You will see the real marketing magic when you combine your visual and written content together. A smart pairing of these two can bring you a lot of benefits, including increased engagement rates and social sharing.
The secret lies in the fact that we may forget what we have read but will definitely remember what we have seen. That is why it is so important to support your written content with visuals. This article explores the true potential of visual content when combined with text.
The power of visual content
First, let’s learn more about the true potential of visual content. Sometimes, marketers and entrepreneurs oversee the power of visuals and do not really pay much attention to their visual strategy. However, research suggests that underestimating the power of visuals is a huge mistake.
Let’s take a look at what science has to say. Research at 3M Corporation found out that human brains process visuals 60,000 times faster than text. Further studies concluded that our brains decode visual elements simultaneously, while language and words are processed in a linear manner. This helps us to identify and understand visual information much faster than text.
When it comes to website design, visuals prove to increase the perception of credibility. Studies have found that respondents cited the design look as the number one criteria for discerning the credibility of websites. Moreover, content with images proves to get more views and shares on social media.
Even though visual perception happens quickly, a very complex set of actions occurs in a short period of time in order for it to happen. Our goal is to identify how you can affect visual perception by combining graphics and written content.
Why do you need a combination of visual and written content?
A combination of visuals and text have the potential to take your content strategy to the next level. If you strategically organize graphics and written information, you can achieve the following benefits:
- Achieve better recognition – through different shapes, contrast, and scale;
- Draw associations and communicate ideas – connect your design ideas to mental schemas of your audience;
- Persuade your audience – as mentioned before, visuals add credibility and authority;
- Create a well balanced-design – a good relationship between visuals and text can create a more balanced visual experience;
- Strengthen your brand identity – unique branded text + visuals content will help your brand identity;
- Distribute more consistent content – consistency will help customers better identify with your brand.
With that in mind, let’s dive deep into the eight effective ways to combine visual and written content.
- Create Infographics
Infographics are the most common application of the graphics & text combination. You should use infographics when you have a study, knowledge, or data that needs to be visually represented. Infographics are great because they present information in an easy-to-understand manner. This makes them so easy to recall which results in improved cognition.
Also, infographics are considered a medium that tells the story of the facts and data the best. Studies show that 86% of people who use infographics find them effective. This means that the majority of your customers may find them effective, too.
Let’s take a look at the example below. Notice the fine balance between the textual information and the visual content. Also, all of the facts are supported by some kind of imagery. This helps to visually break information into chunks, and thus makes it easier to understand.
- Use visual content to illustrate your tagline
Does your brand have its own tagline? A tagline is a catchy phrase that highlights your brand’s mission, culture, or purpose. Here are examples of some of the most famous taglines.
We all know them, right? You do not have to be as huge as Nike or Apple to benefit from your tagline. You want to choose a clear, simple, and catchy tagline that will instantly grab your audience’s attention. A perfect tagline should set a bar for customers’ expectations. It has to give your audience an idea of what your company values and communicates.
Illustrating your brand’s tagline is a great way to combine graphics and text. Use pictures to visualize the idea behind your written tagline. Use strong images that support your words or share the same meaning. You can either add these images to your website or post them throughout social media.
Here is a great example of how you can use visuals to support your tagline. The Red Bull’s tagline is “Gives You Wings”. Here is how it is accompanied by a picture of a person on a snowboard literally flying while doing stunts. Notice how the picture reinforces the message and makes it more strong and bold.
Another way to combine the two is by using images to narrate your brand’s story. People love hearing stories. It is something that has been in the global culture for hundreds of years. When we hear a good story, our attention shifts, we tend to memorize and recall more information.
Many marketers use the benefits of storytelling to their advantage. In fact, storytelling proves to increase the economic value of products. In a study dated back to 2006, a New York Times journalist aimed to measure the power of a narrative. He conducted an experiment where he purchased two hundred objects on eBay. The average cost of these objects was $1.25 and they included things, like a plastic horse mask and a plastic motel room key. Why would you buy a plastic motel room key, right? Then, the journalist invited two hundred professional writers to create descriptions and tell these objects’ stories. The narratives managed to increase the total price of all objects from $197 to almost $8,000! All of them were sold with a total markup of 6,395%! Imagine increasing your products’ value by only telling a story.
What this experiment teaches us is that narrating your products will increase their economic value. Moreover, the combination of beautiful pictures and stories has the potential to double this value and create an enormous social response.
Combine the power of data and visuals in telling a story. One way to do so is by sharing pictures that narrate customer testimonials. This will help to tell success stories and increase customer trust.
Sometimes, it is useful to delegate some of your duties to the professionals. When it comes to storytelling, well-written copies or high quality application letters are everything. That is why it is so important to create content pieces that are completely unique and don’t have any errors. Use dedicated writing and grammar checking services to improve your texts.
- Add text overlays to grab attention
You can combine visual and written content by adding text overlays to pictures. This type of visuals is extremely popular on social media because it is so catchy.
Create text overlays with respect to what can encourage and excite your customers. The main idea here is to come up with something so relatable to the customers, that they will want to share your content with others.
Let’s take a look at this example. The Green Mountain Coffee company posted this picture on their Facebook page. The image says “Coffee Helps Me Become The Morning Person That I Am Not.” Pretty relatable to the coffee drinkers, right? This exact wording on top of a picture with a coffee cup on a desk supports the idea that nothing gets done before having a morning coffee.
- Ask for user-generated content
User-generated content (UGC) is any form of content, including text, posts, videos, and images, that has been created by your customers. Basically saying, UGC is any piece of fan content.
Asking for fan content is a great way to use a combination of text and visuals to promote your products and increase engagement.
So, how do you encourage text & visual user-generated content? You can use social media contests to encourage customers to create more branded content. Require entrants to post a picture accompanied by a hashtag and a small story that reflects their experience with your brand. Award the best pieces with prizes, like free gift cards, products, merch, etc.
Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins campaign serves us a great deal of a lesson about encouraging UGC. The brand asked their Instagram followers to share pictures with a text line “I ______ in #MyCalvins”. The campaign went viral as many social media users and celebrities posted their content. In fact, Justin Biber shared his picture posing in CK’s underwear with a line “I flaunt in #MyCalvins” which brought Calvin Klein 3.6 million new followers and resulted in a modeling contract between Bieber and the company. Calvin Klein even created a whole gallery where users could submit their pictures with the text line.
- Use text as a visual element on its own
Even though we are focusing on combining visuals and text, it’s important to note that text can be a powerful visual asset on its own. You can challenge the norms of design by creating unique visual experiences. The secret to a successful text-centric campaign lies in the right design solutions.
For example, you can decorate text with visual elements to make it look more effective. Also, you can use typography to refresh your content efforts. Don’t be afraid to experiment with color and contrast as you create your visuals.
Nike’s collaboration with a renowned calligraphy artist Pokras Lampas is an amazing source of inspiration. The artist was asked to customize Nike space and shoes with lettering only. Here are the results of their collaborative efforts.
- Create quote cards
Creating quote cards is another great way to combine visuals and text. Visual representation of quotes is great if you want to inspire customers and encourage them to take action.
Quote cards can also make your customers feel a certain way about your brand. Post quotes that are relatable, easy to share, and emotional.
- Add a little bit of humor
A great way to end this list is by talking humor. Memes are extremely popular among Internet users and they essentially are a combination of visuals and text. Memes are great attention grabbers because they are funny, engaging, and shareable. Marketing with trending memes is a strategy that becomes more and more popular as large companies join the trend.
Did you know that on average people spend 144 minutes on social media daily? This means more than 2 hours of time spent scrolling through their feeds every day! Why not use this to your advantage? Memes are native to social media. Marketing with memes and humor can breathe fresh air into any content strategy.
The best thing about memes is that most of the time, you do not even have to create your own visuals. All you need to do is create catchy, hilarious text cations.
Here is how Gucci managed to employ memes in their content strategy. In a series of relatable memes, the luxurious brand used funny memes to not-so-obviously promote their products.
Additionally, you can create memes of your own. The trend of posting own like-meme pictures is becoming more and more popular on social media. Here is a great example of a campaign created by a company called BarkBox. They have posted this picture of a dog with funny captions to engage their audience. Instead of simply promoting their products, they post memes to bring the community of dog lovers together.
With that in mind…
When separated, visual and written content have their own benefits. However, when combined together, they have all it needs to breathe some fresh air into your content strategy. This mix has the potential to invite more customers, engage them, and make your product more appealing. Considering all that has been said, it is time to go and start making some content!
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