create engaging visual content

Visual content is one of the most important aspects of any brand’s marketing campaign, and it’s only going to become more important in 2019. Data proves that people remember more from visual content; posts with images are shared more often on Twitter and Facebook; and videos are shared even more frequently. So if you want to maximize your content’s organic reach, you need to create engaging visual content and build marketing campaigns around it.

One of the easiest ways to create engaging visual content is to base it on articles you’ve already written. Today we’ll walk through how to choose the right content and the basics of creating infographics and videos, two of the most popular forms of visual content.

Why transform old articles into visual content?

Last month we talked at great length about why you should rewrite and revive your old blog content. Many of the same points hold true here. Adding new visual content to your old articles helps Google see your content as “fresh”, which boosts your rankings. It also increases the perceived quality of your archives, both to your audience and to Google’s quality algorithms.

Basing your visual content on old articles also gives you a steady stream of ideas, all of which you’ve already researched. This saves you an enormous amount of time, especially when you’re still learning the technology needed to create engaging visual content.

Choosing the right articles to create engaging visual content

Your blog archives are a great place to mine for ideas, but not all of those ideas are worth pursuing. To create engaging visual content, you need an idea that will actually engage your audience. The best articles to revive meet three criteria:

  • They’re evergreen – The main concepts are still valid years later, even if some of the details have changed
  • They are already engaging – People are actively looking for and sharing this information on a regular basis
  • The facts can easily be arranged in a visually appealing manner – Virtually any idea can be turned into great visual content, but some lend themselves more easily to it than others

When you’re pulling ideas from your blog archives, you already know what articles meet this criteria — or at the very least, you can access this information through your Google Analytics dashboard.

Start with your top 10 most popular articles of all time. Move any that meet all three of the above criteria to a list of articles you’re going to transform into visual content. If you already know what type of visual content you want to turn it into, note that beside the title.

Once you’ve turned those articles into visual content, you can then expand to creating videos based on other successful articles from the archives. You can also start creating videos to go with your current blog posts.

How to turn articles into infographics

Online readers pay special attention to images with information and infographics are the most frequently shared type of content (data). They’re also one of the simplest ways to turn your ideas into visual content. You can get started today, for free, right in your browser.

What should be turned into an infographic?

Certain article types lend themselves naturally to infographic format. Articles that analyze numerical information, like statistics, make particularly good infographics. A great example of how this works is the “When to Post on Social Media (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest)” infographic from Revive.Social:

See here:
Example of how to create engaging visual content from old blog posts

This infographic was built on top of another post from the blog, this one: Data Says: Best Times to Post on Social Media – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram + More.

There are also a few other article types that work particularly well:

  • Articles tracing the history of something make great timeline infographics (yes, you can do this with the history of your business)
  • Pros vs. cons articles
  • Other articles weighing one option against another
  • Articles explaining how something complex, like a machine, works

Circle any articles on your list that fall into these categories, and start creating!

How to make great infographics

There are three aspects to creating great infographics: the design, the facts, and the technical aspect.

Your design will vary based on the topic you’re covering, but there are some basic design rules every infographic should follow. Balancing images and text, leaving white space, and choosing three fonts (header, body, and side notes/flavor) make the information easier to digest and remember. Following these rules gives your infographic the best chance of success.

It’s also essential to make sure that the facts are 100% accurate when you create the infographic. You’re not expected to tweak the infographic every time things change, but publishing inaccuracies right out of the gate is a surefire way to lose credibility. So double check everything in your article before moving the information to an infographic.

As for the technical side, there are several free infographic makers online. Canva’s infographic maker is the most popular, and Canva also offers other graphic design capabilities. They also have dozens of free design elements and hundreds of $1 elements you can use to create branded visual content.

You can learn more from Canva’s infographic design guide or the complete guide to creating infographics for non-designers from Meltwater.

How to turn articles into video content

Video is the most engaging visual content out there, and it’s quickly taking over the internet. By 2019 it’s expected to account for a full 80% of global internet traffic. And people consume video more thoroughly than other types of content.

(Charts by Visualizer Lite.)

Unfortunately, video is some of the most time consuming content to create — but you can cut that time down significantly by basing your videos on ideas you already have. Integrating video with your blog allows you to build marketing campaigns around both at the same time.

Any type of article can be turned into a video, but story-heavy articles or tutorials/demos often work best.

How to create great video content

Many business owners think great video means spending a fortune on video equipment, but most only need midrange equipment. Your personality and the quality/presentation of your information are what will connect with your audience.

Most YouTube personalities got that way because of, well, their personalities. Everything, from the backdrop to what you’re actually saying, should showcase your brand’s personality. Make some practice videos to get used to speaking to the camera. If you can’t get comfortable with it, get someone else to do it. And be honest with yourself about your performance. Ask others for their opinions too. It’s more important to get the right person than to do it yourself.

Once you’re used to the camera, focus on the story that brings your information together. Don’t forget to mention any articles you’ve written related to the topic. You can also mention other quality resources to add even more value.

You can learn more about creating great videos from Wix’s Guide to Starting a YouTube Channel for Small Businesses or The Small Business Buide to Branded Videos from Crazy Egg.

Just to give you a handful of examples, here are some videos that the ThemeIsle team created based on their blog posts:

Final advice

Learning to create engaging visual content is one of the biggest challenges small businesses face, but overcoming it will revolutionize your business. Using topics that have already been successful on your blog maximizes your visual content’s potential.

Start today by looking at your top 10 articles and deciding what type of visual content you’d like to transform them into. Once you’ve gone through your old articles, there are several ways to get more content ideas – also for video.

What are you doing right now to incorporate visual content into your overall business strategy?

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