Why Publishers Need to Consider a Visual Content Strategy

Digital strategists generally agree; content is still king. Developing an effective visual content strategy is key to driving traffic to that excellent content. This means using high-quality images, gifs and video with your content in a consistent manner across multiple digital platforms. Websites, social, mobile and video platforms are all places where publishers have the opportunity to share content with prospective readers. Placing content on those platforms with visual content is a proven method for gaining more traffic to your articles.

Understanding the impact of visual content is paramount to implementing an effective visual content strategy. According to HubSpot content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without. Research by 3M found the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text. Given that over half of all users spend less than 15 seconds looking at a webpage before leaving the site, images significantly increase the likelihood of a reader continuing on the story.

The first step is to clearly identify your goals in using visual content marketing for publishing. Some of those goals may be:

· Increase clicks to website

· Increase engagement on social

· Promote brand

· Give reader a visual break

The third item above warrants more discussion. Consider branding your visual content across all channels on a consistent basis. The local newspaper does a good job of this by putting their logo on images and story links shared on social. They also use a publishing platform that is responsive. That is, images and stories adjust for viewing on mobile versus desktop or tablet. It is worth taking the time to create versions of images that work for various platforms. For example, Instagram displays images in 4:3 ratios which means landscape-oriented visuals may not display properly on Instagram.

Follow trends for visual content. Is your story humorous? Perhaps creating a funny gif is appropriate? Is your story a bit complex? Create an infographic that helps clarify the story for your reader and give them that visual break we mentioned. Did your reporter capture video along with the story? Include it and be sure to brand your video. Are you trying to educate your reader or conduct an interview? Use a live broadcasting option such as Facebook Live.

The point is visual content is extremely effective at drawing readers in. Use the appropriate visual media for the story you are promoting to ensure users click through to your content. Be sure to click the story links above to find push-button tools to create powerful visuals and have fun!