So say the content marketers.
Blogs have evolved so quickly. We no longer want to read a whole stream of words. We don't have time and images are so much easier on the eye.
Facebook was the first to shrink the 'blog' into just a few neat sentences to fit into their timeline. Twitter shrunk them even more into their 140 character micro-blogs. Could they get any smaller? Well, the written blog couldn't be minimised much more but then Pinterest, which was only launched in 2010/11, changed the game again by putting the emphasis on images.
Instagram joined the party and enabled users not only to take photographs but to enhance them, share them with other Instagram users and upload them onto the various social medial platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and Flickr. Since then there have been all sorts of Instagram spin-offs, web-based and mobile apps developed to cash in on the trend for visual social media.
So WHY have images in social media feeds been so successful?
As I said above, they're easier on the eye than a paragraph of solid writing.
Facts are also easier to remember via a picture, which is why marketers are always bombarding us with beautiful or striking images if they want us to remember a particular product or statistic.
There are some statistics to back up the power of the image.
Pinterest, which is comprised almost entirely of images, generated more referral traffic for businesses than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined
That's one VERY good reason to start looking at marketing your business via Pinterest, if you've not already done so!
HubSpot acknowledged power of the image when they published an article by Pamela Vaughan called, "Visual Content Trumps Text in Driving Social Media Engagement".
I want to share a beautiful Infographic which was included in the article (more about Infographics later).
I probably don't have to say much more as the infographic speaks volumes. Which is my point!
So images are more appealing than words and attract attention.
For businesses they serve another very important purpose. They increase click-through rates. They also encourage people to share their content.
If you're presented with a website whose homepage consists of paragraphs of type and a website with colourful photographs and images, which one are you likely to click onto?
- Photos on Facebook are twice as likely to be shared.
- Videos on Facebook are TWELVE times more likely to be shared.
- 80% of pins on Pinterest are re-pinned.
Photo and video posts on Pinterest are referring more traffic than Twitter, StumbledUpon, LinkedIn and Google+.
Those statistics are what business marketers dream about.
So what can a small business do to keep up with this trend?
It's so easy and it's inexpensive.
Look at the way Twitter have enabled inline photographs. I'm surprised they're not being used much more; they're incredibly eye-catching.
If you want to add images to your website or your blog, you don't have to be particularly creative because there's a range of web-based and mobile apps available for use (they're either free or available to download for a small fee) which are fabulous for creating images of a professional standard.
I've mentioned Canva before on my earlier blog but it's worth mentioning again. I won't go into too much detail because you can refer back but I'll attach this video tutorial so you can have a quick look for yourselves to see how great it is and why it's one of my favourites.
PicMonkey is one of my all-time favourites for editing photos. I use it almost every day.
Again, they have a set of tutorials on their website so I won't go into enormous detail here but I'd like to include a screenshot of a photo I recently sent a friend of mine before Christmas for her Facebook timeline.
I've taken a sneaky photo of my pet parakeet, put a hat on her via PicMonkey and added some text. It's just so easy but it's very effective.
I've indicated at no. 1 on the left hand side of the screen the options available to you to edit, add features, frames and text to your photo.
No. 2 and 3 are two examples of the features I added.
Just above your photo (no. 4) is where you click to save your photo and download it for sharing.
It really couldn't be easier.
One of my favourite bloggers, Lynne Knowlton, whom I only met a short while ago via a Google HOA, creates the most stunning photographs using Instagram. Her blog is beautiful, which is why she has such a huge fan base.
If you want to get inspired go to "Design the Life you Want to Live".
Lynne will not only inspire you to get outside and take photographs for your blog, for example, she's also incredibly generous in sharing her expertise with you.
As you've already seen, infographics are a fantastic way to deliver what would otherwise be a pretty boring set of facts and statistics in a very beautiful and concise way.
You've probably seen how popular they are on Pinterest.
One word of warning. They aren't cheap to create. There are websites which will offer you a free version so you can have a go at creating your own infographic. Obviously you won't have the resources to make it as impressive looking as HubSpot's infographic above so don't be disappointed.
If you are interested in creating your own, have a look at the following:
My next post will be devoted to visual social media of a moving kind!
If you're interested in finding out about YouTube, Google Hangouts On Air and the little Vimeo videos that Twitter use, don't forget to check back here next week.
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