If you have followed me for any length of time, you know I am a HUGE proponent of using visual content on social media. In fact, engaging visual content is the #1 strategy I use on my own social media in order to drive traffic, engagement and sales. To many times I see businesses making visual content mistakes that don't drive traffic and end up costing them sales.
Images have a way of grabbing attention, getting people to comment and share, and of making your content more interesting and more relatable. Using the right images and videos can also entice click-throughs, thereby increasing traffic and sales.
However, making certain visual content mistakes can actually accomplish just the opposite: it can make your content (and by extension, your business) seem outdated, tacky or irrelevant.
This post will look at some common visual content mistakes that apply to any type of visuals you use or share: from infographics, to banner ads, to blog graphics, to image quotes and more.
How These Visual Content Mistakes Are Costing You Traffic and Sales:
1. Using cheesy stock photos
Image courtesy of Free Digital Photos
Stock photos have their place, especially when you’re working with a very limited (or non-existent) budget. However, you do need to use some serious discretion when choosing which stock images to use.
Using tacky, generic images can send the message that:
- you can’t afford to buy high-quality images
- you have poor taste, or
- you don’t care about your brand.
While c is probably the most damaging message, a and b aren’t exactly great either! Ask yourself, “Would I be proud to have this image representing my brand?”. If the answer is no, keep looking! Here is a list of 31 places you can find FREE stock photos.
2. Posting images that aren’t consistent with your brand
A brand that definitely knows how to use images to their advantage is Red Bull. If you look at their Facebook page, you’ll see that every single image and video drives home their slogan: “Red Bull gives you wings”. Whether it’s an image of an extreme skier flying off a mountain, or a video of a racecar speeding around a hairpin curve, their visuals all work to convey the vibe of their brand.
Make sure that all your visual content helps tell a consistent brand story. Telling a number of different ‘stories’ can leave your readers and followers feeling confused or even duped.
3. Not using the right tools
Graphic design tools like Canva have leveled the playing field considerably when it comes to creating eye-catching original images. While it used to be that only big brands with big budgets could afford to create such graphics, now even solopreneurs with NO budget can compete.
If you’re not particularly design-savvy, using an advanced design tool like Illustrator or even Photoshop can be a big mistake; more often than not, your images can end up looking cheap or unprofessional. Instead, use design tools that utilize templates and layouts that you can customize and edit to suit your own style. Here are 6 FREE Tools To Create Amazing Eye Catching Graphics!
4. Posting the same graphics to all your social media channels
Incorporating your titles into your blog post images is important for getting pins
One size does NOT fit all when it comes to social media graphics. Besides the fact that different sites will require different sized photos – for instance a Facebook cover photo will have very different dimension than an Instagram image – each social networking site has its own ‘vibe’.
For instance, on Instagram, using the right filter can make all the difference in terms of engagement. On Pinterest, using images that clearly describe the topic of your content is important for getting repins. On Facebook, image quotes and funny images do really well, as they stand out in an increasingly overcrowded newsfeed.
Carefully consider which types of images will do best on various platforms. You can always use one image as a starting point, but then be sure to customize it to fit the audience and vibe of different platforms.
Images and videos can be an extremely powerful part of your social media strategy. However, the common visual content mistakes listed above may actually be costing you traffic and sales. Make sure your images actually represent your brand, and that they suit the platform you’re posting to. These two ‘rules’ will help ensure your images work FOR you, and not AGAINST you!
Are you guilty of making any of the visual content mistakes above? Which ones? Share below!