When you’re putting together a content plan visual content is as important as any word you write. Reams and reams of text tends to overwhelm the eye and can make it tough to consume. Using imagery not only means you can break up your text into more digestible pieces, but you can also convey the essential message of your content at the blink of an eye with the right graphic or photo. The relationship between visual and text-based content can be fraught with conflict and a struggle for dominance, or it can be one where they complement each other and the text becomes the extra words, tacked onto the thousand that a picture can say.
Integrating images into your content strategy not only increase its appeal, making the reader’s experience more compelling but also hold search optimisation value, which goes a long way to adding more authority and authenticity to your content.
It’s Not Just Photos
When people think of adding visual content to their strategies most of us only think of adding pictures. Which is not to say pictures aren’t powerful and don’t have impact — they most certainly do, and if you have a picture that you know will resonate with your audience then, by all means, use it. But you can also create a variety of graphics and illustrations and gifs and infographics… the list goes on. There are so many different formats and ways of presenting visual interest that it would be a shame to limit yourself to pictures.
What Are The Visuals For
Different platforms and topics require different imagery, and this doesn’t just go for what each image is representing. What the image is required for will help determine things like its composition, dimensions, and the quality of the file. For example, images that you are putting onto a social media platform need not necessarily be of as high quality as an image that you need for a website header. The same might go for the images you are using for paid advertising, which have strict guidelines that need to be followed. The purpose of the image will be a good guide when determining what that image should be and how it should look.
Create An Image Process
How images are acquired, how they are stored archived, how they are tagged, selected, and prepared for use should be an established process as integral to the content production cycle as the researching, writing, and editing of an article or blog post. The images that you incorporate into your strategy should not be relegated to being little more than an afterthought, particularly if you want to maximise their impact. With that in mind, implementing an image selection and preparation process, as well as creating a schedule for images and when they will be used, will ensure that you get the most out of your images.
Add A Call To Action
Images are not there just to make things look pretty — they should also facilitate engagement. Combining your image with a call to action, whether that’s to simply share, or to click through to a different page, means that it performs a double function. Inviting your audience to interact with your images brings you closer to being able to market, and sell, your product to them.
Always, Always Give Credit
Some of us are lucky enough to have the budget to sign up to an image service, and if you happen to be one of those folks then you should take full advantage of that. If you’re not, however, then you’re going to inevitably find yourself using someone else’s photo at some point — free image services can only take you so far. If you are using someone else’s work, not only is it good manners to ask their permission to use the image, but to also give them credit wherever you end up using it.