany how-to content. This boosts engagement and increases the usefulness of your articles, and when people find something useful, they are more likely to share it on social media.
Further, if you want to increase referral traffic coming from Pinterest, adding screenshots in your posts can go a long way. There are content marketers who have reported as much as a 62% increase in their Pinterest referral traffic by adding screenshots in their blog posts.
Invest in Infographics
Infographics is a relatively newcomer in the world of digital content marketing. However, it’s positive impact in driving results is already well documented.
Blog posts with accompanying infographics are read 30% more than conventional articles. The more readers you have, the better the chance of your content being shared in social media.
Moreover, Google searches for infographics have grown significantly over the years with more than 500,000 average monthly searches. In Twitter, the hashtag #infographic is tweeted more than 56,000 times per month. Just imagine the potential reach your blog posts could have if you invest in well-made infographics. On average, businesses that use infographics experience a 12% growth in their traffic.
When creating infographics, think about virality. Here are some tips on how to achieve this:
- Come up with an interesting topic and a catchy headline
- Use varied sources and statistics
- Make it easy to share by using widgets for social sharing and embedding
- Avoid white backgrounds and use the least amount of text
- Reach out to publications related to your industry to promote your infographics
Don’t Forget Videos
Did you know that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world with over 3 billion searches per month? Plus, since Google owns YouTube, YouTube videos rank high in Google SERPs which compounds on the traffic YouTube videos get.
Videos don’t only dominate search traffic. On Facebook, users watch 100 million hours of videos per day. According to 72% of marketers, video ads are more effective than traditional TV advertising.
Used creatively and strategically, videos can send a wave of traffic not only to your blog posts, but also to your marketing pages and sales pages. If you haven’t used video before, here are a few tips to start you off:
- Use step-by-step how-to videos to accompany your posts
- Embed existing videos in your blog posts to increase the entertainment value of your content
- Use explainer videos to highlight the benefits of your products
- Take advantage of video customer testimonials to create social proof for your brand
Time to Visualize Yourself Getting a Ton of Traffic
They say a picture paints a thousand words. With the evidence cited above, when it comes to content marketing, pictures can send thousands of visitors your way that you were unable to get before.
Just a quick caveat. The use of visuals in content marketing isn’t necessarily a breakthrough. Content marketers have been using it for quite some time. However, there are some who fail to see the positive results outlined above.
This is because not all visuals are created equal. There are many marketers who pepper their content with images for the sake of doing it. Using visuals should be well thought out, brand aligned, content relevant, and should reinforce your overall content marketing strategy.
That said, when used strategically and creatively, visual content can open your website to an unprecedented amount of traffic.
If you want industry professionals to work on your content and come up with a visual content strategy for your business, you can reach out to us at LeadsPanda. We specialize in tailor fitting content marketing services for different businesses, depending on their budget, industry, and needs. You can request for a free trial to gauge whether we are the right partners for your content needs.
For now, please share this on social media if you found the information useful. If you have anything to add or if you have questions regarding this post, feel free to comment below.