Shake Up Your Marketing With Visuals – 10 Brands Share What Works

If you are marketing online then you have no doubt thought about (or tried) adding visuals to your marketing mix.  

Whether you jump in to create some shareable images, or assets like SlideShare, videos or infographics – visual content gets results.  

In this post, we share how 10 Brands have achieved exceptional results by trying something new or different with visuals.

Are you ready to Shake Up your marketing with visuals?  Then listen to what worked for them, and try these tips for yourself!

Shake it Up - How 10 Brands Shook up their Marketing with Visuals
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Image by Shutterstock


There's no doubting that visual content can take your marketing to the next level.  When done right you can get results and really shake up your marketing with visuals.

But I am referring to a certain kind of result.  I'm not talking about just likes and comments. I'm talking about traffic, shares and SALES. But what works? And how do you get these results with so many options out there.

We asked 10 Brands to share how they “Shook Up” their marketing with visuals. This is what they said:


#1  Matthew Steele, San Diego Zoo
Matthew Steele
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Matt Steele is senior social media planner for San Diego Zoo Global. He has over six years of experience in social media, and is proud to work for work for a non-profit full of passionate people working tirelessly across the world to conserve our planet's precious wildlife and habitats.

The San Diego Zoo is one of the most innovative attractions in the world when it comes to social media.

Matt shared 3 ways in which San Diego Zoo is shaking up their marketing by trying (and achieving success with) new strategies for visual content:

1  Converting Video to GIFs for Tumblr and Google+

“We started chopping up bits of our videos and making GIFs out of them to post to Tumblr and Google+.  Now, our GIF posts far out perform all other post types.”


2  Uploading Videos directly to Facebook

“We started uploading our videos directly to Facebook and the view counts are dwarfing what we're seeing on YouTube.”

3  Uploading Video to Vine

“Sensing the rise of short-form video, we started uploading the most compelling bits of our video content to Vine.  Now, our Vine videos have nearly double the amount of views (loops) that our YouTube videos have.”

Your Takeaway?

Get started with short-form video – in any way you can.  Start uploading 15 second Instagram videos, upload snippets to Vine, upload videos direct to Facebook, or play with short Periscope videos.  Get inspired by the Zoo's results!


#2 John Kapos, Perfection Chocolates
John Kapos, Perfection Chocolates gives advice about visual content
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John is the Managing Director of Perfection Chocolates and Sweets. John's family started Perfection in 1939 and for the last 6 years, John has focused on expanding his business through social media.

Using platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest and recently Periscope but he has found great success with Instagram (his favourite platform!).

Posting Great Videos and Photos to Instagram

“At Perfection Chocolates we make sure we post great videos and photos of our products. We posted a video showcasing our Easter products and we made an $1100 sale.

We also posted about our red velvet ganache truffles and 6 customers came in from this post.”

Shake up your marketing with Visuals - 10 brands share what works
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Ummm… did somebody say Easter Egg?

Oh you're back? How many days did you get lost inside Chocolate Johnny's account?  ;o)

Your Takeaway?  If you are not yet on Instagram, consider jumping in. Take a look at John's account for examples of how a product-based business can rock it on Instagram.

#3 Caz Makepeace, Y Travel Blog
Caroline Makepeace, Y Travel Blog
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Caz and Craig Makepeace are the co-founders of travel blog YTravelBlog. Voted as one of the Top 5 Travel Blogs in Australia by Virgin and the No 2 Travel Blog by USA. Today, in 2014 they have a huge following across many social platforms (including 4+ millions followers on Pinterest) as well as on their blog.


Upload Your Previous YouTube Videos Direct to Facebook 

“We've been uploading videos direct to Facebook and this one has had over 6,000 video views and the biggest organic reach for the past month! Videos are really increasing our engagement!”

Want to know something cool?  The original YouTube Video posted by Y Travel Blog has around 8,000 views after 2 years on YouTube… this Facebook video took just 2 weeks to get 6,000 views!


Your Takeaway:  
Don't forget to repurpose old video – a video that is a year old on YouTube might be of interest to Facebook fans – upload the video direct to Facebook to get great reach and shares.


#4  Azure Collier, Constant Contact
Azure Collier, Constant Contact
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Azure manages Constant Contact's Pinterest and Instagram channels and is part of a larger team that creates and manages social media content for all of Constant Contact's platforms.

SlideShare Drives Tons of Social Shares and Exposure

“We created a SlideShare with 50 Expert Tips for Getting Started on Social Media. We asked for tips from many experts and the SlideShare was featured on SlideShare and by Buffer, tons of social shares as well.

To date it has been viewed over 193K times. This has been great exposure for our brand.”

Here it is:


Your Takeaway?  Jump into SlideShare! Stuck for what to create a slide deck about?  Ask some experts in your industry (just like this post!) or summarize the key points of your latest blog post.

Check SlideShare's own recommendations for how to create a great slide deck here.

#5  Angelo Dodaro, Director – Top Dog Social Media
Angelo Dodaro
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Angelo Dodaro is Director and head social media strategist for Top Dog Social Media, an award-winning digital marketing agency based out of Kelowna, BC. Angelo's content created in 2014 alone has been shared over 50,000 times across the various social networks.

1. Adding custom images with Blog Post Title 

“Adding custom images with the title of our blog post  increased social shares immediately by 23%. This especially helps with Pinterest shares.  If you're in B2B and you think you don't have a place on Pinterest, this is one simple way to have a presence AND get more referral traffic.”
Top Dog Social Media Blog Image
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Consistently feature a header image on your posts!


2. Feature Experts on your Blog and Create Custom Quote Images

“Feature experts on your blog and create custom images with their best quotes to include in the article. I've tested this with clients and it's resulted in the influencers more aggressively promoting that content plus their audiences are engaging with it more. Win-win-win.”


3.  Tweet Images for more Retweets

Tweeting with images that are optimized for Twitter. In some cases, I've seen retweets jump over 500% on identical tweets that were previously shared without images. The trick is making sure it looks good in the preview area (before a user clicks to see the full image) as I have not seen great performance from photos that cut off too much of the image.


HINT: Wordswag is perfect for making quick eye catching visuals for Twitter since it has reference lines for the Twitter preview area when designing your image.”
Tweet with Image - Top Dog Social Media
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Your Takeaway?  There's plenty of takeaways from Angelo's tips, but start out by doing something simple. Add images to your tweets. Find out more about how to do it here.


#6  Katrina Springer, The Organised Housewife
Katrina Springer, The Organised Housewife
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Katrina Springer is also known as The Organised Housewife. She inspires her readers that are feeling overwhelmed at home to gain back control of their home. Katrina shares her cleaning tips, organising ideas and creates printables to help through the processes.


Post a Title on the Graphic

“I find my readers (mums with young kids) don't have time to read so I ensure I always put my post title on the graphic to make it easier for them to glance and see what the post is about.  My best visual content would have to be my 40 Lego Storage Ideas, and 100 Cookies from 1 Mix.    These are pinned the most.  They have been shared thousands and thousands of times and I continually get traffic to the blog each day for these 2 posts that I published over 2 years ago.”


the Organised Housewife - 40+ Lego Storage Ideas
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Your Takeaway – Always add context. By adding a simple header/text overlay to a pinnable image, you are providing context.  When that image is separated from your blog post or website, it not only catches attention on Pinterest, but helps people to immediately make a decision about whether to interact with that piece of content – to click through to your blog, share or pin it for later!


#7  Ian Cleary, Razor Social
ian cleary razor social
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Ian is the founder of Razor Social where he helps companies get better results on social media through the smart use of tools and technology.  He's also pretty smart himself and is my go-to guy when it comes to Tools. Be sure to check out his Tool Directory on Razor Social. 


Create an Infographic and Feature it on a Blog Post 

“We created an infographic for a blog post that was shared over 15,000 times. Over 100 websites put the infographic on their site and the blog post reached page 1 of Google for a very competitive keyword search! Now we are hooked on using great visuals on our blog.”


Here is the Infographic Ian was referring to (click to see the full infographic):
A Day in The Life of a Social Marketer - Razor Social
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Click here to see the full infographic – check out who designed it!


Your Takeaway – If you are launching a product, program or service, wish to build your list or you are publishing an “epic” blog post, then consider creating an infographic. It should not just be filled with boring data, but should, if possible, expand on the information in the post, complement the blog post and ultimately attract and drive more traffic to the blog post. Always drive traffic to a platform that you own – ie your website.


#8  Ngaire Stirling, Brisbane Kids
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Ngaire Stirling is owner/editor of Brisbane Kids, the biggest kids website in Brisbane, Australia with over 200,000 unique visits a month the website and 125,000 followers on Facebook.


1.  Embed Printables in Your Blog Post 

“We had paper scavenger hunt printables designed for the Queensland Museums Lost Creatures Exhibitions. Not only was the post viral on social media but it meant we were connecting with a brand offline in the real world for free.

Brisbane Kids Printable Blog Image - Visual Content Strategy
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“We also had original Indigenous artwork designed for us to be used as colouring in for children. The result is over 10000 downloads per month”.

2. Upload Native Video to Facebook and Pin Video to the Top of Your Page. 

“Facebook Video is showing huge results with us uploading separately to youtube (insurance) and then natively to Facebook. We pin this one on the top of our page because it send a strong immediate brand message about what we are about.”


Your Takeaway:   Consider getting a custom designed printable made to celebrate an event + take advantage of the “featured video” on Facebook.  It's a chance to introduce new fans to your business, your brand and your team.


#9  Jill Holtz, My Kids Time
Jill Holtz
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Jill is the founder of Top Blog, My Kids Time, a top children's site and a savvy blogger.  Jill was recently listed on Technology Voice's 2014 List of Ireland's Talented Technology Women.

Add shareable visuals to every article

“We started pinning a new style of visual images to go with key articles last autumn. and within three months we had more than doubled our website traffic from our Pinterest channel”



My Kids Time Blog Post and Header Image
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Your Takeaway:  Do a little “blog audit” and check that each blog post has a relevant, eye-catching photo so that if separated from the blog post, it will attract more pins and repins!


#10  Donna Moritz, Socially Sorted
Donna Moritz
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Yes, that's me!  

So let's jump in to see how I shook things up with visuals:

Jump in and start using SlideShare

“SlideShare has been my secret “Visual Content” weapon.  Presentations uploaded to SlideShare have driven quality, targeted readers to my blog, attracted thousands of views (up to 140+k on a single slide deck) and attracted hundreds of subscribers. SlideShare SHAKES THINGS UP. ”

So… I have created a SlideShare Presentation for this very blog post!  Check it out below or you can visit my SlideShare profile for more.


Your Takeaway: 

SlideShare can be a great platform to shake up your marketing with visuals. Start simple with a simple summary of a blog post or modify one of your presentations to suit SlideShare.

Remember that people can not see you presenting so write the slide deck as though you are taking them on a journey – help them to want to click each slide and design it so that no presenter is necessary to understand the “story”.

That's it.  10 businesses. 10 ways that they have used visual content to shake up their marketing.



Over to You

Which idea was your “oh wow that's cool” idea that you have written down to try later?  Or was it more than one?
The following two tabs change content below.

Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is a Visual Content Strategist and founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About". Donna helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Inc. & Entrepreneur and she is a speaker and trainer on visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.
Shake it Up - How 10 Brands Shook up their Marketing with Visuals
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  1. Anna Hewstan

    so many wonderful examples, thank you! I am going to try slideshare, do more videos, and be better at blog post images.

    • Donna Moritz

      Thanks! Glad you found it useful – and do one at a time otherwise you will go down a rabbit hole haha. Good luck and let me know how you go! (ps Canva has some great templates for slideshare!).

  2. Art by Jenny

    Thanks so much for all that info. People just love watching video don’t they!? I guess I’ll just have to learn to love the other side of the lens after all. I much prefer making art and uploading pics than taking a video of myself creating the art. Love what the Brisbane Kids site does, its on my todo list to upload my printables and downloadable designs… I just need about 30 hours in each day to do everything I want to do! lol

    • Donna Moritz

      Hey Jenny – I checked out your page and your art is gorgeous! Have you thought of even getting a tripod and setting up your iphone/camera to video some close ups of your art creation? As a budding creative person I LOVE to see the process.. you don’t have to be in front of the camera to make it worthwhile for people.. even short 15 second videos on instagram are great, or taking people behind the scenes. I was getting real urges to buy markers/pens from you looking at your page … so even just showing people how to use the tools – I would love to see that! Regardless, get your art out there… it’s fabulous! You should check out @lisletters on Instagram – she does cool lettering videos – really simple but I love watching them!

      • Art by Jenny

        Thank you so much 🙂 For the wonderful compliments and fantastic info. I have a tripod, my regular camera has been neglected slightly since I got the clever phone. I could create a permanent setup, and if its just of my process and not me, then it won’t need much space. Thank you Thank you! The mud appears to be clearing from my mind regarding video 🙂

  3. Free Range Websites

    That’s a whole lot of interesting content there. I am not one for going in front of the camera either, but I guess I might have to try and give it a go

    • Donna Moritz

      You don’t have to – it’s great if you can but there are many ways to do video without being in front of the camera – you can take video of other things, do screencasts that are of a process or product or place, you can take us on a tour… that’s a great place to start so you don’t worry too much about how you look and sound. Consider it a stepping stone!

  4. Liat Behr

    Donna, you make a compelling article for marketing with visuals. I think you just challenged me to create an infographic. 🙂

    • Donna Moritz

      haha have fun! Be sure to use Piktochart or Canva’s templates if you are DIYing!

      • Liat Behr

        Awesome. Thanks!

  5. Ajay Prasad

    All the examples are spot on Donna. Love them all. Most people don’t read all the content but having a visual is close enough to describe what the post is all about. The gif from San Diego Zoo was enough to pull me through the post and what followed is a series of beautiful visuals throughout. Excellently done.

    • Donna Moritz

      Hey Ajau – glad you liked it. Yes for sure, the examples from San Diego Zoo are great – the GIFs are perfect for the animals… there are some savvy people in the post trying some cool things for sure!

  6. TheIuvo - Nick

    Using pictures, videos, gifs, etc. visually post attracts more attention and increases the number of visits. So we should use them more if we wan’t more visits to our posts.

  7. Web Outsourcing Gateway

    These are all great tips. To me, the ones that stood out are the comments of Matthew Steele, Azure Collier, Angelo Dodaro, Ian Cleary, and of course you… Ms. Donna! I think you and those other 4’s views in SMM marketing are very similar to mine. So… I think I’m on a nice track. haha. Cheers, guys! 🙂

    • Donna Moritz

      Glad to hear you are on the right track!

  8. Anick Druart

    I asked help and they sent you! Thanks!!!


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