You need visual content. Of course you do. But how the heck do you CREATE it?

If you've read articles on visual content marketing you may have noticed that they're all structured like this:

  1. you DESPERATELY need visual content;
  2. we have STATISTICS to prove it and make you scared;
  3. use these TOOLS to create it; and/or
  4. check out what these BRANDS do; and/or
  5. use these DASHBOARDS to automate and analyse it.

Sadly, this is information is quite useless for the average marketeer or business owner. 

You probably already know you need visual content. You knew it last year. And the year before. 

You know you need to start sharing more visuals on Facebook, Instagram or wherever it is you and your business hang out. 

You know visual rules. Images get 150% more retweets. Conversion skyrockets with video. Etcetera.

You know.

And you'd love to do it. Share more visuals. Rule Facebook. Become an Instagram god(dess). 

But nobody is telling you how to take the damn pictures! 

If someone told you 'YOU NEED TEXT TO BE SUCCESSFUL ON SOCIAL MEDIA' you'd think they were mad. That is completely unspecific, useless advice. Yet it's exactly what most articles on visuals do. Just replace 'visual content' with 'text' and there you go.

Thing is, we're so unfamiliar with visuals we haven't even got the proper vocabulary to talk about how to use them (visual equivalent of copywriting? anyone?). Nor have most of us been taught how they work. 

Maybe you've been to marketing school. Maybe you've been to copywriting school. 

But you've probably never been to 'how visuals actually work' school.

Nor to 'how to create photographs or video that converts' school. 

Well let's go about fixing that. Today. With some basic concepts. 

Let's say you have a product you would like to sell. 

You could take a picture of it. Something like this photograph right here. 

A product on a white, neutral background (yes, I realise this is LEGO - but use your imagination and replace it with a product of your own).

If you took a picture like this you'd be doing better than at least 70% of the internet. 

Why?

  • Your product is clearly visible.
  • It's neatly placed in the frame.
  • It's on a neutral background which doesn't distract

There's even some depth to the image thanks to the diagonal lines.

If you have a webshop and you want to show people what your product looks like: not too shabby. No too shabby at all.

However, if you want to do some social media marketing, and your product isn't something utterly sexy like a Ferrari or a big giant diamond, then you'll need a bit more. 

You don't need an expensive camera or lighting setup (although that could help). 

You don't need a set dresser or gorgeous models (although...).

What you need is CONTEXT.

You need to tell people something about your product - just like you would do if you were writing about it. 

You wouldn't just say 'hey - here's my product. get it!'. 

You'd explain what it's for. Why it works so well. What amazing other people use it. Why no household should be without it.

You need to do the same with visuals. 

So let's provide some context to our LEGO - with, of course, more LEGO.

Look! It's Christmas! And your product...would be the perfect GIFT!

Or how about this - your product is so cute...even BABIES love it!

Maybe you have a product geared towards a specific demographic. In that case, consider including someone from said demographic in the picture:

You get it, right?

For your visuals to be effective, you need to give your viewer something to work with. 

So...for your first assignment in 'visual content school' think about this. 

  • What is the story of your product?
  • What is its point?
  • How is it used?
  • By whom?
  • And where?
  • In what part of the world/year/day?

And then start thinking about how that could translate to visuals. 

Brainstorm relevant context - and how that could translate to visuals.

Until next time - when we talk about...grabbing attention! Or eyeballs, if you prefer.