What’s a Visual Content Strategy? Your step-by-step guide to all the visual content you’ll need this year.
We’re not going to call this a business resolution because — let’s be honest — do you really keep your resolutions? Your marketing goals are way too important to leave in the hands of a fickle resolution. Instead, here is your complete Visual Content Strategy for 2019.
This plan is designed to lay out all the different types of visual content you’ll need for your marketing efforts in 2019, in order of highest to lowest importance. Like a list you can check as your budget allows, consider this your pocket guide to all the visual content elements you’ll need to support your marketing.
Why Do I Need Visual Content?
We live in a visual world! Visual content is the first thing the brain recognizes when viewing your digital branding and advertising. In fact, our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, according to Web Marketing Group. So consider your visual content to be your business’ first impression on the digital world.
Better yet, people retain 80% of visual content, as compared to 20% of written content. Not only are visuals the first thing your audience sees, but they’re also the last thing your audience will remember.
As they say, you only get one first impression, and in today’s saturated digital market, you better make it count.
What Is A Visual Content Strategy?
At the start of each year, we work hard on grand marketing plans, complex strategies and detailed calendars we hope will take our businesses to the next level and, well, allow us to take over the world.
What we forget, however, is that we need the materials, or content, to put these plans into action. Sure, a well-documented content marketing strategy with deadlines and marketing personas is killer. But when you’re finally ready to publish that first blog, where are you going to get the pictures to promote it?
That’s where your Visual Content Strategy comes into play.
Visual content is your inventory — of images, videos, ads, graphics, infographics, memes, presentations, logos, etc. — that represents you, your business and your brand.
A Visual Content Strategy is a step-by-step guide to building your inventory over time, so your marketing efforts are consistently branded across all platforms and throughout the year.
So, without further adieu, here’s your 2019 Visual Content Strategy.
There’s no use in having a massive library of visual content unless it’s organized enough to be useful. This may sound like a dreaded first step, but it’s also the kind of work you can easily delegate. Consider your available options, and dedicate the necessary resources to get this first step done. That way, you’ll know exactly what you need— and you may not even need as much content as you anticipated! Here are a few tips to get organized:
- Start with your most important assets, and make them shareable. Collect your most commonly used logos, photos and graphics, and assemble them in a centralized location. “One-stop shops of branded assets — including high-res and low-res imagery, different formats and even predefined sizes for social media — can save massive time by cutting down requests to designers and creatives for reformatting tasks,” according to Flight by Canto.
- Determine an organizational structure that works. I suggest bringing in the team members who will be using your Content Library, so they can be part of this conversation. Together, decide how your assets should be organized, as well as who is responsible for organizing current and future assets.
- Add metadata. This step is becoming increasingly more important as SEO strategies become more vital to your marketing efforts. Like blog entries, photos and graphics can be embedded with keywords when they’re uploaded to your website. Think of it as a trail of crumbs for Google to find you when customers go looking. Metadata also helps make your Library more searchable.
Begin Curating Your Visual Content Library.
Now that you’re organized, it’s time to shift your focus to building your library.
Start with your most professional visual content, then add candid material from there — this is crucial. To establish an intentional and credible brand, head for the professionals. Selfies and Facebook Lives are great avenues to add relatability to a well-established brand, but if it’s the only visual content your audience sees, it will detract from your credibility. Even if your target market is a casual, organic-marketing kind of bunch, opt for professional visuals and use a casual tone with subtle messaging.
Why? No one likes organic content if it’s poorly executed, just the same as no one likes over-the-top, sales-driven content. People like authentic content, but that doesn’t mean it’s a free pass to be careless with your execution.
Consumers are spending more and more time researching the brands they purchase from, and they can tell when content was produced thoughtfully, intentionally and professionally. Can’t you? A professional team of creative, visual storytellers can help you learn how to approach visual content. They can lead you, teach you and, most importantly, help you create effective, professional content.
Control Your First Impression With Professional Portraits.
Make sure your branding is up-to-date, and then get ready to say cheese. Professional portraits and a few amazing headshots are vital. Let me repeat that: VITAL! Not only do they help connect your face and your brand in people’s minds, but they make you more inviting. It’s easier than you think to communicate the message you want in a photo, and that’s NOT an opportunity to miss out on.
Build a solid foundation of marketing photos with these essential elements:
- (3-10) Professional headshots
- (1-3) Group shots of your entire team
- (6-12) Professional portraits that showcase your location and products
Stay Relevant With Lifestyle Photography.
Once you have a professional foundation of headshots, professional portraits and marketing images of your location, it’s time to add professional lifestyle photography. This particular style of photography has risen in popularity, especially over the last year, as social media demands more, new content all the time. These shoots capture you in your element — say at the beach or in your living room with a glass of wine. Maybe they showcase you at work, as you work with your team and deliver products/services to your customers. A marketing lifestyle shoot gives you the photos you need to connect with your audience on a human level, making this style of photography perfect for personal brands, realtors, authors, speakers and anyone who wants a deeper connection with their audience.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- (10+) Lifestyle shots of you in having fun
- (10+) Lifestyle shots of you working
- (10+) Lifestyle shots of you working, with a wardrobe change
Tell Your Story With Business Videos.
Once you’ve populated your digital spaces with professional business photos, your business videos will take your credibility — and engagement — to the next level.
Viewers spend 100% more time on pages that contain video, according to MarketingSherpa, and they are 85% more likely to purchase a product after watching a video about it, according to Internet Retailer. As a bonus, it’s 50 times easier to get a video to rank on the first page of Google than other content, according to ragan.com.
It’s as simple as that: Be seen with video.
Build your business video foundation with these essential branding videos:
- (1) Greet visitors with a professional introduction on your Homepage
- (1+) Tell the story of your business on your About Page
- (3+) Showcase your top services
- (3+) Answer FAQs or correct misconceptions
- (3+) Share customer testimonials
- (3+) Overcome your prospects’ most common objections
Add Personality With Candids.
Now that you’ve established a professional foundation for your visual marketing, it’s time to add some candid content. Candid content is great to communicate the nuances of your brand or add a bit of personality and light-heartedness to break up your more substantive content. If you want to play, this is where you do it. Seasonal branding, sales and promotions also fall in this category.
The goal here is to create quick, easy content and produce it consistently. So this type of content will be created steadily throughout the entire year.
Here are a few places to start:
- (1+) Weekly social media post with a candid photo about something personal, not business-related
- (1+) Weekly candid and/or live video for social media
- (4+) Seasonal social media posts featuring a deal, promotion or free gift
- (As needed) Additional social media visuals/graphics: infographics, memes, quotes, data visualizations, etc.
Bottom Line: Your 2019 Marketing Needs A Visual Content Strategy
While the sky’s the limit when it comes to visual content, a firm foundation is a necessary place to start. When it comes to a solid visual content strategy, keep your foundation professional, then layer on candid content through social media and other informal digital spaces.
The face of your business will never look more appealing.
About Our Santa Clarita Headshots
With the mind of a businesswoman and the heart of an adventurer, Lindsay began to conceive of a different kind of Santa Clarita photography business. In her vision, stepping in front of the camera could be an empowering experience that gave her clients more than just a photograph — it would give people a new way of seeing themselves. With an eye for seeing the beauty in life and in others, Lindsay could use the camera to spread beauty.
About Our Santa Clarita Business Videos
SchlickArt Business Video Sessions are story-driven films about your business, non-profit, product or service. Our goal is to discover your ‘why’ — the true reason you do what you do. Our specialty is telling stories, and we believe communicating your story is the best way to build your brand. We can’t wait for you to see how the world notices when you take the time to tell your authentic story.
About SchlickArt Photography and Video, Your Source For Visual Content Strategy
SchlickArt, a boutique photo and video studio in Santa Clarita, started in March 2012 with the simple idea that empowerment creates a kind of beauty and authenticity that shines through every camera lens. Built on a philosophy — rather than a product, service or person — SchlickArt has rapidly evolved, meeting professional portraiture, business photo and business video needs as diverse as the community we capture. It’s the desire to take care of you, the client, that drives us at SchlickArt.