How to Use Snackable Visual Content on Your Blog

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It has become harder than ever to get your content seen and shared on social media. Newsfeeds are moving fast. Content is being produced at an ever increasing rate and users can control what they choose to read.  Snackable Visual Content cuts through the noise and drives traffic and engagement;  small, easily digestible images that convey information visually.

How to Use Snackable Visual Content on your Blog

 

In this post we talk about how snackable visual content works, why it is different from the “traditional” infographic, and how you can use it in your blog posts to get more shares and drive traffic.   

Snackable Visual Content is a term I use for images that are digestible, highly shareable and can easily cross social platforms and drive traffic.

Although I am a big fan of infographics and we get great results with them for clients, I often encourage our readers and clients to experiment with other graphic sizes, lengths and styles.

Snackable Visual Content can come in a number of forms that can be used on your blog. Let’s look at 4 examples in action:

#1  Photos or images with text overlays

Featuring a simple image that illustrates a key point, or provides a how-to example or a tip or quote straight from your post, makes your blog post so much more shareable and ready to pinned to Pinterest.

By doing this you are providing your readers with a way to share a part of the post or the element that resonated with them the most.

Canva does this well in their blog posts.  Click here to see an example from their blog and shown in the image below:

Images on Canva Blog
The Canva team illustrate their blog post with bright, shareable, “snackable” images.  Any of these images can be pinned, shared or reblogged (with credit of course!).

As you can see in the screenshot, there are many “shareables” in the Canva post.  This is important as it provides two means for “sharing” Canva’s content:

  • the Canva team can easily then take these images and share them on to Google Plus, Pinterest or Facebook – each image is optimised to send people who click on the image (or attached link) back to their blog post….driving traffic!
  • their readers/subscribers/followers can share the image themselves – by pinning straight to Pinterest using the Pin It button.

Whether it is brand-generated or organic user-generated traffic that results – it’s a win for Canva by including snackable visual content in their blog posts.

#2  Mini-graphs, tables or charts

Rather than larger infographics,  smaller graphs, tables or charts can be embedded into a post to illustrate the same point.

These types of images are also easily shared to Pinterest, or Facebook or even LinkedIn.  They encourage readers to share a key concept or “part” of your whole post, leading readers back to your blog from other social media platforms.

Sometimes bloggers want to illustrate a single point and back it up with data – if you have created an image that helps to explain that data well, then others are likely to share and reference to it in a whole range of related blog posts.

Dan Zarella does this very well over on his blog.  Dan is known as “The Social Media Scientist” for good reason. He breaks down data and research into relevant, shareable graphs and tables – all to help marketers better understand social behaviour (from a data-backed position).

It makes sense then that Dan’s posts have a lot of “data” in them. But he doesn’t take us to Boredom Town with it. Oh no.

Instead, he cleverly breaks that data up into smaller “snackable” images that help to illustrate his point.  They are also highly shareable as shown in this excerpt from his blogpost:

Dan_Zarella_Hashtag_Image
Dan Zarella will often include shareable images or small infographics in his posts – giving readers another way to “consume” his data – visually… and to share it, easily.

Dan provides a mix of mini-graphs and longer infographics on his blog posts. You can check some out here and here and here.

The thing to note though, is that Dan always keeps his information simple, and represented in a way that allows readers to get a quick visual snapshot of his post, which encourages them to share.

Another example of a “stats” based blog that shares data well is Shareaholic – they produce regular reports on their blog and illustrate their findings with one or two clear and easy to read graphs.

Here is an example of their recent report showing referral traffic from social media sites using the Shareaholic tools.  The following image is easily pinned to Pinterest or shared from the blog:

Shareaholic_Traffic_Drivers_2013

In the following example, Reddit shows that graphs do not have to be boring – they can be a little bit cheeky!   Reddit’s recent spike in traffic is interesting, but a little bit of cheek also helps with their shareability, don’t you think?

Shareaholic_Reddit_Graph
Note the PinIt Button ready to go? Images are so easily shared – optimize your blog post to take advantage of it!

How can you get creative with mini-graphs and shareable data? There are many ways to represent this information to make it interesting.  As always I recommend you think outside the square and get “cheeky” with it.

Play with it!  Don’t do what everyone else does. Be different!

#3  Snack-0-graphics (or mini-infographics).

These can be a stand alone image or a series of images that are taken from a larger infographic.

Take for example the images on this post.  My design team created the featured infographic called the Superpowers of a Knockout Infographic. I could have stopped at the infographic itself,  but instead, we added some simple mini-graphic versions of the content from the infographic.  

These mini versions or “snippets’ of the infographic can be produced in the form of small images that contain information from the graphic itself, as follows:  

Screenshot 2014-01-21 21.43.24
Now the reader has the choice to share the entire blog, just the infographic, or the single images…or all of them!

By inserting mini images into the post, we instantly provided additional content that could be shared to our platform of choice.

Even better, it allowed our readers to share them too by pinning them to Pinterest.

These graphics can also take the shape of one whole section of the main infographic.  We often design our infographics with “sectioning” in mind – so that the title section or one of the main key messages can be pulled out as a separate graphic.

By offering not only the infographic to be shared but then a series of “mini” graphics that can be either embedded in blog posts or shared out on social media, you give your audience more reason to pin, share and tweet your images.

For example,  you can see that the top two sections of this infographic could easily be segmented into a title graphic (which we did in this post). Or we could create a separate graphic about the “Story” alone, and then repeat for other sections of the infographic.

By designing with smaller "mini-graphics" in mind, you can create many traffic-driving images.
By designing with smaller “mini-graphics” in mind, you can create many traffic-driving images. for your blog and social media.

One infographic can potentially be segmented into many smaller images or min-infographics (“snack-o-graphics” as we sometimes call them).

You are only limited by your imagination as to how you can repurpose the content of a larger infographic.  Just make sure that every image stands alone and either helps your target audience or drives them to other content that helps them.

#4  Screenshots with Overlays/directions/how-to-instructions

I see many examples of screenshots used well on Facebook, and it can work just as effectively on blogs – they are easy to create, and extremely helpful to your audience.

Most screenshot images provide either how-to instructions or direction. Here is one example from Buffer, showing some ways that the Buffer CEO, Joel Gascoigne tweets on his Twitter account using Buffer.

As you can see it is a simple image, but worth creating – by making the information visual it immediately gives readers another way to not only process the information, but to share it:

Take a screenshot. Add arrows/instructions/highlights - Boom!  Shareable Image!
Take a screenshot. Add arrows/instructions/highlights – Boom! Shareable Image!

Note:   Check out the Buffer Blog as they feature a lot of images and small graphics in their “how-t0″ blog posts.

Why include “Snackable” Visual Content in your blog posts?

Here are a few reasons why you should consider this type of visual content: 

  1. It provides a visual “snapshot” of an idea, concept or story. Snackable Visual Content is a “piece” of your content that can either stand alone or lead the reader towards your complete article.
  2. It conveys one “big idea” or key message – not multiple messages as you would find on an infographic.
  3. It is easily processed and shared.

And remember, consumers are processing information quicker and quicker so the easier you make it for them to make a “decision” about your content the better.

The decision they make may be a simple one or one that drives traffic and sales – they may notice your content, like it, comment on it, click on a link, or share it.  Ideally you would normally want them to click on a link to your website or product and/or share it.

With visual content it becomes easier to get noticed, but you still have to entice the person to take action – this is where smaller, engaging and digestible (easily processed) content really shines. 

Other Tips:

  • Include a Pinterest Hover button such as Pin-It Pro or the native hover button from Pinterest on your blog – it encourages and reminds readers to share!
  • Ensure that each image stands alone – have enough information on the image so that when it is shared it conveys some essential information or data – it may get separated from your blog post and that is ok.
  • Ask your readers to share – there is no harm in putting a little statement into your blog post reminding them that it is ok to share your graphics (but please retain the link and source reference to you).
  • Ensure that your “header” or featured image on your blog tells the story of the blog post in some way – either with an image that represents your content or a text overlay with the blog post title or both.
  • How to Create Snackable Visual Content on Your Blog

Have you got a million image ideas swimming around in your head now?  What images do you find get successfully shared from your blog? Let me know what you think in the comments below. 

Pssst: Want to learn how to create original visual content that drives free traffic to your business, even if you are creatively-challenged and time-poor?  Join me for my new webinar!

Create Visual Content Webinar - Donna Moritz

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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is the founder of Socially Sorted, the Business Category Winner of the 2014 Best Australian Blogs Competition. Donna helps businesses, bloggers and entrepreneurs use visual social media and content strategy to get more reach, referrals and results in their business. She is a contributor to Entrepreneur Online, Social Media Examiner and Social Fresh, and has been featured in Forbes, NBC and Yahoo.
  • http://www.toprankmarketing.com/ Lee Odden

    Really good tips here Donna – I need to use some of these on our own blog. Thanks.

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au/ Donna Moritz

      Well, firstly it’s great to have you swing by here @leeodden:disqus and secondly…absolutely you should! – there is so much you can do with these types of visuals. I love infographics, but with so much organic traffic being shared and pinned from blogs now, the sky’s the limit if you have great visual content of any size. I’ll be talking a little about this stuff at SMMW14 – hopefully my session won’t clash with yours as I am really keen to see you speak…. and hope you are up for the challenge of another awesome wrap up post!

      • http://www.toprankmarketing.com/ Lee Odden

        Looking forward to your presentation Donna :)

        • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au/ Donna Moritz

          Thanks Lee – it’s coming up fast! Some great people heading over to SD from the States and a few Aussies so it will be another good year!

  • Kylie Patchett

    God I have SUCH a gal crush on you – for an online entrepreneur you have a bloody good knack of making “all that stuff about social media” so much more digestible (pun intended!). Simple, sassy and super helpful Donna! thank you honey x

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au/ Donna Moritz

      *Blush* thanks Kylie – love seeing what you have been creating. It’s exciting where this can go (only limited by imagination). Keep rockin’ those visuals! PS Love the pun. I’m a little hungry though, I gotta say!

  • Janina Lear

    Another great post Donna. Great for people who are daunted by big infographics.

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au/ Donna Moritz

      Good point Janina – it is a great way for any size business to dip their toe in the water with graphics especially with the tools available now to help!

  • Fiona Lucas

    I just LOVE the innovation in this post – not only do we get to understand more about infographics, but you have taught us how to repurpose them to provide even more valuable and shareable content. This is absolute gold!

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au/ Donna Moritz

      Hey Fiona! Thanks so much for your comment – yes it is great to have another option – you know I love infographics but I also love the fact that so many images are being shared organically from websites, so this helps small business owners to optimize their posts for that a lot more!

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  • Cassie Head

    Brilliant blog. Thanks Donna,

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au/ Donna Moritz

      Thanks! Glad you liked it Cassie!

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  • tobias

    Hi Donna

    please give me a tip on what kind of inforgraphics to abide by in content marketing for an antiques dealer shop

    thank you

    • http://www.sociallysorted.com.au/ Donna Moritz

      Hey Tobias – funnily enough you will know the answer to that more than me – but the key to finding the answer is to ask yourself – what do my clients/customers need to know (or want to know) the most – then create content around that. It may be “how to spot a great deal” or “how to search for a particular item/period/history” or how to care for xyz items…. or perhaps facts about a certain era/furniture type/object type – or maybe how to find the right antique in (x) city (with a map but features of each shop/dealer – I am not an expert in antiques and these could be way off mark but the best way is to start by answering their FAQs. You will find answers there, for sure! And then create content around that (ie always embed them in a blog post to start with on your website).

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