Small Business Saturday Blog

Use Visual Content to Power Up your Marketing

Monday, April 27 at 12:09Digital | Marketing | Social Media

You’ve seen them everywhere! Visual content comes in many different formats: images, videos, Infographics, SlideShares, graphs, etc.

The trend seemed to kick off in a huge way at the end of 2013/start of 2014 and is continuing its upward trajectory.

Why are visuals crucial to marketing?

Visual content conveys a message in a uniquely succinct way.  They immediately appeal to emotions and are hugely engaging.  Humans are essentially hard-wired to digest information visually, as HubSpot demonstrates in this (visual) graphic!


In addition to the above, we all love sharing photos or videos that make us laugh or smile, or pictures that evoke a memory, for instance.  If you create powerful images which resonate with your audience they will likely share it with their friends on Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and share your message at the same time.  What a way to spread your business message and increase your reach!

Consider the surge in images and videos across Twitter.  Twitter now has its own native video platform and, in the last few months, apps like Meerkat and Periscope have exploded onto the market. In fact, Meerkat caused quite a stir at #SMMW15 in San Diego this year.

Here’s the difference a tweet with an image makes to engagement levels compared with one without an image:


As a small business, you need to harness the power of visuals in your marketing strategy.  It’s a level playing field: you can use these resources as well as the big guns!

Start off with images

You can easily create your own using my two favourite go-to apps: Canva and PicMonkey.  Both are entirely FREE to use but they also have extra features for which you can pay a small amount either per image or per month.

If you’re just starting out as a small business, there are lots of websites which offer stock photos which are FREE to use (always double-check the licence terms before using for commercial purposes.  See below).  Don’t spend a fortune on purchasing expensive images; it will blow a hole in your budget very quickly!


Here are some great resources for stock photos:

(1) Refe Rea Life Photos
(2) Pixabay
(3) Morgue File (Ensure you select the “Free Photos” tab)
(4) Flickr free use photos

Make the Image your Own

➣  Don’t be tempted to upload images directly into your blog and hit “Publish”!  Add text overlays, including your business logo and URL, to give the image a more personal and branded look.   You can easily do this with Canva and PicMonkey.

➣  Stick to your brand style, colours and fonts when adding overlays and don’t mix them up.

➣  Decide on 3 fonts to use for text: one for a heading, one for sub-headings and the other for quotations, for instance, and stick to them for a consistent, branded look.

➣  Outline the benefits your readers will receive to entice them to click through and read your content, like this great example from Anna Bennett, top Pinterest marketer.


➣  Each social media platform has its own unique image size dimensions so refer to Canva’s pre-formatted templates to ensure you get the optimum look.


If you’re at all stuck, need some further advice or just don’t have a creative bone in your body, don’t panic!

By Nicky Pasquier, Founder of Virtuoso Assistant. Email me at any time and we can schedule a chat: hello@virtuosoassistant.co.uk

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