Social media platforms have evolved to favor visual content over any other form of information. In fact, Facebook & Twitter have redesigned their news feeds to give more importance to visuals.
Today, if you post a link, Facebook will automatically find and display all the images in it, along with your post. If you have multiple images in your content, it even creates a nice little carousel album for you. Also, have you noticed how images and videos occupy a much larger screen space on your Facebook news feed, compared to text-only posts?
This is not surprising because:
- Facebook posts with images get 2.3X more engagement compared to the ones that don’t have images
- Tweets with images drive 150% more retweets than the ones without images
However, with so businesses competing on social media platforms, how do you make yours stand out?
Here are 7 Ways to increase engagement for your business using visual content aids
1. Use Images to convey your tagline
Most brands use text-only taglines. For example, Nike has “Just Do it!”, KFC has “It’s finger linkin good!”
How do you make your tagline stand apart, especially on social media platforms which prefer visual content over text-based messages?
As a content marketer, you can view every social media update as an opportunity to improve brand recognition, by showing visual content related to your tagline and telling people more about your brand. In fact, you don’t even need to add any text. Using the right images are more than enough to illustrate your tagline and communicate what your brand stands for.
Here’s a great example by Red Bull. We know that Red Bull’s tagline is “Gives you Wings” which clearly describes the purpose of its energy drink. See how Red Bull uses only an image to drive home its tagline.
No wonder Red Bull is the market leader in energy drinks. It’s clever social media strategy has garnered over 40 million Facebook fans, 2 million YouTube subscribers and 1.8 million Twitter followers. You’ll be surprised to know that although only 5% of their social media posts comprise of photos & images, they drive 90% of engagement.
2. Be creative with infographics
Although Infographics get 180% more engagement than text-based posts, how do you make yours memorable and sticky? If you keep posting similar infographics all the time, or share infographics that are similar to others in your industry, people will soon begin to see a pattern and get bored quickly. They’ll stop engaging with your content and eventually stop sharing it altogether.
So it’s important to try out different types of infographics to see what your audience likes and engages the most. It will also add an element of uncertainty in your content, which will only make your audience come back for more.
Here’s an amazing example of Intel’s TMI Infographic which uses a very creative way of telling people what can be, and shouldn’t be shared online, by literally placing text-overlaid red flags on various items.
It’s a new way of presenting information that doesn’t stick to the conventional techniques of infographic design.
3. Try Humor
Are you working in a boring or serious industry? Try adding a human element such as humor to make your brand more personable.
Businesses working in serious industries like taxation, finance or accounting, tend to share charts and reports about latest industry trends and news. This is great information for sure, but not really shareworthy.
On the other hand, people love sharing humorous stuff such as funny memes and cat videos, all the time. They’re attracted to humor, even if it comes from a taxation firm.
H&R Block is one of the best examples of how you can use humor in your visual content to boost engagement and reach a larger audience. They’re a tax services company with over 100,000 tax professionals and 50 years of experience. They could have gone the traditional route of posting serious stuff about tax laws and payables.
Instead, they chose to use humor to connect with their audience. By sharing funny jokes and illustrations about taxation, they are able to generate up to 500 engagements per post, on an average.
4. Showcase your brand
At times, businesses are so focused on dishing out ‘different’ or ‘comprehensive’ content that they lose track of what they’re actually selling – their brand.
If you’re running out of ideas, you can simply pick a stock photo or any other image related to your brand, add a few words to describe and associate it the with your brand, and just post it.
Here’s a nice example of how RiverWalkNola, a retail outlet at downtown RiverWalk, has combined a generic image and a few brand-related words to create a compelling visual advertisement. In fact, it has repeatedly used this tactic for many of its items and gained over 3,000 Instagram followers in a short time.
5. Show them your products
If you run a business such as an art museum or auction center that naturally lend themselves to visual content marketing, then you’ll be glad to know that there are tons of ways you can use social media to effectively engage and attract people.
You already have so much visual content at your disposal that it’s just a matter cleverly using it to grow your social media audience.
For example, the Brooklyn Museum has gathered quite a social media following (on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube) by sharing images and videos of its collection, and providing interesting facts and context as captions. It has over 100,000 Instagram followers and more than half a million followers on Twitter.
The key is to share beautiful images of your products with interesting facts and information that encourages people to respond. In fact, you can also use geo tagging to invite people to visit you.
6. Use Text Overlays
Using Text Overlays is a great way to connect with your audience and encourage them to share their experience with your brand & products.
For example, Green Mountain Coffee does an amazing job of posting simple images about its product (coffee) and overlaying it with a catchy phrase.
The company frequently uses text overlays to accumulate tons of likes and shares on each post. In fact, you’ll see in the image above, that this tactic even drives some of its audience to go buy their ‘pumpkin spice latte’. That’s a product sold, right there.
It also provides an opportunity to understand how customers use your product, if they like it or not, and enables you to interact with them.
7. Encourage User Generated Content
User generated content is the holy grail of content marketing. It provides an amazing way for your audience to engage, and implicitly promote your brand.
It not only tells people how your customers are using your products, but also provides a social proof that they’re excited to use them.
Here’s an awesome example of user-generated content marketing by REI, an American outdoor clothing & gear retailer. It created the REI 1440 Project as a homage to outdoor adventure.
The idea behind this project was that there are 1440 minutes in a day, and that’s 1440 opportunities to steps outside. REI created a timeline and encouraged people to send images of their outdoor adventures (with a timestamp) so that everyday, they could showcase 1440 images of its users having fun outdoors.
Within days, they received thousands and thousands of photos which grew their timeline from minutes to days and from days to months. It not only showed brand engagement but also created a strong community of people around their products.
Visuals play an important role in building every brand. They enable people to imagine themselves using your products & services, interacting and associating with your business. To drive user engagement, the key is to pick the right visuals that are related to your brand, and combine them with messages that effectively communicate how your business improves people’s lives. Hopefully, the above tips can help you increase brand engagement for your business.
Which visual content tips do you use to engage with your audience?
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