Everything You Wanted to Know About Visual Content But Were Afraid to Ask

Content Marketing


We had a great webinar last week on visual content with Maria Pergolino, Sr. Director of Marketing at Marketo, and Jason Lankow, CEO and Co-Founder of Column Five. Unfortunately we didn’t have enough time to answer all of the great questions about visual content that our audience asked during the webinar. So, we wanted to do a follow-up blog and share our answers to all of our readers.

Q: How does a company find someone to produce visual content?

A. To find an agency to help with visual content, we recommend finding examples of what you like, and then looking to see who created that work. That is what Marketo has done for visual notetaking, videos, infographics etc. And we have been very pleased with the results. For infographics, including motion graphics and visual slide presentations, we use Column Five. For developing memes, we actually use free online meme generators. Our team brainstorms ideas, finds photos, creates the meme, and then posts to social media channels.

Q. How do you suggest responding to multiple device screens (like an iphone or ipad) for visuals like your website, videos, infographics?

A. Many social channels that display visual content optimize for you. For example, Facebook’s mobile app will host your content in a way that is viewable for a mobile device and YouTube will allow your video to be viewed on Apple or Android products. If using your visual content on landing pages or emails, you will need to optimize for this. Check out a recent paper that Marketo wrote on mobile email marketing.

Q. How are you measuring “lift” for visual content?

A.  Lift can be measured in a number of ways, depending on your goals. If you are simply trying to use visual content to increase Facebook Likes, then the lift would be the estimated increase in Likes from the content. To measure this, you would look at how many Likes you typically add per week (or month/or year) and then see if this increases when you start using visual content. If so, this is your lift (example, if you get 10 new Likes each week before adding visual content, and now you get 15, your lift from visual content is likely 5 extra Likes per week). If you are trying to estimate the lift in pipeline that is generated from these efforts you will calculate similarly, but instead track lift to individual leads. To do this you will need to place offers around you content, and then track who comes in from these offers. Any, new business from these leads can be attributed to visual content.

Q. Does using these visual representations ever backfire and make content seem too marketing-like and not taken seriously? Where do you draw the line?

A.  This is a great question! We think that you have to know your audience to try and prevent backfires (though we all do make mistakes). To find this line, make sure you have fully developed buyer personas, so you know what appeals to each audience. For instance, we know that Marketo’s marketing practitioner buyer persona interacts with and enjoys visual content such as memes, comics, and other imagery when we post on Facebook and Twitter. Do some testing to find out what type of visual content really resonates with your target audience.

Q. How can Pinterest and Flickr benefit the financial industry? Also, are there accounts where we can restrict visitor comments?

A. Using Flickr or Pinterest for any industry simply boils down to engaging your audience visually. Does it make sense for the financial industry? Absolutely. While it may not be as “sexy” as other industries, it really just depends on how creative you can get as a marketer. There is a great article from American Banker a few months ago that identified seven financial themes for which companies could use Pinterest to increase their digital presence. The themes are: retirement, savings and investment goals, credit card rewards, lifestyle, corporate mascots, contests and charitable giving.

Q. Can you embed interactive infographics on a website like typical infographic?

A.  Interactive infographics can be embedded like typical infographics in most cases. However, it is very important to think about the dimensions of your interactive piece if your primary goal in creating it is distribution to other sites. For example, an interactive that is 1000px wide can be difficult for the novice blogger to embed, and if they have trouble resizing it, they may simply give up. The most important thing is to test your embed code on a separate blog to ensure that it shows up correctly. Alternatively, you can provide an embed code with an image of your choosing that clicks through to the interactive version on your site.

Q. Can you explain the meme in more detail and provide one of  your favorite examples? Does the image and copy have to tie to your brand?

A.  Memes are images that include a funny or witty line that can help give your content an extra push. The image and the copy don’t have to explicitly mention your brand, but it should definitely be aimed towards your audience. For example, one of our favorite and most popular memes was this Lionel Richie one. Check out the Marketo Facebook page for more examples.

The Lionel Richie meme doesn’t mention Marketo anywhere in the copy. Yet, mentioning sales leads in the meme allows us to resonate with an audience that is looking to boost revenue and generate more leads. And if you go one level deeper, that audience is likely made up of prospective Marketo users or current customers. We also have begun including an offer with our memes. By creating this meme and offering our Definitive Guide to Lead Nurturing in the social copy, we took something and made it more appealing by adding a bit of humor. And when we tied it all together with a bit of paid promotion in Facebook, the results were fantastic.

For a collection of marketing memes, check out our Pinterest board here.

Missed the webinar? Check out the webinar recording.