5 Types of Visuals to Transform Stale Social Media Content

Posted November 7, 2016 | Laura Christianson

By Pierre de Braux
Guest Contributor

It’s well known that a picture is worth a thousand words. That’s because visuals communicate a message in seconds. In the battle for audience attention, message delivery speed is extremely important.

If the visual content you’re using is feeling stale, change things up.

We retain as much as 90% of information delivered through visuals. | BloggingBistro.com

We retain as much as 90% of information delivered through visuals.

Visual content challenge

During the next five weeks, experiment with all five of these types of visual content:

  1. Memes
  2. Videos
  3. Animated GIFs and comics
  4. Infographics
  5. Presentations

1. Memes

Example of a meme | BloggingBistro.comA meme (rhymes with team) is a captioned photo. Popular among the young crowd, memes are meant to be funny, and sometimes, to ridicule public behavior. They’re a fun way to use pop culture to make your brand more relatable.

Pretty much anyone can create a meme using an online meme generator. Popular sites include Imgflip and Memegenerator. They’re simple and more importantly, fast.

2. Videos

The average human attention span has decreased from twelve seconds to eight. So it’s no surprise that videos are quickly becoming the dominant content type.

The attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds. The attention span of a human is 8 seconds. | BloggingBistro.comTo this end, social platforms like Facebook and Instagram allow users to upload videos. A common factor of viral videos is that they’re short and to the point.

The most common types are tutorials and explainer videos. MarketingLand details this in their article about how to launch a video marketing strategy.

Here’s a 36-second animated infographic that overviews eight steps to build an animated explainer video.

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3. Animated GIFs and Comics

Comical cartoons like Marketoonist, and animated GIFs, help brands tell good stories even better.

Like memes, GIFs are usually for entertainment purposes and for delivering a perspective in seconds.

Sample of animated GIF | BloggingBistro.com

Fortunately, GIFs are also easy to create yourself. All you need to get started is a video or a selection of progressing images.

Upload them to a site like Makeagif or Giphy and choose how you want the GIF to unfold.

4. Infographics

Most of us learn better through images. In fact, we retain as much as 90% of information delivered through visuals.

Infographics are a visual form of delivering complex information and statistics, making the content easier to digest.

This infographic from Socially Sorted reveals seven key elements of an excellent infographic.

7 Superpowers of a Knockout Infographic

Infographics are more complicated to produce than memes or GIFs, but the outcome can be well worth the effort. Here’s a step-by-step article I wrote on how to create a killer infographic.

5. Presentations

Presentations aren’t just for business meetings; they’re a great way for readers to consume content. Think of a presentation as an infographic with pages.

Good presentations are snippets of text with complementary symbols or images. Though they’re mostly used as educational tools, there’s no reason why you can’t be creative with them, like this one from Mark Johnstone.

The more creative you can be with your presentation, the more likely it is to strike a chord with your audience.

Besides Microsoft PowerPoint and Keynote, the most popular presentation tools available are SlideShare and Prezi.

SlideShare is the more professional/integrated option, whereas Prezi is better for creative presentations with pretty graphics.

Learn about the best presentation practices with Kissmetrics’ marketer’s guide to SlideShare. The principles apply to all presentations, regardless of the platform.

Helpful Hints

Whether your objective is to inform or entertain your target audience, always assess which content works best for your purpose.

Use a content matrix to help segregate the formats. Choose wisely because each format ignites a distinct and unique result with different audiences.

Complement your textual content with relevant visual material. Content is king, but execution is the queen, and the two go hand-in-hand.

A good variety of visual content will help deliver your message and will keep your audience interested and coming back for more.

Your turn!

Which of these five types of visual content will you try first?

  1. Meme
  2. Video
  3. Animated GIF
  4. Infographic
  5. Presentation

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About our guest columnist

5 Types of Visuals to Transform Stale Social Media Content | BloggingBistro.comPierre de Braux is a content strategist at Spiralytics who enjoys reading, writing and learning about all things marketing-related.

In his free time, he pines for a faster internet connection so he can watch cat videos in ultra high definition.

Join Pierre on his quest for glory on Twitter @PierredeBraux.

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