When many people think about content marketing, in-depth articles or instructional videos come to mind. However, pictures can be an extremely effective way to educate your audience. Here is a five step guide for using images for content marketing.
Step #1: Decide how you will share your pictures
The type of images you can share will be limited by where you decide to host the images and how you want to share them. Instagram, for example, allows you to upload multiple images to the same post. This feature gives you the ability to easily share step by step directions. The length of Pinterest post is great for comparing images or showing a before and after. If you want to share your images on a blog you may need to add text between each image to help the viewer understand how they relate.
Step #2 Create a storyboard for your images
You may already have a picture in your mind of what you want your images to look like, but writing things out is a great way of ensuring things go according to plan. Many times the ideas in our head don’t take into consideration all of the challenges we may experience when when crafting our pictures. Writing a description of the images you want or sketching them out gives you an easy way to problem solve and share with others for their input. If you are planning on working with a photographer or a firm to create these images it’s even more important that you have a storyboard prepared. People will never view things exactly the way you do, making i important to have a tool to communicate your desires.
Step #3: Make sure you have the correct lighting
If you are using a photographer this step probably won’t apply to you, but for anyone shooting DIY content it’s super important. One of the main reasons pictures seem unappealing is because they have poor lighting. Dark images will come across as grainy and low quality, and can hurt your brand. If you are using a phone you may want to consider adding continuous lighting like a spotlight or even a lamp with the shade off. If you are using a camera, consider adding in some flash to eliminate shadows and brighten the image. If you find you just can’t get the lighting right you may want to consider buying a reflector. It is a cheap way to brighten a space and direct light without committing to expensive professional lighting equipment. Also, increasing the exposure in the editing stage is also a great way to fix too-dark lighting.
Step #4: Take the shot
Once you’ve figured out your plan and perfected your lighting, it’s time to take the picture. If possible, use a tripod for your phone or camera. Otherwise use a desk, lean on a wall, or do whatever you can to be as still as possible when you take the image. This will give you a sharper, clearer image.
Step #5: Add text as needed
Now it’s time to add text to help the image make sense. Even without a graphic design background you can add text to images pretty easily. Most social media platforms have a built in tool for adding text to images. If you need something more intricate there are some super talented editors and designers on Fiverr who would be happy to help you perfect your image. If you’ve hired a photographer it’s likely they know how to add text to images, so don’t be shy with sharing your needs. Also, you will also need to add descriptive text to a blog or website post and hashtags to a social media post. This will guarantee your community can find you on social media and in search engines.
As long as you have a clear understand for how the images will be shared and a plan for the images, you can create successful content marketing focused pictures.
Here are some great examples of visual content marketing:
- Ety’s Pinterest page does a great job of inspiring you to be more original and gives you some great DIY home tips.
- This Ikea post clearly shows how ikea furniture can help organize a room through a series of before and after post
- Huntington Bank helps millennials get a step closer to understanding their finances with this pictorial blog post explaining how to write a check. (Yes that’s a thing many of us don’t know how to do)
Good luck with your visual content marketing! If you’re interested in learning more about content marketing in general click here. If you want to see how video can be used in content marketing click here.