How to Add Visuals to Your Social Media Strategy

Visual content is the leading currency in social media. Here’s how to get the biggest bang for your visual content buck.

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Visual content is taking over social media. With platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube leading the charge, there’s a clear difference in the way audiences respond to content that begins with a strong visual impact. To capitalize on this trend (which arguably stems directly from human nature), adding visual elements to your social media strategy is a must.

Before you start sharing random photos of puppies with your Twitter audience, spend some time thinking about your goals. Are you hoping visual content will help better educate your readers? Is your goal to boost engagement? Do you want to use visuals to bring in more leads? Having these questions answered will help guide your decisions about what types of visual content to use, as well as when and how to share it.

Here’s a look at the most popular forms of visual content and how to incorporate them into your social media strategy:

Original photos: While glossy stock images can seem like the way to go, audiences aren’t fooled by the shortcut. Wherever possible, use real, original photos that are relevant to your written content. Content with relevant images has consistently outperformed content with stock imagery (or without photos) for the past several years by a huge margin. But you don’t need to blow your budget on professional photoshoots to accomplish this. Most of us have a high-quality digital camera in our pockets every day. And free image editors like Canva (a Web-based tool) and GIMP (an open-source image-editing program) can help you do a lot to spruce up your photos without spending a fortune.

Infographics: If your content is data-heavy in nature, use fun, professionally designed infographics to make it more attractive—and more shareable. Content Marketing Institute reports that 65% of B2B marketers are already using infographics, so it’s something those audiences expect. Additionally, HubSpot research has shown that infographics are shared three times more frequently than other types of visual content, so the advantage is clear.

Videos: Creating original, custom video content can be costly and time-consuming, but it could also pay off big time. Some believe that 80% of online marketing is video, and adding videos to social media posts has been proven to increase engagement across all platforms. Even a short how-to or FAQ video can produce a favorable return, and creating video content on a regular basis will keep your audience coming back for more.