This is the last update in my Summer Lovin blog series! So sad!

summer lovin

click here for previous articles in the series


I’ve been building up to this topic for some time. I’ve talked about how important language is for website success, and when I waxed philosophically about the ‘Pinterest factor’, I was really talking about the future of visual content.

Why Visual is So Important

You’ve probably noticed that lots of marketers are hopping on board the infographic bandwagon, perhaps the most visible (and sometimes ingratiating) visual marketing tactic.

It is important for several reasons:

  • As a society in general, we are overwhelmed by the amount of stuff on the Internet. Just look at how many “-illions” are in this inforgraphic (told ya they were popular!) that attempts to describe how big the internet is.
  • The amount of consumers who now “scan” what they are reading is the majority. I have even found myself scanning when reading books! Whoops.
  • In general, our “always on” society means we are always busy and alert for the next thing that needs our attention. It never stops.


You’ve heard the saying that a picture says a 1,000 words, and it couldn’t be more true now. IF YOU ARE SCANNING, STOP HERE: If you take nothing else from this article, at least take a look at your site and figure out how to cut down on the text and use images to get the same point across.

Learn by Examples

I could talk for miles about how to use visual content more successfully, but wouldn’t it be more effective (in a pun-intended kind of way) to just use some examples? I think so.

First up: Matador Network’s just how big is Australia graphic. It would be hard to explain this without a photo, but this custom image says it all in one screen. (Summary caption should be: it’s BIG.)


You can see lots of ‘how to’ pieces on Pinterest – look at this example from Home Depot that shows you how to wrap a package with tarp. To be honest, if you explained this to me over the phone or with just text I’d be clueless, but these images (even without details) are pretty explanatory!

Along the same DIY theme, Homemade Modern uses a combination of images, video, and animated GIFs to make it easy to recreate the projects that they write about.

For something simpler, how about these smores instructions? (It reminds me of the safety cards on an airplane in a way.)

Tools You Can Use

Hopefully you are seeing (pun intended) how these visual images can communicate complex topics easily, without the need for miles of text. Imagery like this also encourages sharing and referrals, which is a beautiful thing.

How do you make all this amazing stuff? You can spend $$$ or take the time and hone your skills in-house. Some tools that can help:

  • Picmonkey: I use this tool everyday. It makes it simple and easy to put text on images, and their “collages” feature can help you make this step-by-step instructions like we saw in the DIY examples.
  • A handy tool for creating charts, graphics, and infographics. I’m not in love with most infographics, but if you want to make something simple, there might be a template here for you.
  • Although mostly used for memes and jokes, animated gifts can be pretty useful; this tool makes it easy to create them.
  • Slideshare: While nobody wants to sit through a Powerpoint presentation, sometimes a handful of slides can be really useful, and slideshare makes it easy to display these on your site. Take a look at their popular slides for inspiration.
  • Pinstamatic: Nice tool aimed at creating Pinterest content quickly and easily, but you can reuse the image output elsewhere.
  • Google Drawings: Fancy yourself a doodler? You could draw your sketches and scan them, or try this free Google tool to create custom images.

What visual content creation tools do you use? Got an example of a visual campaign that you’re proud of Share your faves in the comments.


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