Visual content for blogs is a must have in 2017, and there are so many benefits – it improves site SEO, more blog views, increased time spent on page, improving your brand image and more.
But, you don’t always have to create it yourself – In this post, I’ve laid out a few different types of great visual blog content, and the different methods for producing it yourself, or finding a good piece that already exists.
Creating Visual Content vs Finding and Curating It
Content you’ve made for your blog will always be more relevant to your audience and perform better, because it’s made by you, and for specific purpose.
However, we know there’s not always the time and/or budget for original visual content, and you have to look elsewhere for visuals.
The key is to find a good balance, and figure when it is really necessary to create your own, and when you can use something that’s already been made to illustrate your point.
I guess the first thing people think of in terms of visual content and a blog is photos.
If it’s relevant, just take some photos, phone camera usually have a fairly decent lens these days – certainly good enough quality for a blog post, providing you have good natural light.
Types of photos that can work well for blogs, are specific product shots, or photos of your staff, events you’ve been to, your space, any gadgets you use. Showing your company culture can make you much more personable and add a real voice to your blog posts.
If you’re not up for photography, a few places to find specific imagery are Wikimedia Commons & Flickr CC – just make sure you get the attribution right (sometimes you need to add the author for example).
Or for more generic stock photos you can head to Death to the Stock Photo. They pride themselves in being non cheesy, which is great! However, any photos you choose still need to reflect your company, so pick carefully – it really needs to be applicable to the blog content and reflect your brand accurately.
Often, a photo isn’t enough – you need a few words to fully explain your point, and help people remember your content better.
If you have some design knowledge, then Photoshop or Illustrator are great for creating fully bespoke graphics, that will be the most relevant to your content and really represent your company in terms of style.
However, If you’re inexperienced in design, then I would head to Canva. Canva is a free service, and if you have no clue about design / layout / colours/ fonts/ whatever, don’t worry! It’s extremely user friendly for creating visual content that works well.
Remember that while you may want to use lots of font and colours, often less is more. And as always it needs to be in keeping with your brand and easy to digest. It’s worth picking 1 style and keeping within that, or only varying slightly while you’re finding your feet. This will create more unity.
Infographics & Charts
If your blog post is numbers based at all – an infographic is perfect for Condensing lots of information into an easy to understand format. Rather than just a list of numbers, you can represent them visually, and give much more impact.
There’s many ways a professional would make these – if it were me, a mix of Illustrator and Indesign probably (but I’m very nerdy) – and keeping a nice grid layout for good comprehension.
Creating infographics may seem daunting if you’re less nerdy, but again, there are foolproof ways if you have solid data! Canva also has great functionality for this and so does infogr.am. You’ll have lots of options for the best way to visually show your data.
To find premade infographics, you can look on infographicsshowcase, SlideShare and coolinfographics but one of the best ways to find infographics most relevant to your industry / niche is searching in google using your specific keywords + infographic.
Graphs & charts
If you don’t need a whole infographic, but you just want to illustrate one point at a time with a impactful chart, you can create these easily by using Google Sheets or Google Slides.
They may not be the most ‘beautiful’, but they will be extremely relevant to your web audience and a useful asset to display data, and make it more easily understood.
Videos are known to be impactful on blog posts, and it can be fairly easy to create them. You can go the DIY route and have a go (but do invest in a tripod!), you can make a video with your smartphone – and the end quality will matter less if the content is good.
Videos that are good for blogs are; animated infographics, tutorials, client case studies (whether animated or filmed) short videos with staff about specific topics, showing new products / premises, yuor if you’re more regular with production, then you can start a Vlog. A vlog is a great way to add a human face to your business, and give real, personal feeling, insights to customers.
Tips for Using Video on Your Blog - Tubular Insights
If you want to step up your game, you can hire a professional. If you’re using a video production company, I would recommend filming / producing a few videos at a time to create some economies of scale – especially if it will form a series, this means you’ll have a consistent output and a consistent look.
Again, finding the time and resources to create blog videos may not always be possible, but there’s so many videos already online now, we’d hope that at least 1 shows your point!
Finding relevant videos can be a bit of a minefield but Youtube, Ted Talks and Vimeo and are good places to start – have a keyword in mind, and keep trying variations of that until you find it. If you find someone or a channel who creates good videos quite frequently – it’s worth bookmarking!
It’s been shown that visual content on your blog will earn you higher engagement, and there are so many options – with different levels of difficulty and cost – so just find what’s right for your company right now. You can invest as little or as much time as you want, and still have more impact with your blogs.
In an ideal world, we’d always create our own content, but not everyone is at this stage. So, the key with finding the right content for your blogs online is very careful consideration – question each item – does this speak to my audience, does it suit my brand, does it say what I want to say, does it have the right tone for my site?
If you’re ready to start producing bespoke content for your blog, and you want a hand with graphic design or video for your company, have a look at our portfolio and get in touch!