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.
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.
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:
- You need to provide awesome visual content in the first place so it catches attention and people notice it.
- You need to have a call to action (on the image itself or on the description)
- 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.
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:
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!
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:
Fans can choose to go from a 15 second video to a longer version.
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:
- Check out the video
- Click through to his site for more.
It's a simple formula that has amassed over 700k fans. Easy!
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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?
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