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.
But there is a way to cut through the noise and drive engagement and traffic. It’s called Snackable Visual Content; small, easily digestible images that convey information visually.
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.
As you can see in the screenshot below, there are many “shareables” in the Canva post. This is important as it provides two means of “sharing” Canvas 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 through 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. This leads 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:
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:
In the following example they show that graphs do not have to be boring – they can be a little bit cheeky like this following image, which takes a shot at Reddit’s recent spike in traffic (and a little bit of cheek also helps with their shareability, don’t you think?).
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 7 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:
By inserting mini images into the post, we instantly provided additional content that could be shared to our platform of choice. And 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 – 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.
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 do the same for other sections of the infographic.
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 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:
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:
- 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.
- It conveys one “big idea” or key message – not multiple messages as you would find on an infographic.
- 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.
- 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.
Have you got a million image ideas swimming around in your head now? What images have you used in your blog posts before? Let me know what you think in the comments below.
Psssst: are you interesting in finding out more about how to create images and infographics that get shared and drive traffic? Grab my free video training - click on the image below and you are off and running: