Here are the whys and hows of business marketing visuals. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun with this topic, so let’s dive right in!
When I talk to small business owners about this, their first question is often, “What the heck is a business marketing visual?” Which is closely followed by, “and why do I need them?” I thought we’d start by answering those two important questions, and hopefully you’ll see the incredible value these tools can bring to your marketing plan.
In their simplest form, business marketing visuals are any content that relies more on graphics than on the written word. Rather than an article with lots of boring statistics or instructions, for example, you might substitute a chart or graph that clearly illustrates the same information. EzineArticles does this really well with their cartoon series. Instead of taking 300 words to tell authors to use HTML tags in their resource boxes, they whipped up a clever cartoon that not only got the point across, but is more memorable as well.
And that gets to the heart of why you should be using visuals in your marketing plan: They’re easy to scan, provide a lot of information quickly, and are almost always memorable. The attention span of a website visitor is short. If they can’t quickly glance through your site and find the information they’re seeking, they’ll click away and be gone forever. Show them what they’re looking for, though, and they’ll stay a while, dig deeper, and return to your site again and again. And here’s an added bonus: Clever graphics like cartoons and infographics are quick to turn viral. Just imagine the power of thousands of tweets linking to your graphics!
Let’s take a look at some different kinds of visuals and how you can use them in your marketing plan:
1. Charts and Graphs
These are often the first thing we think of when we consider using visuals, and with good reason. Communicating detailed information about statistics is easy when you use a simple bar or pie chart, trends are quickly uncovered with a line graph, and even complicated project timelines are easily understood when converted to a Gantt chart.
2. Illustrations and Cartoons
For giving direction you really can’t beat a good illustration. Language barriers aren’t an issue, plus, people in general are more likely to study a series of pictures than read through detailed step-by-step instructions.
When you have a lot of ideas that don’t need to be in a specific order, a mindmap is a good way to give an overview without being overwhelming. Readers can concentrate only on the nodes that relate to them, expand other points for more information, or even rearrange the structure to suit their own needs.
The favorite tool of speakers everywhere, PowerPoint presentations can also be used to quickly provide a lot of information in a short time frame. These work best as a follow-up or companion piece for video and audio content, where they serve to remind listeners of critical points.
The granddaddy of business marketing visuals, these are generally large pieces that convey a huge amount of information. Infographics merge art with statistics, informing the reader while at the same time keeping them entertained. When well drawn, these visuals can take on a life of their own and are absolutely fantastic at generating incoming links to your site.
You can see that no matter what business you’re in, there is a marketing visual that will work for you.