eg. Facebook or Google Analytics
Visual content as seen on mobile

Yohei Guy - Sunday 5th April 2020

6 types of visual content to add to your next blog post

Blogs have been around since the late 90s, starting out as a few niche sites here and there before evolving into a mainstream medium consisting of millions of blogs publishing posts on a regular basis all around the world.

The format of the blog post has been fairly consistent over this time with the focus being on the writing itself (rightly so) with the occasional image (stock or otherwise) placed throughout to complement the narrative being told.

As time has moved on and audiences’ attention spans and expectations have changed, this visual content has become increasingly important. Not only must it complement a piece, but it must draw the eye, engage the reader, tell its own story and more.

Luckily there are a number of different visual content types that you can use beyond the static image which we’ve discussed below.

1. Videos

The most common substitute for an image is undoubtedly a video – a format that we’ve been familiar with since the invention of the television. Moving image and sound can combine, captivate and engage wonderfully well as has been proven over the many years of film and tv production.

Video production has also become much more accessible with great footage now being able to be captured on mobile devices and no shortage of user-friendly non-linear editing platforms. Doing it well, however, still remains challenging and often time-consuming as well which your deadlines and/or budgets may not allow but you can alternatively embed other people’s videos into your blog as well.

2. GIFs

GIFs have been around longer than you might think, since the 1980s as a matter of fact, but now the format is as popular as it has ever been. The success in the GIF, for the most part, has been the way it’s found its niche in humour and comedy.

The characteristics of GIFs, with their often lower quality images, absence of soundtrack, witty captions and their endless looping has made them particularly effective at generating a quick laugh when done right. If you need to lighten the mood in your piece, this is a good choice.

3. Infographics

Infographics haven’t been around quite as long as the previous examples but are now frequently found in blog posts all around the world. The infographic is an extremely functional form of visual content, especially in technical writing pieces.

The saying “a picture paints a thousand words” rings true for infographics and best sums up their most helpful quality. At their best, they are able to communicate complex information and data in engaging ways that would challenge even the best writers in the world. The really good ones often get shared and used by people too which provides you with the chance to increase your brand awareness and acquire backlinks for SEO purposes.

4. Memes

One of the most effective visual content tools of viral marketing experts has been the internet meme. We’ve all seen them, and chances are, all shared them, for that effect of spontaneous laughter that they capture so well.

Memes are similar to GIFs in many ways, but they tend to follow a more consistent format. They are typically made from one static image, usually from a piece of popular culture (TV show/movie) and are captioned with white Impact font with a black stroke outline. This layout has now become synonymous with the meme with our minds now naturally conditioned to have an immediate response to them – hence why they can be extremely effective.

5. Slideshows

Slideshows can be used in a variety of different ways making it quite a flexible and easy type of visual content to take advantage of. A number of basic uses of slideshows include showing or comparing different products, before and after shots, showing different perspectives of a products/events or using a slideshow as a way of telling a particular story.

People also use slideshows in combination with infographics which in effect create a PowerPoint style presentation. This can be particularly useful in a technical/informational type context and can take the pressure off the eyes by lessening the text that would otherwise be required.

6. Comic strips

Comic strips may seem like a bit of an antiquated choice having been around since the start of the newspaper era, but you’ll still find the utilised in the occasional blog post now and again.

Comic strips are primarily made to entertain, usually through humour but often have an objective through social and/or political commentary. It’s a slightly more elevated form of visual content because of this as it’s not simply trying to induce a laugh but trying to make a point about a particular idea. Because of this, they’re harder to create but you can source plenty of existing ones online that can complement the point or sentiment you’re trying to get across.

Plenty of visual content option to choose from

As you can see, there are plenty of options when it comes to visual content to choose from and mixing it up can really give your blog post a good point of difference and get you more engagement.

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