What is Visual Content?
Visual Content is a part of Content Marketing & it uses Visuals like Photographs, Videos, Infographics to tell an interesting story about your brand.
Visual Content is not new, Humans are visual creatures & communication via visuals started even before language. Cavemen used to draw pictures on the cave walls to pass on knowledge to future generations which we now study with a lot of interest.
Stats to prove that Humans are Visual Creatures:
Top 5 stats to prove it:
1. Half of the brain is devoted to processing visual information – 30% of the cortex is developed to process visuals whereas only 8% is devoted to touch & 3% is devoted to hearing.
2. The human brain can identify images seen for as short a period as 13 milliseconds.
3. As per Index of Learning Styles, a standard test to decide how a human being can learn better it is learned that 65% of human beings are visual learners.
4. Human memory can remember around 2000 pictures with atlas 90% accuracy rates even after tested over a couple of days. 5. Presentations containing visual aids are 43% more persuasive than the ones without them.
Visual Content Marketing
Using Visuals to Market a Brand/Product/Service better is called as Visual Content Marketing. Since the evolution of Internet & Social Media – we have been bombarded with lots of information so using Visuals to cut through the clutter & communicate effectively was much needed which gave rise to Visual Content Marketing.
Given that Humans are visual in nature is it surprising then that marketers have started using that fact to their advantage?
As Businessmen, you are always looking at ways to market your brand better & they have been the first to embrace the fact that the print media like newspapers was effective in the 1800s but in the 21st-century Visuals are the primary means to reach broader audiences.
Also given that a visual is visual in any language it is easier to communicate across the world using the same image.
Visual Content Marketing – Examples India
Let’s look at 5 companies in India that have used Visual Content in an interesting way to market their products.
1. Mentos India
When Aravind Kejriwal, Delhi’s CM came up with the idea of only allowing vehicles ending with even numbers on particular days and the other vehicles on another days to reduce the severe pollution issue that Delhi was facing – Mentos came up with a visual to ride on the news rather than stay mum about it like the other brands have done.
They have captured the moment & created a poster that not only captured the essence of the announcement but also displayed its product types.
2. Lenovo India
Lenovo is known for its creatives, the unique way that they market their various products like the “Yoga tab” not only makes for interesting content but is also inspiring as it is very difficult for an electronics manufacturer such as Lenovo to cut through the clutter of more glamorous products like cosmetics and make their ad memorable.
They never leave any opportunity to showcase their interesting designs be it product-wise or creative design-wise. When David Bowie, the singer, songwriter, actor and record producer passed away, triggering a massive #RIP wave on social media – Lenovo seized the opportunity by coming up with a beautiful creation.
3. Micromax India
Micromax has always been a fighter, launched many years after biggies like “Nokia” & “Samsung”, no one expected Micromax to sustain. It not only sustained but thrived.
Part of the reason is its unique marketing approach which has helped it gain a market share of being the top 5 smartphones manufacturers in India as of Q2 2016.
When GOT was about to launch its 6th season and all die-hard fans were eagerly waiting to check if “Jon snow was going to live or die”, Micromax seized this opportunity to launch GOT themed phones, compelling everybody to once again agree that Micromax marketing is aggressive & does not leave any opportunity that to project their brand unused.
Phillips India is an electrical conglomerate with lots of products under its belt. When it wanted to market their sound systems they used a unique creative to showcase their 35th year anniversary by integrating their sound in the video game “Pacman”, that many of us might have played in our childhoods.
Thus, it created a memory hook to attach their brand to a favorite childhood memory of ours – playing Pacman
Finally, India’s very own e-commerce company which evolved as a fierce competitor to Amazon which is the world’s largest e-commerce company.
Flipkart has been the best creative e-commerce company ever to launch ads which have used kids rather than models. This is both attention-grabbing as well as cost-effective. Their creatives have always been precise to the point rather than clutter & have been very efficient in communicating the point at hand.
They always make it a point to use the latest events to their advantage and market their brand accordingly. Before “Dead Pool” movie was released and people were excitedly looking forward to watching it due to the fanfare that 20th-century fox created, Flipkart was the first to use this opportunity to engage with dead pool fans by communicating with them through a creative.
Now that we have seen examples of how companies are using Creative Visual Content to engage with their audiences, let us look at some examples of what best Visual Content formats can be used on Social Media.
Social Media & Visual Content Formats
Social Media gives us a lot of opportunities to use Visual Content but you need to understand that dependent on the social media platform that you are marketing your brand/product/service on the format of visual content should change.
Not all formats are apt for all social media platforms – You can also read about Social Media for Beginners to understand more about each platform on our blog.
2 Billion people are on Facebook & Facebook encourages a couple of formats like:
1. Single Images of your products
2. Multiple images which will be displayed as a carousel
3. Video – displaying your products or telling a story about your brand preferably 2 minutes long.
600 Million users are on Instagram. 51% of these users login multiple times in a day to browse Instagram. 1 in every 5 minutes that people spend online is either spent on browsing Facebook or Instagram. You can use formats like
1. Single Pictures
2. Videos – that can be directly recorded on Instagram or uploaded into Instagram using a feature called as “Stories” or a normal post too. You will find a small “camera” icon to the left it is a video.
150 million users are on Pinterest & 93% of them are either planning or buying a product using the platform.
Pinterest allows only one picture to be pinned per post – but you can create “Boards” of specific topics & pin the relevant pictures to those boards.
1. Single Photo
2. Picture Collage – Multiple Pictures
3. Infographics: One of the best platforms to use infographics is on Pinterest. Infographics allow you to create both images & necessary information in the same post.
4. Video – You can also pin videos on Pinterest not just photos. The same play icon underneath the post identifies the post as a video
Twitter has 330 million active users on its platform
1.Photo: Share a single image or a poster
2. Video – videos to display your products or tell a story about your brand
3.Blog post – which when clicked opens in a new window
So, now that you are aware of what Visual Content Marketing is & how companies are using it to market their products, take the step now to create your own visuals by getting them professionally shot.
Building a Content Calendar
Now that you understood “Importance of Visual Content” & also “Examples of companies using Visual Content to Impact their Marketing” let us now learn about the concept of “Content Calendar”.
Why Content Calendar?
If you have ever worked in a publishing house or have been part of a magazine design or have known people who have been part of it, then you already know the concept of “Content Calendar”. If you have never worked in this space don’t worry you will know all about it by the end of this blog.
A Content Calendar is a format that is used to plan your content beforehand so you can research relevant material & set it up for success.
Typically a Content Calendar should cover the following:
1. Topics that you would be covering
2. The frequency of Content – Weekly, Fortnightly, Monthly, Quarterly or Yearly
3. The format of Content – Blog, Image, Video, Interview etc.
4. Target Audience – Who is the audience that you want to target this content at?
5. Distribution Channels – What distribution channels would you use for this content
Creating a Content Calendar makes it easy for you to plan beforehand & delegate appropriately if you have a team of people who work on the content rather than yourself.
If you look at a Publishing industry, a Magazine’s whole content for the year is typically planned at the start of the year. That is the reason most of the magazines release on time.
Sample Content Calendar
This image from Hubspot depicts how a Content Calendar can look like. Remember this is just a depiction you can add or remove the columns according to your plan of the content.
Content Creation Tools
This is a list of the Top 5 Content Creation Tools that you can use to appropriately create like Social Media Posters, Videos, Animated Content etc.
1. Adobe Photoshop
Though Adobe Photoshop is extremely exhaustive you can use minimal features of the Adobe Photoshop suite to create content like Posters for Social Media, Graphic designs for Posters, Tweaking images to make them interesting.
If you are not a Photographer or a Graphic Designer though Adobe Photoshop will overwhelm you but if you have some hands-on knowledge of these professions then you can easily use Adobe Photoshop to create relevant content images.
They have a 30-day free trial & you will get many crack versions which will run this application for free on your computers or laptops.
You can check out this tool here: Adobe Photoshop
If you have no knowledge of Adobe Photoshop & you are not very creative when it comes to design then a tool that is super easy to use & will help you create impactful designs is “Canva”.
Canva offers you a range of options right from stock images to dimensions of social media posters so you can easily create powerful content right from your laptop or mobile phone directly.
It has both “FREE” & “PAID” options & the availability of stock images, animated characters is extensively available in the Paid version with a limited range available in the Free version.
Source – makeuseof.com
Videos are more appealing to us humans rather than Static images as you consume a video with both eyes & ears, thus it is also a beneficial factor for brands to create more videos than static images as they can create the better emotional connection with the audience.
One such tool which provides an exhaustive range of options to create different formats of videos like:
1. Explainer Videos
2. Product Videos
3. Slideshare Videos
4. Animated Videos
is Animoto. Animoto has an exhaustive library of stock images, animated characters, music etc. browsing which you can create attention-grabbing videos.
Though a word of caution would be it is not easy to use Animoto if you don’t have a basic bent towards creative designing.
Source – product hunt.com
This image and video tool allow brands to showcase their products and digital designs in realistic web/ video environments. It can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on externally sourced product videos and images. A one-time purchase on the platform is free, or you can choose to pay $29 per month, $99 per month, or $199 depending on your brand’s needs.
Source – smallbiztrends.com
The PowToon platform allows users to choose from several templates and customize them according to their business. You can simply plug and play your content and share across your social media networks. Free and paid versions are available at up to $59 per month.
At Branding by Pixels, we also shoot Photos & Videos to shoot your products, your process, your factory etc. & you can check out our works.
Co-Founder, Head – Marketing,