Visual Content

Picture of Aliza ShermanAliza Sherman is a web pioneer, author, and international speaker. Sherman is the author of 8 books about the Internet including The Everything Blogging Book, Streetwise Ecommerce, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Crowdsourcing and Social Media Engagement for Dummies.

Visual Content

We can’t leave out visual content as a specific content type that has a big impact. The text captioning an image adds details, but your image or video should provide a key message as well. For images, while a picture is worth a thousand words, a few words in a legible font on the photo itself can help convey an even stronger message.

Some ways to make visual content more effective is to pay attention to clarity, color, and composition. Is the image clear - not pixelated or blurry? Are the colors bright or distinct? Even black and white images can attract attention but pay attention to the contrast. In terms of composition or the way objects are positioned.

For photography, follow the rule of thirds, placing the subject of your image - a product, a person, the main focal point of a scene - in the left or right third of an image, leaving the other two thirds open. Try not to center everything you photograph. By changing up the focal point, you are creating interest for the eye.

For video, make sure your most important message comes in the first five seconds of the video. Use those opening seconds to stimulate interest so someone is compelled to continue watching. However, if they jump away from your video to the next one, make sure they get the gist of your message up front. Consider captioning your video as well for people who scroll their social media feeds with the audio turned off.

Don’t forget about illustrations as another type of visual content that you can add into your social media. Infographics take detailed or complex information and illustrates it with typically tall, vertical graphics.