After listening to a podcast or presentation, people remember 10 percent of what they heard. Add a picture, and that number skyrockets to 65 percent.
Researchers and educators have long known visuals are important in the learning process. Most adults can more accurately recall images. They also find it easier to process visual information versus text.
You already know what this means for you as a content creator. Whether you’re writing a blog or creating audio, you want to add some visual content.
You might already add some visuals to your content, since you know how powerful they are. What you’re wondering is how you can incorporate visuals into your content. You also want to know how you can create better, more engaging visuals for your audience.
These graphic design ideas will help you use visuals more effectively than ever. With them, you can banish blocks of text and create content your audience loves looking at.
Why You Need Visual Content
You already know visual content is important. The numbers paint a very clear portrait of why.
- Content with visuals receives 94 percent more views
- Content with images produces 650 percent more engagement
We’ve already mentioned that visuals boost recall as well. People find visuals easier to read and more appealing.
It follows then that if you want your content to be more appealing, then you should be adding visuals to it.
Remember the Purpose of Visuals
Before you make visuals for your blog posts or other content, think about the image's purpose. At the end of the day, content messaging is still the core of anything you create.
Ask yourself what information it’s trying to convey to your audience. The best images help us remember information.
Good visuals relate to their content, making it easier to connect ideas and remember them.
If the visual isn’t related, it becomes a distraction. People will recall the image, but they may not remember important information in your post.
Once you know what the purpose of a visual is, it’s easier to decide what information you can transform. Be sure to consider the best format for any visual. You can choose from a variety of types:
- Charts and graphs
- Illustrations and drawings
One type of visual may be more appropriate for the message you want to send than another. For example, complex data is often easier to understand when it’s in a graph or chart.
Learn the Basics of Good Graphic Design
Many graphic design tips focus on using the fundamentals of good design. You should be familiar with ideas such as color theory and how to use negative space. These principles apply to almost any visual you’ll create.
Remember that good visuals are clear and easy to understand. Lines and color can communicate emotional information. Negative space can make the image feel more inviting.
If they incorporate text, the font should be easy to read. Placement is also important for legibility. Be sure to keep text to a minimum.
Once you’ve reviewed the basics, it’s time to consider how you’ll use different types of visuals in your content.
Consider the Design of Your Website or Post
The first thing you should look at is the design of the website, blog, or platform where people find your content. The design for a blog might include space for cover images for each post. A website might have a background image or banner image.
A Facebook post might also have a cover image. An eBook also makes use of images in its layout.
You may not think of layouts as “visual content,” but they’re an important part of graphic design in your posts. These design elements can make text seem less dense and more inviting. In short, they increase visual appeal.
Use a Background Image
If your platform allows for it, make use of a banner or background image. This image should tie into your content, but it should also provide visual interest.
Images can create an emotional appeal through the use of color, line, and more. A background image or cover image summarizes the post and intrigues your audience.
Make How-tos Easy to Follow with Images
If you’re putting together a how-to post or video, visual content is a must. You’ll want to illustrate each step in the process with an image.
You can use photographs, screenshots, or custom graphics to show the steps in a process. The visual summarizes the text explanation. The text and image work together to explain how something is done.
In a video, you can walk people through each step and narrate the steps as you go through them.
Since people process visual information faster and recall more, they move through the steps with speed and accuracy.
Add a Little Animation
Motion draws the human eye, so why not spruce up your visuals with an animation? Animations can be practical, helping you to illustrate a point or step in a process.
They can also be more whimsical, adding an element of fun to your post. Be sure that the animations you choose make sense in context. Otherwise, they could be a distraction for your audience.
Unleash Your Inner Artist
Sometimes, you can’t find the right graphic or image for your content. When this happens, don’t be afraid to start making your own images.
Hand-drawn illustrations add uniqueness to your post. You may be illustrating something no one else has, and no one will illustrate it in the same style.
You can also create other visuals, such as photographs or even paintings.
If you don’t think you have the artistic talent, talk to graphic designers about visual content. They can help you create custom visuals that work seamlessly with your content.
Visualize Data to Make it Easy to Read
Have you ever tried to read a description of the results of a scientific study? Even looking at large tables of numbers can be intimidating.
Data is often best represented in visuals, like graphics and charts. Ask anyone who’s ever had to present the results of a company survey at a board meeting. The audience understands a pie chart faster than a block of text.
Be sure to choose an appropriate format for the data you have to present. A graph may work best for showing results over time. A pie chart may be best for illustrating the percentages of people who picked responses on a survey.
The Infographic is Still the King of Visual Content
When someone says “visual content,” you probably think of the infographic. This form of visual content has become popular over the last few years. It’s an effective way to combine text information with visuals.
The infographic is like charts and graphs, in that it takes information and turns it into a visual format. In this case, it often takes information from a blog post or eBook and turns it into an easy-to-read image.
Infographics highlight the key points of a blog post or other written content. They reduce the amount of text the reader has to process and add visual elements to make it easier to understand and remember.
An example is a timeline of your blog or of a company’s history. Instead of reading lengthy paragraphs about what you did each year, readers see the highlights plotted on a line. Icons and symbols reinforce the key idea.
Creating the Visuals You Need
Now you have some graphic design ideas to incorporate into your blog or other content you want to create. The question is, how do you go about creating great visuals?
Reviewing the principles of design is a great place to start. You may also want to work with some of the following resources:
- Software such as Photoshop
- Free online tools for creating graphics
- Stock image sites for finding photographs and illustrations
You can create your own custom photos and hand-drawn images as well.
If you need high-quality images for a large amount of content, you should work with a graphic designer. They can create custom visual content for you, often faster and with more ease than you can do it yourself.
When you work with a graphic designer, you can rest assured your visuals will be professional quality. You know all visuals will have a uniform look too.
Before you decide to work with a designer, check out their graphic design portfolio. Get an idea of what they create.
Do they create the kinds of visual content you want? Do you like their style? You'll want a team with the skills to create the visuals you want.
A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words
When it comes to connecting with your audience, visual content is worth more than text alone. Engage with your audience by creating beautiful, custom visual content.
Do you have some graphic design ideas you want to translate into reality? Get in touch with us. We can help you create the right visual content for your audience.
What graphic design strategies do you think works best for your audience? Share your thoughts below!