Is your brand telling visual stories? Are you empowering your fans to create and share visual content for you?
Brands who create and curate visual content are seeing wider reach, more shares and traffic to their real or virtual doorstep.
We asked 19 Visual Social Media Experts for the secrets behind their success online using visual content…
Visual Social Media is hot right now.
We rounded up some of the world's top thought leaders, developers, experts, designers, bloggers, Pinterest and Instagram Influencers and photographers and asked them to reveal their secrets.
The result? One takeaway-packed and awesomely-tip-filled post and one SlideShare deck brimming at the seams with secrets you can use today in your business (be sure to check it out below!).
They responded with insightful and innovative visual social media advice.
This advice has helped to grow personal brands, bestselling books, the world's top blogs, Start-Up companies that are literally shaping the future of the visual web, and some of the world's largest Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram communities.
And it all happened organically, using their visual content secrets.
Here is what they said:
#1 Melanie Perkins | Co-Founder & CEO of Canva
In under 12 months Melanie and her co-founder Cliff Obrecht have grown Canva from a Start-Up in Beta to one of the fastest growing companies in the world, making design accessible to everyone with their amazing DIY Design tool that keeps evolving and getting better ….and has amassed over 600,000 users.
Here is what Melanie said:
Be authentic and provide value. Create content that educates your users and helps them to improve their game – they will become loyal followers and genuinely engage with your content. It also helps you to become an expert in your field.
At Canva, we use this strategy throughout all of our social media channels and marketing activities. We frequently receive emails from users who thank us for the content we create, it's a win-win!
On that note, here's a quick design tip: Ensure consistency throughout all of your visual content – your fonts, colors, photo filters, image style and the personality you project. It will make your brand is easy to recognise and more memorable.
Be authentic and provide value. Create content that educates your users – @melaniecanva [Tweet This!]
#2 Ben Wong | WordSwag, Developer
I caused a major stir amongst the social media and blogging community after I shared my obsession for Ben's App WordSwag at Social Media Marketing World in 2014. WordSwag quotes soon filled the #SMMW14 stream. In the same way that WordSwag can make text beautiful, his new tool Videohance makes iPhone video beautiful.
Ben had this to say:
It can be hard to create amazing photographic content all the time!
Visually tasty quotes and messages are a great alternative to photos. They're a wonderful way to engage and inspire your audience, too.
Visually tasty quotes and messages are a great alternative to photos. They're a wonderful way to engage and inspire your audience – Ben Wong @WordSwagApp [Tweet This!]
#3 Paul Fleming | Travel & Destination Instagrammer
In the growing pack of Instagram Photographers and Digital Influencers, Paul stands out – he is a videographer who uses his iPhone alone to create the most amazing footage and slow motion videos.
BTW: if you have never seen a wombat run, watch the video below at 2:47. Rare. Cute. Fast.
Specialising in destination photography you can find out more about Paul at his website Love Thy Walrus or be amazed at the footage below:
Paul had this to say about visual content:
Be true to your brand, consistent in voice and share what is relevant to you and your followers.
People are following and engaging with your brand because they feel a connection with you. Personally, I follow particular people or brands because I like their tone, their images appeal to me and align with my ideals.
I keep this in mind when I am creating content to share – does it ‘fit' with my brand and add value to my work?
Instagram videos often get fewer ‘likes' than a photo – not surprising, since you are asking for a 15 second commitment for someones attention, for something they don't really know what they'll be seeing.
However, being consistent with style and quality, I find that followers want to watch videos I post – and they produce more discussions about the content.
All my IG videos are filmed, edited and posted from an iPhone 5s. The native ‘slow motion' video capture adds a layer of interest to videos, and editing using iMove on iOS is easy and seamless – it's all drag, drop and crop!
Low angles and panning along, up, down or through the subject hold peoples gaze longer too.
Be true to your brand, consistent in voice and share what is relevant to you and your followers @LoveThyWalrus [Tweet This!]
#4 Jeff Bullas | Blogger, Author, Social Media Marketing Strategist, Speaker
Jeff Bullas is the man behind JeffBullas.com, one of the world's leading Social Media Marketing, Content Marketing and Digital Marketing Blogs.
Jeff's blog features a lot of visual content (including infographics), tools, tips and strategy for “getting found online”. If you want to keep up with the world of visual content, follow Jeff.
Jeff had this to say:
To really scale your visual content marketing use a platform such ShuttleRock.com. This will allow you to crowd source your visual content.
Tweetable: Use a platform such ShuttleRock.com to crowd source your visual content @jeffbullas [Tweet This!]
Want to learn how to create original visual content that drives free traffic to your business? Click the image!
#5 Caz Makepeace | Co-Founder of yTravel Blog
While Caz and Craig Makepeace built one of the world's most popular travel blogs they were also quietly building something else – a following of more than 4 million users on Pinterest. Caz knows how to use visual content to drive traffic.
Caz had this to say about using visual content to drive traffic:
The images that we find work best on Pinterest are those that tell the reader exactly what they are going to get if they click through from the image to our site.
We choose a beautiful and vibrant travel image that is related to the topic.
We make sure that it is 600 x 900 pix – portrait images always stand out better. And then we overlay text on top that highlights the topic, for example:
You have to make sure that your visual media suits the platform you are using. Portrait sized images like this would not work well on Facebook:
So, know your platform and design accordingly:
You have to make sure that your visual media suits the platform you are using. So, know your platform and design accordingly @YTravelBlog [Tweet This]
#6 Ian Cleary | Razor Social
But if you look beyond the tech, Ian has a secret.
He knows how to use visual content to drive more traffic to his blog. I had the privilege to work with Ian on a highly successful infographic project, and I asked him to share his savvy skills for promoting visual content with you:
This is what Ian had to say:
Create great visual content on your website but also make sure it's optimized so it gets shared. [Tweet This]
It is becoming increasingly important to not only consider search engine optimization but also consider social media optimization.
This is optimization of your content to ensure you pass on relevant information to social networks when the content is shared.
For example, on Twitter you can set up ‘Twitter cards' which means your imagery will be displayed as part of the tweet when they are shared with content on your site – which will lead to a better click through rate.
This is what a Tweet looks like with a Twitter card: