We tend to think of content, or content marketing, in terms of words. We know we need to create how-to articles, listicles (a numbered or bullet-pointed list) and informative blog posts in the hopes that readers will latch onto them, become fans of our brands and eventually buy from us. But what happens if you detest writing? You lie to yourself, swearing you will write that blog post, but put it off indefinitely. Or you write something, but you do it poorly. Either way, you’re not doing your brand any favors and you’re creating a wall between the amazing knowledge you have about your industry and the people who want to learn from you and become your customer. Here are a few suggestions for developing content if you hate writing.
Alternatives to the Written Word
While written content isn’t going anywhere, we are reaching a point of fatigue with it. A remedy to those overly long blog posts? Images. Yes, images are content, and they are perfect as a marketing tool if writing isn’t your thing.
We’ve seen a flood of visual social media sites and tools in the last few years. Each has its own benefits and can help you connect in meaningful ways with your audience.
Instagram has 300 million users and they’re pretty engaged. They’re liking and sharing your images which makes Instagram a great place to post photos of your products, behind the scenes shots and custom graphics. Pay attention to what people are sharing from your competitors and mimic the types of content.
Interior designer and photographer, Lori Andrews, has amassed more than 19,000 Instagram followers simply by being herself. She focuses on beautiful images — some related to her work, some not — that people can relate to. It’s not about a heavy marketing push.
Pinterest is great for getting mass support of a single image (and clicks back to your site). You’re not restricted to posting plain images on Pinterest. You can get creative and share images with words or infographics. The more visually appealing the images, the more pins they’ll get.
If you’re trying to reach millennials, words aren’t as effective as images — fleeting images, at that. SnapChat is the latest in a long line of trendy mobile apps. Users can send videos or images that disappear after being viewed.
Brands are slowly finding innovative ways to connect with users through the tool. GrubHub, a food delivery service, is creating legions of fans simply by sharing promotions, behind-the-scenes images and giveaways.
Yet another brand new visual marketing tool is Periscope. It provides live streaming of you doing anything (talking to fans, building your product, launching a special event) via its mobile app.
Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, has used Periscope to interact with his brand’s fans. He live streams from his office weekly and lets users ask any question about the company.
Tips for Visual Content
While you can cut down on the amount of written content you create if you implement more visual imagery, you’re not off the hook completely. Combining images and articles can get better results. In fact, content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without images. By joining the two together, you can pack a bigger punch through your marketing.
Also, maximize each visual asset. If you’ve got a picture to post to Instagram, share it on your Facebook and Twitter accounts too so that you reach more people. Find a way to make the social update unique for each site so people don’t feel you’re giving them redundant content across all your social platforms.
Invest in professional design. Stock photos have their place, but they’re not what spur thousands of shares. Custom graphics, images with custom text or infographics tend to get people’s attention better, so find a designer who can make your images unique.
Mix up your content marketing by using images on their own which will also serve to support your content. You’ll appeal to a wider audience and maybe give yourself a little break from writing.