We’ve all heard it before: People retain visual information far better than text.
The problem is that not all visuals manage to hit home.
A funny meme that went viral on Facebook might not do so well on LinkedIn.
In the same way, an infographic on your blog might get a lot more attention than if you posted it on Instagram.
The point is, every channel is different. The one-size-fits-all strategy simply doesn’t apply to marketing anymore.
But most marketers still struggle with creating and sharing the right visuals with their audiences, especially when dealing with multiple platforms.
According to a study, 86% of marketers agree that the “type of channel” is important when selecting images for their visual campaigns.
But 78% still share the same image across most, if not all, of their marketing channels!
If you don’t tailor visual content to perform its best on each platform, you might not be able to see the results you’re working for.
This article will show you how exactly you can optimize (and repurpose) visual content to use on different marketing channels and achieve maximum impact.
Go Mobile or Go Home
Mobile-friendly visuals are no longer an option, they’re a necessity.
Nine out of ten social media users are on mobile. If your images and videos don’t work well on their small screens, you might as well just tell your marketing team to pack their bags.
But effective visuals are much more than just mobile-friendly. They are relevant to both the audience and the platform.
Let’s get into the details of what creating relevant visual content is all about.
How to Tailor Visual Content to Different Platforms
When sharing visuals across multiple platforms, you have two options:
- Create optimized visual content from scratch
- Repurpose existing visual content
Creating original content from scratch is great, but it takes time.
And if you just post it once on a single channel and forget about it, you’re wasting its potential.
That’s exactly why repurposing content is so effective. In fact, 29% of marketers systematically repurpose existing content.
Reusing content helps you extend your reach, improve your SEO, and save tons of your precious time and energy trying to constantly come up with new ideas.
With visual content, though, it gets a bit trickier.
Even if it takes you weeks to create an amazing graphic, there are multiple factors to consider before you start sharing it across different channels, such as:
- Optimal size and dimensions
- Platform usage
- Nature of content
Let’s take a look at some of the major digital marketing channels used for posting visual content, along with tips on how to tailor your images and videos for each one.
Optimizing Visual Content for Facebook
With nearly 2.5 billion monthly active users, Facebook offers the widest audience reach in the world.
That said, it’s important to remember that the popular social platform has always been about community, relationships and engagement.
People don’t log in every single day to be sold to. They go on Facebook to catch up with friends and family, and to be entertained.
And if they find something worthwhile, guess what they’ll do…
They’ll share it!
This is exactly why humorous or relatable content tends to go viral on Facebook.
Remember, your audience is scrolling down a news feed full of content. Your visual needs to be snackable and eye-catching. At the same time, it should be engaging and have the ability to spark conversation (think: memes.)
Here are some tips on tailoring visual content for Facebook:
- Your company’s Facebook page is the first place customers will head towards to check out photos, read reviews, and dig up contact information.
- Make sure you have engaging and professional visuals on there, including your profile picture, cover image and posts.
- Visme offers a number of professionally designed, customizable templates for Facebook cover photos. Here’s an example:
- The cool thing about Facebook is that you don’t need to constantly post original content. You can also post relevant curated content, as long as it encourages people to like, comment, share, or tag their friends.
- It’s a good idea to use a mix of text and visuals on Facebook. When posting an image or video, make sure you include attention-grabbing copy and any relevant links.
- Facebook is a great place to create hype around your brand, products and services. You can keep your audience engaged by posting visual updates about your business, like new products or blog posts. Here’s a handy Facebook template for food brands.
- Post more video content. Videos tend to perform better than images on Facebook, thanks to the autoplay feature that helps stop scrolling users in their tracks. You can even get away with posting longer videos—if they’re engaging enough.
- Do NOT share full infographics directly on your Facebook page—no one’s going to bother zooming in and reading the entire content. Instead, only share a compelling snippet, like the header or an interesting statistic, along with the link to the full infographic uploaded on your website or blog.
Optimizing Visual Content for Instagram
Although it’s owned by Facebook, Instagram is completely different from its parent company.
For starters, the platform is mobile-first and predominantly visual. Forget text-only posts—Instagram is all about stories, photos, videos and quirky boomerangs.
Plus, Instagram caters to a much younger audience than most other platforms; the majority of Instagram users are 18 to 34 years old, who are constantly on the lookout for new ideas and inspiration.
Here are some tips on tailoring visual content for Instagram:
- Instagram is a great channel for showcasing your brand’s ‘fun’ side. Event photos, behind-the-scenes footage, products in action and user-generated posts perform exceptionally well on the platform.
- Make sure your posts are relevant, timely, and engaging, or they’ll never make it to the Explore page. That’s just how Instagram’s algorithm works. Post about new trends in your niche or start a contest that gets people to engage with your post quickly.
- Instagram is a haven for retail brands and shoppers alike. If you’re an online store, you can post creative images, videos and stories showcasing your products, and boost sales by adding shoppable tags.
- The key to making your visuals stand out on Instagram is using strong imagery that tells a story. Use high-quality photos or illustrations that inspire followers and are likely to get noticed, even without a caption or text.
- Make sure your visuals are appropriately sized for Instagram. The platform only supports images and videos in three dimensions—landscape, portrait, and square.
- Instead of posting a full infographic that’s barely readable, chop it up into several mini-infographic to post on Instagram.
Optimizing Visual Content for Twitter
Most people use Twitter for quick updates and news about trending topics. It’s also a popular place for interacting with brands, asking questions and reaching out for customer support.
But that doesn’t make visuals any less important. According to Buffer, tweets with images received 150% more retweets than tweets without images.
Also, things on Twitter move quickly—posting frequently on the platform is key to getting noticed and highlighting your content.
Here are some tips on tailoring visual content for Twitter:
- If you’re adding an image to your tweet, make sure the size fits the requirements of 440 x 220 min. to 1024 x 512 max. (2:1 ratio). You can use a Twitter post template to ensure you don’t go wrong with size.
- Your visuals should be contextual and supplement your tweet instead of completely replacing it. If you’re selling online courses or promoting a blog post, you can post a visual along with a tempting description, and link back to your website.
- Make your visuals shareable to get more retweets. For example, you can take a bite out of your infographics and share interesting information in the form of a single chart, graph or statistic.
- GIFs and short videos get a lot of traction on Twitter, simply because they’re bite-sized, shareable and engaging.
Optimizing Visual Content for LinkedIn
LinkedIn isn’t exactly your typical social platform. It’s more professional and business-oriented. This also explains why the majority of LinkedIn users are aged 30+.
When sharing visual content on LinkedIn, you need to remember that people aren’t here for entertainment or casual conversation.
They’re here to network with like-minded professionals and to find out more about companies and their employees.
Your visuals should have a strong purpose and be relevant to your business, products and services.
Here are some tips on tailoring visual content for LinkedIn:
- Your LinkedIn page or profile represents your brand. Create a strong first impression on your visitors by uploading a high-quality, professional profile photo (logo for company page) and a powerful header image.
- Share informative visuals, like infographics and data visualizations. Or, show some brand personality by sharing company news and updates, like event videos and photos.
- LinkedIn is a great place for B2B brands to share case studies, especially in video format. Check out how sales management tool Pipedrive does it.
- LinkedIn owns SlideShare, which makes it easy to integrate slides and presentations with your profile. You can create beautiful and professional presentations with Visme, upload them to SlideShare and share them on your LinkedIn profile.
Optimizing Visual Content for Blogs
Having a company blog is a great way to provide value to your visitors.
Posting high-quality content on your blog helps you educate customers about your products and services, establish yourself as an expert in your niche, and rank higher on search engine results.
But too much text can get boring real fast.
Adding visual content to your blog posts can boost engagement by up to 650% and make your content more readable.
Here are some tips on tailoring visual content for your blog:
- Create a captivating title image for your blog post. It’s what most people would see in place of the thumbnail when your post is shared on different platforms, and plays an important role in making them click to read more.
- Decorate your blog post with relevant visuals after every 200-300 words to break up walls of text. Use contextual images and illustrations that emphasize your point. You can also add visuals for statistics and quotes to make them more interesting. Some bloggers also incorporate GIFs and memes inside their posts to keep things humorous and engaging.
- Writing a ‘how-to’ post or a tutorial? Instead of just using words, add screenshots to illustrate the steps in a better way. You can even add arrows or circles to your screenshots to draw attention towards a specific part.
- Blogs are the perfect platform to post long, data-rich infographics—you don’t even need to write a lot of text-based content. Plus, you can easily share them on multiple channels for link building and driving more traffic.
- Consider adding videos and slideshows to your posts to illustrate your point. Most content management platforms, like WordPress, let you easily embed videos and presentations in your content.
Optimizing Visual Content for Email
You’re not the only company sending out emails to your customers.
Their inboxes are probably flooded by emails every single day. Do you really think a boring, text-based email is enough to catch their attention?
Visuals can spruce up your email by making it more interesting and engaging.
They’re also great for getting your message across quickly—the average subscriber spends only 11 seconds reading an email.
Here are some tips on tailoring visual content for emails:
- Use catchy, relevant images that showcase your brand and products. For example, a clothing store can incorporate high-quality product shoots into their emails, and travel agencies can show stunning images of various destinations to entice customers.
- It’s a good idea to balance the use of images vs. text in your email design. Visuals should complement the text instead of being the main focus. Adding too many images into your email may increase loading times, which can lead to low conversion rates.
- Try using animated GIFs in your email to engage subscribers—they are known to increase click-through rates. GIFs also offer a great alternative to videos, which aren’t supported by all email clients.
Creating high-quality, original content takes time—don’t let your efforts (and money) go to waste by sharing the same file everywhere.
Make sure you optimize each visual to perform its best on whichever channel you share it on. Keep in mind all the factors that are unique to each marketing channel to guide your images and videos.
And that’s a wrap. You’re ready to start designing high-performing visual content of your own. Happy creating!
Author: Mahnoor Sheikh
Bio: Mahnoor is a Content Marketing Manager at Visme. She loves to write about digital marketing, branding and visual design, and is passionate about tea, kittens and traveling with her husband.