This is a guest contribution from Tom More of Slidely.com.
Visual content is your secret weapon to boosting blog engagement. The blog posts of today demand fresh, eye-catching content that can be read and shared easily, which makes videos, infographics, photos, and slideshows a perfect companion to blog posts. People absorb information quicker and more intuitively from images than text and visual content attracts more engagement on social media channels. Additionally, visual content is extremely easy to integrate into your current blog posts, as well as add to your past posts. On your blog homepage, strong visual content can sustain new visitors attention so they are more inclined to explore your blog. For these reasons and more, it’s clear that visual content partners great with blogs, but how will visual content affect your blog engagement?
Visual content increases social media engagement for your blog
Blog posts are a powerful content medium on their own, but a large part of their strength is their ability to be shared across social media channels easily. Blog engagement is largely built through social media because social media channels allow you to gain exposure, focus your posts to relevant audiences, and respond easily to those who comment on your posts. According to a study by HubSpot, posts with photos received 53% more likes and attracted 104% more comments than those without (via HubSpot).
Visual content generates more click throughs
When you link to a blog post, attach a catchy visual to grab viewers attention and prompt them to continue on to the post. Photo posts can generate over 80% higher link click through than simple text and link posts, HubSpot reports. So next time you link to a post, do your best to add a picture or video that illustrates your point.
Visual content helps you reach your audience by saying more with less
As you know, brevity can be key when it comes to blog posts. Visual content conveys information succinctly and quickly, making it a great way to say more with less. Using photos to replace excess words is a powerful way to boost engagement. In fact, posts below 250 characters can boost your engagement by up to 60% (via Visual.ly).
Let visual content speak for itself. You can give an introduction and a call to action, but sometimes a standalone video or slideshow is more powerful than one with a lot of extra text. Once in awhile, save yourself time and effort by using visual content to your advantage to replace long text-based posts.
Visual content makes your blog memorable
Not only can audiences absorb your message quicker and clearer, but using visual content in your blogs can lead to better retainment of information. We often remember large amounts of information better when conveyed visually rather than verbally, and when you need to get across an important message in your blog, you don’t want to risk it being forgotten after you put in so much effort to create it.
Visual content is evergreen content
Evergreen content is highly valuable in the blogging world, because evergreen content that is not just relevant in the moment, but retains its value over time. This makes it one of the best types of content to build engagement over time because it can be shared and re-shared, resulting in many more chances for views and engagement. Visual content is evergreen because it has value in and out of context – in other words, even if your blog post becomes dated, the great photos or videos included in it can be relevant on their own, boosting traffic to your blog and shares for the individual video content.
If you are ready to get started with integrating visual content, here are some tips on using visual content in blog posts…
Remember while all types of visual content are powerful, not all are created equal. Different visual content mediums benefit different channels. For example, when it comes to social media sharing, the best engagement comes from photos, followed by videos and infographics. Slideshows are also on the rise as an engaging visual content medium because they can be used during live presentations or for online sharing.
You can see how we manage slideshows at Slidely:
Steve Jobs – Tribute by Slidely Slideshow
Additionally, when you post visual content matters too. According to Fannit, people are less likely to check Facebook during work hours, but morning is a peak time to check their newsfeed (via Social Media Today). When it comes to Twitter, engagement is higher on weekends than weekdays. For all types of social media, posting at night returns the least amount of engagement. What does this mean for you? Strategize with a posting calendar so you are consistently releasing visual-packed posts at peak hours.
Always consider your audience and use the medium most suited to them. Visual content is far less effective if it doesn’t match the audience it is intended for. Consider whether your target audience prefers videos, slideshows, or photos and then go heavier on this content (while still including a variety of different types). For example, travel bloggers often use photos for the majority of their visual content because travel photos can tell a story well, while business bloggers tend towards slideshows and presentations because their audience often wants a takeaway. Educators also often utilize slideshows and presentations, while a fashion blog is more likely to use photos. These are just some examples of how audience affects the type of video content.
Also, switch up the types of visual content you use. Photos are great for almost every blog post or hyperlink on social media sites, but it’s also important to include videos, slideshows, presentations, infographics, and moving graphics to keep your audience interested. No one wants to see the same type of content all the time, so vary what you present.
I’d love to hear – what kind of visual content do you feel works best for you?
Tom more is CEO and founder of Slidely, a popular creator of slideshows, videos and imagery.
I have been most successful with words on a beautiful photo. As a biker, a lot of my photos involve panoramic scenes or winding roads. Putting a quote on these images gets good results.
Nice article, BTW :-)
Thanks for your article. My biggest takeaway was your simplest point: “Include a photo when linking to other posts.” Of course I have seen it. However, I never really noticed it and had not thought about doing it. Of course this is a great idea. Thanks for that. As for the rest, I guess my opinion is everything in moderation and knowing your audience. I frequently read about the value of longer articles versus shorter ones. There appears to be research supporting each. So I guess I will go with what would work with my audience and base the length in part on the story that is being told. Personally I like to read blurbs about what the video will show me before I watch it and end up feeling like I wasted my time. :)
You’re absolutely right in this matter.Visual contents are always more preferable for any blog.One must take care about visual content of their blog if they like to increase the blog engagement.Thanks for this awesome article.Great share.
Find some unique point about visual content.
Generally, I use visual content in different social media platform to get more presence in social media that help me to drive huge traffic to my blog.
I also try to use visual content in my blog post and Now I understand the importance of visual content and i’ll surely try to use more content on my blog.
Thanks for the great post.
I was not that much aware of the facts that are shared in this blog post about having visual elements in our blog posts. Most of time, I use to add one image to my most of my blog posts. But that’s for the sake of seo purposes only. But never thought of other aspects like having nice images can help us recieve more social shares and coments. From now onwards, I will start using more interesting images and videos etc in my blog posts.
Thanks Anil! I’m Sharon the Community Manager at Slidely. I would love for you to try out our products and give us a feedback!
I agree with everything you shared and its likely to work for everyone.
But hiring a professional designer isn’t in reach for every blogger and so things must be on bigger level (the investment) otherwise it won’t be that easy.
While it isn’t that easy for a normal blogger to create better looking visuals. So its kind of hardwork for us :)
Try canva.com. You can make really nice looking graphics for free (or cheap, if you want to use their stock photos, but we use our own so it’s completely free). They have templates and tutorials as well.
Hey Kailash, I’m Sharon the Community Manager at Slidely.
If you want to add some visual content to your site, I suggest using our gallery feature. It’s very simple to create and you can then easily embed it into your blog!
Once you try out Slidely, I would love to hear your feedback!
Visual content is getting more and more important as platforms like Pinterest and Instagram continue to grow! It has been a learning curve for me to learn Photoshop and understand how to make great visual elements, but it has been well worth the time put in! Thanks for the article!
thanks for this great article. I’m always impressed when I see good visualized content. Being a good writer isn’t enough when writing successful blogs. The problem is that some good writers are really bad designers. But I see it by myself: posts without pictures don’t attract me. I’m pretty sure I will try to consider you tips in my next post.
Nice article. Visual content is indeed the popular type in social media. I constantly look for some visual content to share it on my facebook page. No wonder, it did wonders.
The trick is to create an eye catching visual content, may be it a picture or a video.
If there goes huge effort behind it, then it will be paid off. :)
The kind of content that works best for us is a pretty photo with some kind of inspirational quote on it, followed by infographics. Sometimes it’s kind of frustrating, because so much more time is invested in the infographics, but providing a variety of content is also important, and worth remembering. Great post!
Pinterest can drive a lot of traffic to your website if used correctly. For that sole purpose you should start using photos. There is definitely more engagement when you add pictures. I need to go back to my old blog posts and update them with pictures. Thanks for the reminder to do this.
I will look into making infographics to try to spice it up with some variety.
Photos, videos, infographics used properly will increase for sure blog engagement. Agree!
I totally agree with this post, pictures, video, infographic really give a whole different feel and approach to matters and viewers like this
Thanks a lot guest blogger for those great tips and tricks. I too believe that Visual content has lot of significance in social media marketing and it has a real potential to bring traffic and visitors to your blog.
Absolutely true. If I have two blog posts one with better visual content than other, I can see the big difference in the performances of both. It is quite obvious from analytic data of my I am getting 80% more conversion and comments on post with better images.
Thank You for reminding another good thing.
Photo when linking to other posts! So ingenious. I wonder why it isn’t mainstream already, such a tactic would be disruptive enough to capture reader’s attention and simple enough to not let them wander away.
Really awesome post. Thanks for the effort for us readers.
I’ve been noticing a lot of blogs have been using infographics lately – and you know what it works! It keeps the reader more engaged and its a great way to keep your post clean and concise.
I agree getting a video thats well made, interesting, and music on the background will capture more audiences. Its just what people like.
I can tell you firsthand that adding music to blogs, webpages, and in the background will engage people instantly. And, you’ll also notice increased shares on Facebook and Twitter.
Thank you for all your comments! I’m Sharon the Community Manager at Slidely, it’s so great to see everyone is passionate about visual content.
If you chose to use Slidely for creating visual content (Slideshows, galleries), please tweet to us @Slidely and we will be happy to share with our followers!
It’s true how posts with images can make a reader stay on a site for a few more seconds deciding whether to click on the image or not. When a post doesn’t have an image, the reader only has the Continue reading and the post title to click. When you add an image, you give them one more option – and it’s this that can make the difference whether they read the post or not. But looking for relevant images for every post, especially if you publish a lot, that’s another story altogether.
same name same thoughts.. :) I completey agree with each single word in your article. Visuals make content not only more engaging, but also more credible in some cases.
Using visuals is like giving appetizers to hungry readers. It gives more life and describes more point to the sentences that you have constructed. Visual content are pretty much important to a blog same as the value of the wheels of a car, without the wheels, the car would never move forward rendering it useless to the owner. Thanks for the article.
Photographs are a necessity, and videos are also nice. I don’t like videos that play automatically, though, or moving graphics on the screen. I also don’t like articles that make you scroll through a slide show rather than giving you a choice to read the information in text form.