Are you incorporating visual storytelling as part of your content marketing strategy? You should be (aside from the fact classic storytelling has never gone out of style).
Posts with video attract three times more links than posts with text only, Moz reports, and posts that include images result in a whopping 650 percent more engagement than ones without, according to Adobe. The popularity of Snapchat and Instagram and the increasing emphasis on video, photos and livestreaming on Facebook are further proof that visuals are a vital component of a solid content marketing strategy.
Their importance is only going to grow, too. By 2018, an estimated 84 percent of communications will be visual, a Cisco study found, and 79 percent of internet traffic will be video content, according to a separate Cisco whitepaper.
What counts as visual content?
- Slideshows and presentations
- Images and stories posted and created on platforms like Instagram and Snapchat
A note about video: This type of content comes in a variety of formats. Brands may produce short videos on Vine, Instagram or Snapchat, or put up tutorials, product reviews, behind-the-scenes footage, or entertaining videos on Facebook, YouTube or Vimeo. It also includes livestreaming videos on Facebook and Periscope, which enable brands to connect with customers on a more personal level.
If you need to step up production of visual content to remain competitive in a marketing landscape dominated by visuals, these tools will help:
Canva is a simple-to-use tool for producing designs and documents for your company. Use it to create images for social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter. You can choose from a wide variety of logos, fonts, backgrounds, frames and grids, and upload your own images.
Canva is free, but premium elements will cost you $1 each. A paid option, called Canva for Work, is $9.95 per month if you pay annually and $12.95 if you pay on a month-to-month basis. With this, you can save your brand colors, fonts, and logos and organize your images into folders.
Visme is an online tool for creating infographics, presentations, slideshows, banner ads and graphics for web content. You can make your content private, public, or password-protected, incorporate audio and video, and animate links and pictures.
There are more than 100 fonts, thousands of icons, and millions of free images available on the platform. It’s free for three projects per month, and you receive 100 MB of storage and the ability to publish online. Other pricing options are $10 per month for 15 projects and 250 MB of storage, or $19 per month for unlimited projects and storage along with privacy, collaboration, and analytics.
Pixlr is an online platform for photo editing. There is the Pixlr Editor tool, which is like Photoshop in that it lets you work in layers and digitally manipulate photos. Pixlr Express is for simpler editing like overlaying with text, incorporating icons and adding filters.
Both options are free, and all you need to do to get started is upload the photo you wish to work on. It’s the ideal platform for creating quick memes and graphics.
Visage helps brands take their data and information and turn it into stunning and comprehensive graphics. They’re best for infographics, ebooks, blog images, survey results and social cards. The company can also provide a design expert from their team to assist your organization with its needs.
You can try the platform for free. For $50 per month, you can receive up to 10 graphics, and for $400 per month, the company provides up to 100 graphics. Each option includes discounts on different graphics as well as hourly rates for other design assets.
WeVideo is a cloud-based video editor that enables multiple users to collaborate on a single project. It gives you transitions, green screen, and fast- and slow-motion options, and you can save videos to the cloud or your hard drive. Your footage is uploaded to a timeline, and it’s simple to add in any features that you may need. You can upload directly to different websites through the tool.
The pricing ranges from free to $95.88 per year. With the free option, you get 1 GB of storage and your video is watermarked. For the full package, you get unlimited storage, no watermark, and the ability to upload in 4K Ultra HD.
Camtasia gives you the power to record what’s happening on your screen and overlay it with audio commentary. You can also add video effects to the recording such as text boxes, green screen, panning and zooming. Use it to create product demonstrations, tutorials and lessons.
You can try Camtastia free for 30 days. If you’d like to purchase it, the company charges $199 for a single user license, with discounted rates for education and government. They also offer volume pricing.
7. Facebook Live
Facebook Live lets your brand livestream behind-the-scenes footage, product demonstrations, interviews and any other exclusive, live events you have going on.
When you go live, you can interact with your audience through commenting and see how they’re reacting to your feed. There are filters and tools that let you write on top your video to make it even more fun.
Those who watch your videos will have the chance to follow you and receive notifications anytime you go live.
Facebook Live is free, but you may want to pay for ads via Facebook to advertise your live feed. Prices for ads vary.
Moovly is online software for creating animated presentations and videos. With it, you can create ads, tutorials and demonstrations for a variety of B2B and B2C purposes. There is a library of objects you can use, and all the assets are drag and drop. You can add in voiceover, and enlist the help of a Moovly professional for scriptwriting, animation and voiceover recording.
The platform includes a number of pricing options that range from $60 to $300 per year, outside of a free trial version (that watermarks your videos). The $60 version comes with unlimited videos and 1GB of storage. The highest priced version gives you 5GB of storage, commercial use, and priority rendering.
9. Imgflip Meme Generator
Imgflip Meme Generator is a simple tool to produce customized memes with popular meme images. If you don’t know what memes are currently trending, just log onto Imgflip and see for yourself. Add your own text as it relates to your brand’s messaging, and save it for upload.
The downside with this free platform is that your meme will come out with an Imgflip watermark. To take it off, use Imgflip Pro, which is $9.95 per month and includes an animated GIF feature.
Atavist gives you the power to incorporate a variety of visuals into your articles, blog posts and other text-heavy pieces of content. You can drag and drop photos, videos, SoundCloud audio, charts, maps and slideshows into your copy. The platform comes with design elements that give you the chance to play with different title designs and visual themes.
The platform has a free tial, and monthly plans range from $50 for single professionals to $250 for agencies. The plan for agencies includes developer features, subscriptions and paywalls.
Help your content get noticed
Visual storytelling is only going to continue its rise. Which tools do you use to create visual content? Did your favorite make the list? Let us know in the comments below.