Visual content strategy, visual content, content strategy, small businesses in Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita small businesses, visual marketing, Santa Clarita photographer, Santa Clarita video, Santa Clarita business video

Your 2020 Visual Content Strategy

Kirsten Quinn Uncategorized

Your 2020 Visual Content Strategy is here. Map out a year’s worth of visuals, so you can execute your marketing plan with efficiency and ease. 

Visual content strategy, visual content, content strategy, small businesses in Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita small businesses, visual marketing, Santa Clarita photographer, Santa Clarita video, Santa Clarita business video

Today’s digital marketing demands make it feel like you have to be everywhere — all the time

Websites. Email marketing. Multiple social media channels. SEO. Blogs. Videos. Podcasts. 

The opportunities to get in front of your audience are endless, but that also makes the work feel endless. 

And sometimes, it feels downright impossible. 

But here’s the thing. It’s not. 

It just requires some planning, and then some dedicated resources. 

This is something we do each year, and we’ve found a content creation system that works for us — without creating too much work for our team. 

And that’s what we hope this 2020 Visual Content Strategy helps you achieve in the new decade. 

This plan is designed to help you identify the visuals you’ll need to create content that puts you everywhere, all the time. So you can add this to your overall marketing plan and streamline your content creation process, too. 

So let’s dive in!

What’s 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. 

Visual content strategy, visual content, content strategy, small businesses in Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita small businesses, visual marketing, Santa Clarita photographer, Santa Clarita video, Santa Clarita business video

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.

As part of your overall marketing plan, your Visual Content Strategy helps you plot out the visuals you’ll need to support your goals for the year.

Planning to launch a new product? Your Visual Content Strategy will help you figure out what you need to pull off your campaign: product photography, an announcement video, social media photography, testimonial videos, live videos, etc. 

Is a website rebrand in your 2020 plans? Use this strategy to figure out what type of marketing photography you’ll need to feature your business and your team, as well as the videos you may want to tell your story and feature your products. 

Whatever your marketing goals are, make sure you know exactly what you need to execute and achieve them. 

Why Do I Need To Prioritize Visual Content? 

Now, you may be wondering why your visuals need their own plan. Are they really that important? Yes. Here’s why: 

  • Visuals are the first thing the brain recognizes when viewing your content. In fact, our brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, according to Web Marketing Group. 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.
  • With marketing trends shifting toward personalization, humanization and storytelling, there’s more focus than ever on visuals that feature you in your element. Lifestyle marketing photography and educational videos highlight your brand in a way that’s inviting to your audience — rather than feeling like in-your-face advertising. Personalized and relatable visuals create connection between you and the digital world. 
  • Intentional, quality content will help you stand out from your competition and differentiate your brand. You are what separates you from your competition. That’s why developing a personal brand is so important. By showcasing your unique talents, personality and approach, you’re creating a product and a brand no one else can have or offer. 

Your 2020 Visual Content Strategy 

1. Clarify your 2020 marketing goals. 

Visual content strategy, visual content, content strategy, small businesses in Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita small businesses, visual marketing, Santa Clarita photographer, Santa Clarita video, Santa Clarita business videoFirst and foremost, it’s vital to clarify your marketing goals for the year. Creating visuals in a slap-dash fashion — or just because you feel like you have to — isn’t going to serve your strategy or your budget well. 

Instead, identify your top three goals, and map out your visual strategy based on what you need to accomplish those goals. That way, you can maximize the content you’re able to create because you’ll only be creating what you need. 

So start by identifying exactly what you want to achieve, as well as the results you hope to see from your efforts. These three goals will guide you through the Visual Content Strategy and help you create from an informed place. 

2. Get organized with a content audit. 

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 have — 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.

3. Identify the visual content you need. 

Once you know what you want to accomplish, as well as what content you already have, you can move forward with a clear idea of what you still need. 

For each of the three goals you outlined in the first step, make a list of the visual content you’ll need to execute that goal. Then circle the pieces of content you still need to create, and create a separate list of your needed content. 

This is your master list of content needs for 2020. 

Visual content strategy, visual content, content strategy, small businesses in Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita small businesses, visual marketing, Santa Clarita photographer, Santa Clarita video, Santa Clarita business video

4. Prioritize and create your content. 

Now that you’re organized, it’s time to shift your focus to building your library of visual content. 

Since this won’t happen overnight, it’s important to prioritize your content needs. Based on your goals and marketing plan, what type of content do you need first? Determine your budget, and then map out a plan for building your content over time, starting with the most important assets first. 

If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got some suggestions for that, too. Begin 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.

5. Set your brand foundation with headshots.

Visual content strategy, visual content, content strategy, small businesses in Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita small businesses, visual marketing, Santa Clarita photographer, Santa Clarita video, Santa Clarita business videoIf you don’t have a proper headshot, or it’s outdated, that’s where you’ll want to start. Headshots are the foundation of any visual content plan, as well as the foundation of your brand. Especially with social media, the constant demand for photography makes headshots a necessity. When you add in blogging, email marketing and your website, you’ll likely need multiple headshots with different looks, poses and expressions. Additionally, you might want to consider a group shot of your entire team, as well as professional portraits of your business location. 

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

6. Create connection with lifestyle photography. 

Today’s consumer wants to align with companies that have brands, faces and personalities. They want to know why you do what you do, and they want to see you doing it. They want to feel what you felt when you first started your business — and they want all that from a screen.

Yes, it’s a challenge for most people to figure out how to make their brand human enough to connect with the consumer in this digital world. But the good news is — you already have everything you need in order to do it. People just want to know you, and all you have to do is show them.

Cue the lifestyle marketing shoot. This isn’t your typical headshot or professional portrait. This type of photography should capture you in your element, doing what you do best. Lifestyle images are meant to feel candid but look professional.

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
  • (10-30+) Lifestyle marketing portraits of you and your team

Visual content strategy, visual content, content strategy, small businesses in Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita small businesses, visual marketing, Santa Clarita photographer, Santa Clarita video, Santa Clarita business video

7. 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

8. Add personality with candids and live videos. 

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 or experiment with your content, this is where you do it. Seasonal branding, offers 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 or inspirational, not business-related
  • (1+) Weekly candid and/or live video for social media
  • (4+) Seasonal social media posts featuring an offer, promotion or free gift to keep your audience engaged
  • (As needed) Additional social media visuals/graphics: quotes, memes, infographics, etc.
Visual content strategy, visual content, content strategy, small businesses in Santa Clarita, Santa Clarita small businesses, visual marketing, Santa Clarita photographer, Santa Clarita video, Santa Clarita business video
Visual Marketing In Santa Clarita 

At SchlickArt, we offer more than photography and video services to the Santa Clarita area and beyond. We do our best to provide our clients with marketing expertise and direction every chance we get. We know you need your images and video to help grow your business — that’s why you invest in them, and that’s why do, too. Please take a minute to search through our blogs to find the visual marketing information that will help your business, or give us a call. We’re happy to help! 

About SchlickArt Photography and Video

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.