Do you want your visual content to touch the hearts of people far and wide?
Of course you do. Who wouldn’t want something they put up to get liked and shared within hours?
But it takes more than simply uploading and crossing your fingers. It’s about sharing images that make people care. Images that showcase what you and your business stand for.
Don’t worry if you’re not a professional graphic artist. I’m not either – far from it, actually. As long as you understand what makes people tick, you can use visuals that get shared and promoted by your audience.
Let’s get started.
Are you using any of these 10 visual strategies in your business right now?
1. Motivate using people in action
There’s more to an image than simply picking one that looks nice.
If you want people to feel or act a certain way, you need to pick an image that will influence them to do so.
Want people to cooperate with others? Show an image of people connecting. Photos affect how people behave in a subtle, yet powerful manner.
I shared a post on Elite Daily recently about how I become productive in the mornings. Elite Daily typically uses a high quality photograph at the beginning of each post, and this was no exception.
Notice how the image sets the stage for the rest of the article?
A person concentrating intensely on her laptop with a cup of coffee in her hand lets readers know it’s time for business.
Depending on what you’re writing about or trying to promote, use an image where your advice is being put into use.
2. Simplify with charts
Sometimes it’s difficult to explain a concept clearly with words. Visuals, however, can cut through the clutter and instantly make a strong impression.
Since 40 percent of people respond better to visual information than plain text, it makes sense to supplement explanations using graphs or charts.
On the Mirasee blog, I wrote about the process of finding your ideal client in order to save time and increase revenue. While I could have spent a long time describing in detail what steps to take, a chart simplified the whole concept by showing the key takeaways of my message.
I have a confession to make, by the way: I created that chart in Microsoft paint.
See? You don’t have to be a professional artist to make charts and graphs. I’ll share some tools to make it easier for you to create professional-looking images later in this post, though.
The point is that if you have a concept that is difficult to explain, consider including a chart to help others understand.
3. Maintain a theme
In your business, visuals should share a similar vibe. Do you want your brand to be known as friendly and approachable? How about edgy and rebellious?
Whatever it is, the images you share on your social media accounts should have a similar format so that your brand is consistent. When people see your profile, they should know what type of message to expect.
Wistia presents itself as fun and friendly. Its Instagram profile shows smiling employees enjoying themselves, alongside a mascot that’s the epitome of warmth: an office dog!
Just look at Lenny, with his pensive eyebrows and serious demeanor. Who can resist?
Every time I use Wistia, seeing their tutorial videos with Lenny makes me smile.
4. Create funny brand-related memes
A lot of marketing sites use boring and lackluster photos in their posts (Jeff Bullas’ site being an exception, of course!). But you can stand out from the sea of blandness by using images that are funny and memorable.
One of the most effective ways of doing so is by creating memes. That’s right. Memes have long been used to present humorous, yet true statements. Applying the concept to your business makes people see you as personable and unique.
Kevin Duncan makes good use of memes on Be A Better Blogger when he shares advice on making a post memorable. His meme definitely made me laugh.
Memes are easy and quick to make. By using a meme generator such as Imgflip, you simply need to find the right picture (or upload your own), and type in the top and bottom text.
5. Celebrate your off-work moments
Let loose and have fun. In a world of solemn corporations and grey suits, a company with a bit of spontaneity and goofiness is like a breath of fresh air. Pulling back the curtains and letting your followers see you having fun helps them connect with you more.
Taco Bell is known online for their fun, quirky sense of humor. Their Instagram features bright colors, cheerfulness, and good times all around.
Whoever is behind Taco Bell’s social media deserves a gold star. Or maybe the whole enchilada.
6. Hop onto the selfie trend
There’s no denying that selfies are one of the most popular trends to hit social media. As we speak, there are nearly 300 million Instagram photos tagged with the selfie label. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, there is reason to the madness.
It’s been said that selfies are a way of projecting an identity of ourselves onto others, whether we want to be seen as glamorous, fun, adventurous, or any other characteristics.
Selfies can also help you become more popular on Instagram. Researchers have found that pictures with human faces are 38 percent more likely to receive likes than photos without faces.
Before you think that selfies are used only by self-obsessed teens and celebs, check this out. John Kerry snapped a selfie with an orphaned elephant while he was in Kenya learning about conservation efforts. Even the coldest heart would thaw a little.
7. Reference pop culture
Pop culture is exactly that: popular. And what better image is there than one that’s instantly recognizable?
Besides being familiar, shots from hit movies or TV shows increase the chance that your blog will show up when people are searching for images.
I wrote up a post on the psychology behind why we don’t follow through on our goals. In the post, I included a shot from the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy. The image wasn’t completely related to my post, but I thought it would be a fun touch.
Surprisingly, readers have found my site through the image.
While an image and the article are not always a close match, people online get sidetracked easily. This can be a good thing because they get drawn to an image they recognize, and then end up discovering your content this way.
You just might be able to catch a fan for life.
8. Show off your original drawings
Putting up images or pictures that you created is a strong way to stand out from everyone else. Followers come to associate you with the type of images you put up and can remember your work more.
Sometimes I see the same stock photography being used over and over, so a brand new image draws my attention and makes me more attentive to the message.
There are a lot of great illustrators out there who create amazing designs, but like I said, you can make unique visuals at any skill level.
Just check out Hurrah For Gin’s Facebook account, where the mom of two kids shares her life as a parent in humorous ways. She draws out stick-figure cartoons and pictures, and people love them.
If you are going to create original visuals to share, make them consistent no matter what your style is. The aim is for people to see your illustration and know immediately where it’s from.
9. Break it down with infographics
Explaining a concept to readers by using large chunks of text can be overwhelming and time-consuming.
Infographics, on the other hand, are the perfect blend between visual information and supporting text. They’re fun to look at and are often valuable enough to stand on their own, making them easy to share.
10. Whisk ‘em away with beautiful landscapes
Beautiful images enhance our mood. When people see pictures of exotic locales and scenery at their desks, it feels almost as if they’re traveling there.
Not all landscapes are the same, though. Depending on the colors and brightness, your followers can be left with feelings of excitement, serenity, pensiveness, or wonder.
What emotions do you want to evoke? Look at a picture and reflect on how you feel. See how those emotions align with your message.
This one makes me feel adventurous and optimistic. You too?
Go forth and visualize
While these images have worked well for other businesses, there isn’t a one size fits all.
It’s up to you to decide what type of images work well with your vision. After all, you’re ultimately in charge of the direction that your business takes.
Are you ready to promote yourself and make an impact? Then start by letting me know what type of images give you the best results.
I look forward to connecting with you!
P.S. After you leave a comment, grab my guide to increasing your productivity here.
Guest Author: Melissa Chu helps bloggers get the most out of the content they create. For more ideas on achieving success and making an impact, join the newsletter (with a productivity guide included)