The phrase "a picture's worth a thousand words" dates back to the early 20th century when it appeared in the Syracuse Post Standard in an article about journalism. A century later, it may be a cliche but it still rings true for all of us who create and distribute content. In fact, it's never been more true than now, in the age of rapidly-updating newsfeeds and image-based platforms like Instagram, Tumblr and Pinterest.
Why is visual content so important? Because our brains prefer it. According to Zabisco, 90 percent of the information processed by our brains is visual; it's what we're used to. Knowing that, it's easy to see why content that includes interesting images averages 94 percent more views than content that lacks a visual component.
The good news is, you don't need to hire an amazing graphic designer to create effective, visual social media content for your business or nonprofit. If you can't afford to shell out on agency creatives, consider these simple, visual content ideas to boost your social media strategy:
Image with Text
Simply adding a quote, phrase, question, hashtag or word to an image can make it that much more engaging for your followers.
Let's say you run a pizza parlor and you want your brand's unique personality to come through in your Facebook posts. Here's an example of how adding a bit of text to a photo can make it so much more shareable and eye-catching:
Keep them guessing! Turn your Facebook page into a trivia game with an image or video that gets your followers thinking. You can encourage people to participate by adding a prize for the first person to answer correctly but a reward isn't always necessary. Most people will join in just for the fun of guessing. For example:
"How well do you know your pizza toppings? Is this zoomed-in photo a red bell pepper, a red chilli or an heirloom tomato? Hint: it's the chef's favorite topping!"
Wait until you have plenty of guesses, then reveal the answer:
"If you guessed 'heirloom tomato' - congrats, you really know your pizza toppings!"
Appeal to your followers' competitive side with a straw poll inspired by a split screen image. For example, sticking with the pizza parlor example, you could do something like this:
"It's time to settle this once and for all. Which is the better pizza?"
Of course, simply sharing a captivating image as it is can be all it takes to get your audience talking. As with all social media marketing, keep it light, don't force the hard sell and create images that help convey your brand's personality.
For more ideas on how to approach your content marketing strategy, check out my post '20 Types of Content to Consider.'
Do you have any simple ideas for visual, social content? Share your ideas in the comments!