Is your Visual Content Driving Traffic or Striking Out?

You’ve created some great visual content. It’s getting some good engagement.

But is it really effective? Is your visual content driving traffic and converting fans to customers (and repeat customer) …or is it striking out?

In this post we look at how to hit a home run with your visual content by changing one thing.

Pitcher by Shutterstock
Pitcher by Shutterstock

I want you to think about visual content a little differently.  Don’t think of it as a pretty image or graphic or a way to get eyeballs on your content (though it does all that, by the way).

Think of it as a doorway. A Doorway to more great content….on other social media sites, and most of all, think of it as a doorway to your website.

Think of your visual content like it is the Tardis. Do you remember the Tardis?  It’s that telephone-box time-travelling spaceship from the British Television Show Dr Who.

Think of Visual Content like the tardis of your blog
Your Visual content, like the tardis can transport fans to any point and time.. on the web.

Yes that’s the one.  When you think about it, your visual content, when planned and executed well, is like the Tardis of your blog.

It can transport a fan from any social media platform to another platform (and hopefully back to your blog).

And when someone clicks through on  an image or visual (just like opening the door on the Tardis) they arrive at a lot more awesomeness.

Note:  the interior of the Tardis is much more expansive and awesome than the exterior (ie it ain’t no regular phone box inside that little time machine!).  

So, presuming that visual content can act like a time machine and transport people from one platform to another and from one piece of content to another, what’s the magic ingredient?

It’s having a clear idea about what you want people to DO with your visual content and giving them a call to action!

This might be to like, share or comment.  But even better, it is to have your fans WANTING to click through on your content, and to have your visual content driving traffic.  To get this to happen, 3 things have to combine:

  1. You need to provide awesome visual content in the first place so it catches attention and people notice it.
  2. You need to have a call to action (on the image itself or on the description)
  3. you need to provide them with even more awesome content.…. behind the image

When you have all 3 factors in place, then your images and visual content can start to get results.  They not only provide engaging and useful content to your fans, but this builds trust about your content, and helps to condition your fans to click through.

Why?

Because if you consistently give them a reason to click through – whether it is to reach the blog post that expands on the image or the podcast show notes or a resource page – they will learn to expect great content from you.

Helping a fan with great content builds trust.  Customers BUY from people they know and trust.

Let’s look at some examples of brands and businesses using visual content with smart calls to action – on a range of platforms:

Instagram

Zach King is Final Cut King and he is building a substantial following with short special effect videos poking fun at everyday scenarios with a twist.

Warning – watching one of Zach’s short videos and you will watch another, and another – they are addictive. You have been warned!

Instagram in Real Life @zachkinglife

A video posted by Zach King (@finalcutking) on

Zach has a successful business training others in film-making techniques, and he uses Instagram and YouTube to drive people to his business and his tutorials and courses.

All of his short videos on Instagram include calls to action, namely to click on his Bio to watch an extended-mix video on his YouTube Channel, as in the following example:

Zach-King-15-second-Instagram-video
Zach teases fans to watch his latest video on YouTube.

Fans can choose to go from a 15 second video to a longer version.

Zach King Final Cut King examples
Zach swaps out his bio link in a regular basis to tease fans over to his website or YouTube channel

Instagram is not “link heavy” in that you only have one shot at any one time to send people to a clickable link – the link in your profile.

So be strategic like Zach.  Change out the link so that you can drive people to your main platform – whether it is your blog, other sites like YouTube, an optin/lead magnet, a webinar…. or whatever you want to focus on.

Easy Video Meals is an Instagram account run by the somewhat anonymous Aussie guy also known as @slimmy82 (not sure of his real name) who creates short, snappy 15 second recipe creations.

The extended mix videos can be found on his website, and he does a great job of keeping the call to action simple:

  1. Check out the video
  2. Click through to his site for more.

It’s a simple formula that has amassed over 700k fans.  Easy!

Video Meals on Instagram
Easy Video Meals uses short video recipes to engage viewers!

Pinterest

Sephora’s social media team reported that Pinterest users are 15 x more likely to buy than Facebook Users. Those are some serious stats!

But they make sense… People come to Pinterest to buy or aspire to do something – whether it buy, create, build or just have fun.

It’s ok to give people a direct route to sales on Pinterest.  They expect it.  In fact if they arrive at a pin that isn’t what it promises to be, they will be turned away.

When you create content for Pinterest you need to think about:

  • How images are optimized on your website? Does the image have a suitable description? Is there a text overlay on the image so that when it is pinned to Pinterest and separated from your site, it stands alone and provides context?  Is the image “pinterest-ready” (preferably 735 pixels or a minimum of 600 pixels wide; portrait size is best for regular images).
  • What will the Pinterest user find when they click through on the image from Pinterest?  Are they arriving at the content they expect to arrive at.  Does the pin destination provide more great content over and above what is on the image?  Read more about this here and why you need to consider this even moreso with the new Pinterest Smart Feed.

Birchbox do this well.

Birchbox-on-Pinterest

 

They create mini-product infographics showcasing their favourite products in a group. On the left in the following image is a snackable-infographic titled “6 Hand Creams to Try this Winter“.  The title itself is a teasing call-to-action.

Sephora infographics
Birchbox Mini Infographics send users to relevant product pages on their website.

 

When a user clicks through they arrive on a product page with the ability to purchase – the content that they are arriving at is relevant, and expected by someone interested in Birchbox’s products.

When a user clicks through they arrive at the product page
When a user clicks through they arrive at the product page

 

SlideShare

Constant Contact are a great example of a company using visual content to provide massive value to their community across a range of platforms.

In the following example, they created a SlideShare presentation about getting the most out of Events for Non-Profits:

At the end of the slides, the user is presented with a call to action – they are invited to click through to the Constant Contact blog for more tips on making the most oput of small business events.
Constant Contact call to action on Slideshare
A simple call to action invites fans to click through for more tips

 

And when the fan arrives at the blog, they are not disappointed. Constant Contact delivers what they promise – a helpful resource page that provides more great articles and posts about planning events for NonProfits.

Constant Contact Blog Resource Page
The end destination delivers more great content after clicking through.

 

This is a perfect example of a quality piece of visual content with a clear call to action and the delivery of more quality content when someone clicks through on the visual asset.

Notice how the end point does not necessarily need to be an opt-in or a product or service. There is real benefit in providing value without expectation.

The trust that is established by Constant Contact giving massive value, sets them apart as a business that is using visual content effectively to not only engage with their community but to nurture fans into customers and repeat customers.  When they do offer an opt-in, or even a webinar or sale, the fan will be more likely to trust… and buy.

Google+

On Google Plus, calls to action work well, but again, they work best when they are part of a bigger strategy to provide value to fans.

Posts with longer descriptions, links to click through on,  or “pin-it-for-later links” work really well on Google+.

Social Media Influencer, Rebekah Radice does a great job of adding context and calls-to-action to her images.

For example in the following image shared to Google+ from her blog, she includes a detailed description, a call to action to read the full blog post and hashtag. In addition, the Pinned image is included with a link to easily “Pin it for later”.

In short, Rebekah makes it super easy for her fans to find more great content from her, and to share that content.

 

Is your visual content driving traffic or hitting a home run - socially sorted
Love this article? Pin it for later (Pitcher by Shutterstock)

 

I could go on and on with examples of visual content effectively driving quality traffic to businesses.  But I think you get the idea.

Remember this:  visual content is not just about the image – it’s about what is behind the image.  Make sure that it is more value, that helps, inspires or entertains them.

They will come back for more, ready to click through on any visual content you put in front of them.

Over to you. What’s your favourite type of visual content to create (or what will you create now?)

How will you start to use it more strategically to hit a home run back to your website or business?

 

Learn how to create visual content that gets shared and drives traffic and sales.
Want to learn more about how to create visual content? Click here.


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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is the founder of Socially Sorted, a Top 10 Social Media Blog Winner in 2015 & 2016, and winner of the 2014 Best Australian Blogs Competition (Business Category). Donna helps businesses, bloggers and entrepreneurs use visual social media and content strategy to get more traffic, shares and sales in their business. She is a contributor to Entrepreneur Online and Social Media Examiner and has been featured in Forbes, NBC, Yahoo, the Huffington Pos, Entrepreneur and Problogger.
  • Hi Donna
    Pictures speak louder than words. If someone has still any doubt in this proverb he just signup for a Pinterest account and share a few text posts and simultaneously a few image posts and see the different. Soon after sharing he will get a few response quickly at his image posts. I have gone through this experience that is why saying this with that much surely. Thanks for the share.

    • Thanks Muba – yes they do! Pinterest has definitely changed the game and in a good way!

  • I just love the idea. I agree on this visual content driving high traffic than textual contents. Pictures have many interesting sides which can attract more users even those who don’t like to read lengthy posts.

    • Thanks Emmy – yes I think the images are like a big red button saying “click me” in a way….and you are right – people who want snippets of info can take info from the image and then choose whether they want to go deeper….

  • This is informative and helpful. And these examples that you’ve shared Donna, are all great. Indeed, visual content is a doorway to the website. It is effective in driving web traffic and it makes your fans be your future customers. I am excited to apply the things that I have learned from here.

  • Stephen Mayall

    Another great post Donna and love the examples, excited to see where visual context goes next year!

    • Thanks Stephen – I am excited to see where it goes too!

  • As it is said that “first impression is the last impression” images are the most prominent part of any site. One should use images for a better gateway, butt images should be relevant.

    • I agree on all counts. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and glad to hear you are embracing the importance of visual content.

  • Sue B. Zimmerman

    I love that you just introduced me to @finalcutking Instagram acct OMG! You are so great at ALWAYS giving value in every post xo

    • Haha awesome! So tell me – now many hours did you watch his short special effects videos for, the first time you discovered him? I think I was in a video vortex for about 2 hours haha… Couldn’t. Stop. Watching.

      • Sue B. Zimmerman

        Just watched about 4 vids bc I didn’t have time to be sucked down the vortex or amazing entertainment.

        • haha I was travelling when I first discovered it, so I got caught up watching them with the kids! You will be able to catch the latest on Instagram though – and they only take 15 seconds haha.

  • Donna, you have inspired me!! I really want to make a slideshare for my most recent blog post now… like I don’t have enough to do already!! lol Truly I am grateful!! I wonder if you would post about a simple system to get your team to repurpose content with ease? (Or maybe you have already?) I am cutting down my work time next year… AND I’d still like to create a lot more!

    • Thanks Lisa! I love SlideShare for driving traffic and I love the Constant Contact example. Great idea about the post – I am just building content side of my team for next year now, so stay tuned, as I will definitely write about the process – so far it’s me doing it and/or me and a designer but I have some cool people coming on board. I still will have my “hand” in it as I love the creative side, but as far as ongoing content, yes I should have a lot to share for readers over the coming months.

  • Rebekah Radice

    Hi Donna! Thank you so much for including me. I was so excited when I saw one of my posts in your Slideshare at Kim Garst’s event.

    I love your examples here. Zach King is one of my absolute favorites. He’s a perfect example of taking what you love and marrying it with a highly compatible social platform. Everything he does is pure genius!

    • I missed this with all the Christmas Shenanigans going on! You are very welcome and Zach is awesome! A little bit of a time-waster (I’ll just watch one more” haha – but we will forgive him!

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