Everyone knows the importance of visual content so let us not go into how important it is to include images and other visual content into your marketing practices. Rather, we need to discuss how to make our visual content look really great on any platform, get noticed and shared. With the new Google Mobile First Indexing of websites, it is time to rethink your content marketing strategy especially when it comes to visual content. The strategy you used in 2018 is no longer relevant, so you need to formulate a whole new strategy for visual content marketing in 2021.
How Does Google Mobile First Indexing Impact Your Visual Content Strategy?
Mobile first Indexing doesn’t mean that a desktop-optimized website will no longer be available on the searches, it just means that Google will index a mobile version of the website first. If you do not have a mobile version of the website, then it will still index your desktop website but your SERP might suffer. Google has always studied trends carefully and noticed that more people are accessing the internet and generating searches through smartphones and tablets than desktops. Hence, they realigned their search by attending to the mobile queries first. With this new change, the websites that are mobile friendly will rank better than those that are not.
How to Optimize Content For Mobile
As you realize, the Mobile First Indexing requires radical rethinking of the content strategy especially when it comes to visual content. Not all images render well on mobiles and now you need to start optimizing all your visual content for mobile websites. Here are some tips on what you can do to make sure that your website is ready for mobile indexing:
- Run a mobile-friendly test. Open your website and see how it looks on a mobile. Pay attention to the visual content to see if it is rendered properly.
- Keep in mind user experience. If required, revamp the website so it looks visually appealing on the mobile screens. Use accordion or hamburger style menus to make it mobile user-friendly.
- Revise your text content to make it easier to read on a small screen. Use shorter sentences and paragraphs and an easy to read clean font in a decent size.
- Use lots of images, subheadings, lists and bullets.
- Check your images, infographics and charts on a mobile device to see that they can be easily read and interpreted even on small screens.
- Check your metrics to understand how your users are accessing your website. Are they using more of mobiles and tablets or is your traffic coming from desktops? Determine this and then base your content strategy on your findings.
- Use whitespace to assist scanning of content.
Now that we have the most important point about content marketing strategy out of the way, let us get on to the visual content marketing strategies you need to be successful in 2021.
Essentials of Visual Content Strategy For 2021
The first thing to keep in mind when planning a strategy for visual content is that it should be mobile friendly. There is no compromise on that now in 2021. The good news is that you can make a stronger statement with images, videos and other visual elements by cutting down the text matter and interspersing it cleverly with impactful images. Add images to everything you can from blogs, to recipes, to articles and even websites should be visually rich. Here are some more pointers for you to make the best of the visual content:
- Have a plan for your visual content: A lot of marketer do not plan ahead for their visual content. They post in a haphazard manner and create content that does not render well to all browsers and platforms. Before you start creating content, formulate a strategy. Identify the audience you wish to connect with and the platforms you wish to utilize. Base your strategy on these two key factors.
- Repurpose your existing material to be visually rich: it may not be possible to make all your content to be mobile-friendly and visually rich, so here is a trick to crack the problem – take your best performing content and renew and repurpose it by adding visual content to it. Convert it into a short video, or an infographic, or just add in relevant images to the existing content to make it more appealing.
- Be creative and tell a compelling story: You don’t have to spend billions of dollars to create content that will become viral. Great content is about creativity and a story that the users can identify with. People love stories as they elicit emotional responses, so, create compelling stories that hit the right note. Use innovation and uniqueness to make your content worth the money.
- Consistency is the key: be consistent with your brand content across the platforms to create a strong brand identity. Prepare guidelines for all visual content, find your visual style and stick with it. Engage photographers, artists and videographers who will adhere to your style and create a seamless experience across all platforms.
- Ensure your images and visual content renders well across platforms: A great photograph that you have posted on your content may not always turn out the way you had planned it to across all platforms. This often happens as the social media tools may pick the wrong image or crop it in such a way as to lose its relevance. Use tags and codes to prevent the tools from interfering with your images and post them as you want them to look.
- Post only the best: not all visual content is created equal and only the best will get the deserved notice. Don’t use any old photograph or video, use one that is stunning, innovative, creative and most importantly relevant. High-quality images render well on all platforms so use only the best to make the most of every post.
- Reuse visual content: Great visual content doesn’t come cheap. Sometimes you may think that it is too expensive to continue with this strategy, but before you give up there is a way to recycle your visual content. The same content can be edited and refreshed to be posted on other social media platforms. The YouTube content can be split into shorter videos for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Add different text to the same image to convey different messages. Reuse infographics to create slides, etc.
- Utilize User Generated Visual Content: Encourage users to post their content on your social media. It adds an element of authenticity and helps the audience to make a stronger connection with your brand.
- Manage the visual content: keep a check on the content you post to ensure it looks and delivers as it should. Post regularly and review the content to follow the latest trends.
- Measure content engagement: Set a time period to do it, but you must measure the efficiency of your content at regular intervals. Measure the metrics of each post to understand your audience and restructure your visual content strategy accordingly.
- Optimize content for mobile viewers: Last but not the least, ensure all your visual content renders equally well on smaller screens such as mobiles and tablets. This is no longer an option but a necessity and should be a priority. Use content that is clear and high quality. When using infographics, make sure you use color schemes, diagrams, fonts that can be easily seen on mobile without straining the eye. With the vertical video format becoming more popular, you may wish to start posting videos that are shot vertically and play well on mobiles.
With so much content available on the internet today, every little thing counts to make your visual content stand out. Leverage every single element to its optimum to create visual content that will get noticed even in a crowded space. This is what your visual content strategy for 2021 should be about!
Koushik Marka is the founder and CEO of an explainer video production company titled Studiotale. With strong entrepreneurship and professional skills, his qualities do not end there. With expertise in Vector Illustration, 2D Animation, Motion Graphics, and Digital Marketing, he loves what he does. Apart from being a work enthusiast, his off-work preferences are playing video games and traveling.