For a long time, content marketing relied heavily on length text, a powerful subject line, and keywords that get noticed. Long form articles and eBriefs were everywhere because people felt that lengthy content meant depth of content. While that can be true, we’ve noticed a huge spike in the use of visual content. Visual content is easy to digest and more likely to be shared, it’s engaging, and it offers information quickly by calling out statistics in colorful fonts and eye-catching graphics.

If visual content isn’t a part of your current strategy or if you’re looking for some new ideas, here are 6 visual marketing trends we’ve identified that you need to know – and can start using today!

1. Visual Content Usage is Trending Up

“Photos are becoming the ‘universal language’.” – Jeff Bulas

When was the last time you received an email without graphics? Saw a blog post without a header? A Facebook article without an image? To say that visual content usage is trending up is an understatement. From 2015 to 2016, there was an increase of 130% of the number of marketers who published content with visuals. Graphics are the hook now – it’s less about the headline and more about the story of the image that draws people to the content.

2. Consistency and Usefulness are Necessary

“Want to make your visual content more engaging to your consumers? Focus on being useful.” – Jessica Gioglia

Sharing the right content with the right people at the right time is a major challenge for marketers. Consistently creating visual content while sharing content that matters to your audience is even trickier. It’s important to be consistent with your design without sacrificing the usefulness of your message – don’t create content simply to create it! Establish a content plan and stick to it to get your audience to view you as a thought leader.

3. The Rise of the Creative

“Ensure consistency throughout all of your visual content – your fonts, colors, photo filters, image style and the personality you project. It will make your brand easy to recognize and more memorable.” – Melanie Perkins

Just because you’ve played around with Publisher once or twice doesn’t make you a graphic designer. The increase in in-house graphic design positions has solidified the importance of visual content – more companies are taking the visual creation process more seriously. By freeing up your content marketer’s “design schedule” you’re practically guaranteeing higher quality content produced by your writers – they can focus on their strengths and let your creative for on theirs. By employing a graphic designer you are ensuring your branding and messaging will stay on target – and you’ll be recognized for it. Essentially, put the right people in the right positions and your brand wins.

4. Original Content is Key

“People are more likely to share images they’ve never seen.” – Kristi Hines

Stock photos are sooo yesterday. When you see the same image over and over again, you become numb to it and eventually, it becomes meaningless. Stock images are doing nothing positive for your brand. This is where your creative team comes in – dream up new ideas, incorporate GIFs, animation, and video into your strategy. Try something new and see what sticks! People love originality, so don’t be afraid to test different ideas to find what works best with your audience. Remember: what works for one brand might not work for you, so sometimes you’ll have to go out on a creative limb and as always – test!

5. Infographics are King

“Visuals express ideas in a snackable manner.” – Kim Garst

Infographics that showcase statistics and offer data visualization in an easily digestible way are one of the biggest visual content trends this year. More and more people are likely to share this type of content and more marketers are recognizing this, so it should absolutely be a part of your content strategy moving forward. Bonus points if your infographics are animated!

6. Visuals will tell your Story

“Give them the information necessary to make an educated decision and foster an emotional connection by sharing your company’s story through images.” – Rebekah Radice

Storytelling is THE marketing movement right now. People are more informed than ever before (thank you, internet) and they’d rather hear a story about your brand than hear what you’re selling. Education is everything. Telling the story of your brand through visuals takes it one step further. Images make people feel something and if you can grab their attention with a powerful image and follow through with a compelling story – your campaign is sure to be a slam dunk.

What did we miss? What trends do you see on the rise? Share your ideas in the comments!


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