If you want to grow your presence online or become an influencer on one of the many social networks then you need to leverage visual content to capture your audience’s attention.
The internet is a noisy space, and unless you can stand out most people are likely to keep on browsing.
There is hope though if you can create more engaging and interesting visual content than the masses you have a chance of capturing more eyeballs than ever before.
Today we will focus on some of the best visual content creation ideas you can use in 2018 to get noticed.
Cinemagraphs are one of my favorite mediums for grabbing attention.
Not familiar with Cinemagraphs?
These moving images are created by taking a video clip and then overlaying a still from the video and using an eraser to allow a section of the video to move while the rest of the shot remains eerily still.
This juxtaposition creates a beautiful effect that grabs attention.
Then you save them as an mp4 video or a GIF and share on your website and social media channels.
You can create these images with this Cinemagraph Software.
Plotagraphs are a new kind of visual content that is ideal for photographers and artists.
They can be mistaken for cinemagraphs but they are actually quite different.
Firstly you don’t need a video to create a Plotagraph and as such, you can’t quite achieve the same result.
However, you can create things with Plotagraph that simply aren’t possible with a cinemagraph tool since Plotagraph allows you to create tween lines on your image and layer multiple images to create hypnotic effects.
Here is an example video of a plotagraph and how it works.
Try Plotagraph here.
Animated GIFs have made a comeback over recent years and can be used in many different ways.
Use funny animated GIFs to your articles to break the ice and add a splash of humor to an otherwise technical post.
Create GIFs that showcase your products and then share them around the web.
Consider using animated GIFs to share advice and tips in steps.
I like using them to make funny comments within an article.
Want to make your bland looking articles more glamorous? Then add the occasional GIF and let people know you are human.
Morph GIFs are a type of GIF where you morph one image into another.
This could be morphing one person face into another.
It could be morphing a younger photo of someone to an older one.
You could get more creative and morph one object into another to make a funny comment or statement.
This kind of content is very sharable and could earn you backlinks or just more attention via social media.
Either way it’s a nice way to add something different to your visual marketing collection.
Infographics / Guestographics
Not exactly revolutionary but infographics and guestographics are still one of the best forms of visual content you can spend time producing.
Because it takes useful data and insights and conveys it in a visual and easy to digest format.
They are also not very easy to reproduce without completely ripping off your idea which means people are more likely to share and link to your content instead of copying it.
You can use websites like Canva to create basic infographics in no time at all.
If you need to create something more advanced then consider heading over to Fiverr or Upwork to commission a professional graphic designer or infographic specialist to create one for you.
This is something worth investing a bit of money in since it can pay itself back in no time if you can earn some links and attention for it.
Similar to infographics, Gifographics simply refer to animated infographics that are published as a GIF file.
This really takes infographics a step further and improves on the original infographic by using animated elements to capture the attention of the reader and in some cases add more context to the infographic using these motions.
There’s no easy 1-2-3 approach to creating a Gifographic and it will require a basic understanding of Adobe Photoshop if you wish to create your own.
If you have some Photoshop skills then you will be pleased to know the process is similar to manually creating an infographic, you just create frames where you tween animate the different layers to create your animation effect.
The above example is a section from a gifographic created by QuickSprout.
If you have a product or service that benefits from an educational marketing approach then explainer videos should definitely be in your content library.
There are various ways to create an explainer video and typically it invovles using animated characters in a scene to act out a scenario.
This could involve a story showing the problem the product solves followed by how your product can solve the problem for the prospective customer.
One great benefit of an explainer video created using animated characters is that you can always go back and edit and add scenes at a later date.
The same can’t be said for filming yourself since you need the same outfit and haircut to make the video remain continuous and not hacked together.
Still, need convincing?
See Hubspots Examples of Fabulous Explainer Videos for inspiration.
Some examples use video footage but most of the examples are animated explainers.
If your product really needs to be seen to be appreciated or you are better at talking about your services in person to build trust then skip using animation and just pick up a phone camera a small tripod and get shooting.
Instagram stories are an extremely popular tool and they also get more visibility and increase engagement. But how do you create story content that differs from the images and videos you share on your Instagram profile?
Use a tool like UnFold, this app for iOS and Android offers minimal templates and layouts that allow you to mix videos, images, and written content to create more interesting stories for your followers.
Many social networks now allow you to share multiple images or videos as a single post. Instagram allows you to add galleries, Instagram stories can consist of many different steps and the same applies for other social networks.
This means sharing single images and videos each time isn’t going to cut it.
I expect more social networks to incorporate a storytelling feature in the coming year so start creating content that tells a story.
All good marketers are good storytellers, practicing this skill is essential to being successful online.
When you are planning your visual content apply the story framework and ensure your content has a beginning, middle, and end.
Whiteboard videos are a type of explainer video and a great way to illustrate a story.
Whiteboard videos as the name suggests, involve using a whiteboard and then writing and drawing on top of it to tell a story or explain a process in stages.
These began as real videos created by artists who recorded their hands top-down while animating, however, this inspired software creators to build tools to allow you to emulate this process without having any artistic skill.
While the software tools are never going to look as authentic as a real video they are still very professional looking and affordable to create.
This means they serve as a very cost-effective means of explaining your products or services using a video and at the moment video content is hotter than ever with it making up a larger amount of internet consumption year on year.
People are often lazy and opting for a video over reading an article is a common occurrence.
If you want to master the art of omnipresent marketing, you need to use video, and whiteboard explainer videos are a great way to do that.
My favorite software for creating animated whiteboard videos is VideoScribe which creates the most professional results out of any app or tool of its kind by far.
- Loom.com – An easy to use screen recording app that comes as a Chrome Extension and Desktop app and stores your recordings in the cloud so you can easily share them with clients and colleagues.
- Fastreel – An online video editor that allows you to create MP4’s in the cloud from your clips and features lots of tools for editing, cropping, rotating and much more.
Final Word on Visual Content
There’s no shortage of ways you can spice up your content or social sharing with some of the visual content ideas we have discussed in this guide.
If you are struggling with content marketing then read our guide on outsourcing your content marketing.
Expect the internet to only become noisier as starting as the barrier to entry becomes lower more people are competing for attention.
Use visual content to gain an edge and remain memorable in your reader’s minds.
That’s how you keep them coming back for more.
What are you going to try first?
Here’s some related reading you might find useful:
- Learn How to Start Streaming Online
- Repurpose Content for More Traffic
- The Best Social Media Management Tools
- Outsource Content Marketing Guide
- Ultimate Video Toolkit
- Best Graphic Design Software