WHY MORE SMALL BUSINESSES SHOULD FOCUS ON VISUAL CONTENT
All of us consume thousands of images every day. They are on our TV’s, they cover our social media profiles, and they are in every single magazine article. An awful lot of SMB’s aren’t taking advantage of this medium. Visual content like graphics, infographics, and videos are a fantastic opportunity for companies of all sizes. SMB’s are notorious for focussing on offline marketing and only using their social platforms sporadically. Hopefully, once you understand how powerful visual content can be, you’ll change your tactics and experience the growth potential that it can unlock. If you take a look at some of the biggest brands in your industry, you’ll notice that almost all of them are regularly releasing visual content. If it weren’t effective, they would have stopped a long time ago. Visual content performs particularly well on the internet, especially as mobile users grow. Reading on your smartphone is a pain, making visuals the best alternative.
VISUAL ISN’T COMPETITIVE IN MOST INDUSTRIES
A lot of industries don’t take full advantage of visual content. If you find that your larger competitors aren’t using it extensively, then this could be your opportunity to surpass them. If you’re able to produce visuals that they aren’t, you’ll have a monopoly in that marketing channel. Even in attractive industries like real estate and fashion, far too few brands are using photos and graphics to convey a message. Instead, they stick to massive amounts of text that is difficult to read on mobile.
IT’S NOT EXPENSIVE
Graphics used to be expensive a decade ago when there were less skilled designers. Now you can hire a designer on the other side of the world to create your graphics or videos for a fraction of that cost. The cost of graphics was one of the greatest barriers to entry for small businesses. Now, you can use Upwork to get ahead of your competitors. A simple graphic to use in your blog content or as a post header might only cost you $10. Similarly, an infographic to explain a more complex issue in a graphical form could be had for $25 – $40. These graphics can be used in your outreach but can also be shared on your social media platforms and submitted to image galleries. Videos can be more expensive depending on what you want to create. An easy way to cut the cost of your videos is to record it yourself with a smartphone or digital camera and have a professional edit it. Most good videos are attractive because the editing is good. As long as you record some decent quality footage, you will be able to create a high quality video by hiring a skilled video editor.
MOST PEOPLE PREFER TO CONSUME VISUAL CONTENT A lot of your content would be easier to consume in a graphic or video form. It takes paragraphs and paragraphs to explain something that could easily be shown in a quick photo. Not only that, but studies show that people prefer to consume their information in a visual way rather than through reading text. Videos are easy to make, and the cameras on most smartphones are more than good enough to create a short clip that you can use on your website.
IT MAKES CONTENT MARKETING EASIER
One of the biggest impacts that visual content will have on an SMB is in their content marketing. Certain SMB’s will find content marketing difficult because their industry is niche or their brand is still being established. Graphics and videos are particularly easy to market because there are so few of them. A large proportion of companies has some form of blog or content section these days. This makes it harder to stand out and therefore harder to market that content on other websites. But because so few SMB’s are using visual forms of content there is still a tremendous opportunity for you to exploit. If you use Google images to search for a niche part of your industry, you might be surprised how few graphics or photos there are. If this is the case, then there’s a gap in the market that you can fill. The fantastic part about visual content marketing is that it’s very scalable. You can share the same image on hundreds of different websites without any issue. Unlike with text, you don’t have to recreate anything to share on the site that is publicizing your content. Influencers and Bloggers are less likely to share your content if it’s just a big chunk of text. They want to share things that are visually appealing because it reflects well on them.
A lot of the reasons why SMB’s ignore visual content are myths. They think that it’s too expensive, too time-consuming or not useful. With internet speeds going up every year and more users moving to mobile devices, you need to include visuals in your content strategy. You don’t have to be Pablo Picasso to create something attractive and shareable; you just need an idea that people will like and a small amount of money to hire a designer.