Establishing a visual rhythm recognizable across Internet channels requires a visual content strategy. To be successful you need to identify who will be viewing the content, when and why, what story it conveys, where it will be located and for how long. You also need to know where the content will come from and how it will be updated and measured.
Designate Who Visuals are For
Are you hoping to connect with a specific audience or highlight a particular product? The FoodBev.com website does both by including a segmented audience menu. The graphic icons to the right of the website name include audio interviews and podcasts, video, photo gallery, calendar of events, magazines, newsletter, knowledge base and profiles. That’s a lot to offer in a small space.
The video and podcasts displayed on this site are created by staff, contributors and industry sources. They are updated regularly. The number of “hits” each receives tells the site manager what visitors are most interested in viewing.
What Visuals Convey
Visuals in the form of logos, icons and colors support a company’s brand and should be used consistently on all Internet channels.
Visuals including video can tell the story you want to convey. Be consistent in matching your production and tone with the content. You may not need a slick video production of a customer in the street interview but you may need it when interviewing the company CEO. To avoid talking heads put the person in an environment that tells a story. The video camera can move from the talker to an action shot as shown in the video below.
Brian Bell Sales Manager at Pacepacker Services demonstrates the 6-Axis Pick & Place robot on the FoodBev.com website.
Decide Where & When to Use Visuals
Will the audience be viewing visual content on your website, an industry site, webinar, newsletter or social media link? Knowing this in advance helps you tell the story in an appropriate way. Understanding where the prospect might be in the buying cycle is important as well. The video above is an introductory piece to a new product that shows what it does, not the engineering or precision control statistics a ready to buy prospect may need.
Understand the Why of Visual Content
All content needs a reason. Why include this on your site? What do you hope the visitor will get from it and take away? Visual content needs to meet the audience’s information expectation. Review your analytics to see how well the visual content is being engaged with by visitors.
Graphic artists, videographers and other visually gifted professionals can translate your message to the appropriate media. But how long do you use these visuals? Visuals that include out of date information may misguide and offer little to the viewer. If you don’t have time to swap in new visuals strive for “evergreen” content that remains valuable for long periods. Interview profiles of top executives on the About Us page are an example. Evergreen content can be supplemented with additional visuals at appropriate times.
Visuals can take on lots of forms including infographics (charts & graphs) that are easily understood and accessible for website visitors. A visual content strategy will keep your visitors engaged and meet your business objectives when planning is at the forefront.