Last Updated on October 14, 2019 by Fabrizio Van Marciano
Are you struggling for ideas on what types of visual content to include in your blog posts? Worry not my fellow blogging amigos, in this post, I'll share with you 9 types of visual content you can use that will help to diversify your content and make your posts fun to read.
When writing your blog posts, adding some interesting visuals, such as photos, screen captures, and videos are a huge part of the content creation process.
Writing and publishing blog posts that include no images or graphics will do your content little to no justice.
Sometimes, though, it can be 'tough-going' trying to figure out exactly what to include in terms of images, right? So, I created this post to hopefully help you out.
But you see, using images is just the start, really. We're going to cover, in more detail, 9 types of visual content ideas you can use in your blog articles.
Here they are:
Now, let's get to it.
Did you know that blog posts containing images get 94% more views?
The featured image is often an underutilized piece of visual content. The problem is blog authors either include one or they don't.
I know what you're thinking, what's the problem with including one?
Well, if they include a featured image, it's usually a pretty mundane and boring-looking, stock-image downloaded from the web.
Now, I use free stock photos on my own blog and there's nothing wrong with doing that.
In fact, in 2018, over 40% of marketers said that they used stock images in their content, the most.
What I like to do with stock-images, however, is to add my own customizations. Maybe add some fancy text overlay, gradient effects, branding, etc. Like the one shown for this post above.
So, stop downloading and using raw-stock-photos. Here's what you should do instead:
Go and explore free stock image sites like Pexels or Pixabay, find a small handful of relevant and quality images to download.
Create a folder on your computer to store them in.
Next, download a free photo editing app, something like Photosape is perfect, and begin creating some custom blog post featured images.
You can add a gradient overlay, some text or a heading, your logo, etc.
If you want to learn how I create my blog post featured images, check out this post and video tutorial.
Here's a great idea, you should make your featured post images, mentioned above, approximately 1200px in width and 628px in height.
Because this is the size of the shared link image for Facebook and LinkedIn.
This means, for example, when someone shares your blog post on Facebook or LinkedIn, it should pull up the featured image, which will be the correct size for including in the shared link.
Here's an example of a shared link from one of my blog posts, with a featured image that is the optimum size for Facebook.
If you use a plugin with social media optimization built-in, such as Social Snap, you can take advantage of the custom social media image settings. If not, just make sure your featured images are correctly sized for social media.
It is optional, but you can also include a few other image sizes for Pinterest and Twitter.
OK, time for another statistic I think.
84% of marketers who use infographics say they are extremely effective.
This means creating some nice infographics to diversify your blog content can be a powerful strategy and a great way to add some interesting visuals to your blog content.
Yes, they do take time, resources, and sometimes money to create.
But, the good news is that you can create your infographics using some time and money-saving tools, or you can hire a marketing graphic designer to help you out.
Here are some tools to consider using for creating your infographics -
In addition to those tools, do check out this post for more tips on creating infographics using your blog content.
I'm almost certain you know what this is. Screencaptures are probably among the most used images in blog posts.
I've used them so many times myself, especially in tutorial posts and product review articles.
If Google Chrome is your preferred choice of web browsers, I'd recommend installing the Full Page Screen Capture extension.
You can also use shortcuts to capture full, or a specific area of a page. If you're using screen captures to provide instructions in a blog post, don't forget to use some annotations, or directional arrows too, like the one above.
There's nothing more powerful than using charts and graphs to help visualize facts, stats, and any data that you are using in your blog posts.
You don't need anything fancy to create some interesting graphs. If you're handy with a graphic design tool, then use whatever you have on your computer.
If you're on WordPress, check out the Planet Charts plugin. It's a fairly new plugin, but it uses Gutenberg blocks to help you create some interesting charts. This is a premium plugin, by the way, folks.
Alternatively, you can screen capture charts and graphs from another relevant blog article to use in your own content, however, please make sure you cite your sources carefully. Don't just steal content, provide a credit link and mention the name of the blog/article.
These aren't as popular as they once were in blog posts, I don't think. But, they can still provide some diversity in any piece of content.
Often, the humorful GIFs can be useful for provoking thought and increasing reader engagement. That much can be said.
Although a wonderful option to consider for adding visual content to your posts, the two main problems I see with using animated GIFs are:
In any case, a great site I would recommend exploring is Giphy which has thousands of animated gifs for you to choose from.
Now, using visual content doesn't just mean finding and using relevant images and graphics. You can also use videos.
This is one of my favorite tactics too.
YouTube and Vimeo are among the best places to find relevant video content to embed into your blog posts. You don't always have to create your own videos, though I would recommend doing so whenever possible.
Using videos in your blog posts not only adds value, but it's a great way to retain your reader's attention.
According to Insivia, 95% of a message is retained by viewers watching a video, compared to only 10% of the message retained via written text.
What does this mean?
This means if you include a video in your blog post, whatever message you're trying to convey in that video, your viewers are more likely to retain that message better.
Have you ever considered using content from your Instagram to post into your blog posts?
It's really easy to do, and moreover, it means you don't always have to use images from free stock photo sites.
To embed an Instagram post, all you have to do is head over to your Instagram profile on your computer, click on an image you want to embed, open up the share options tab (three little dots), and select embed. See the image below.
And last, but certainly not least, we get to embedding slide presentations.
Now, when it comes to sourcing - A great place to look are sites like Slideshare by LinkedIn, AuthorStream, and Google Slides.
I would recommend SlideShare than most other platforms when it comes to embedding content simply because of the library of presentations there is available on the site.
In addition to sourcing presentations from other sites, you can and should also create your own branded presentations to include in your blog posts. The sites above can be used to create your slides.
Now, that might be quite off-putting, considering presentations can take up to 8 hours or more to design. But, if you can include one or two of them in your content strategy now and again, it can't be a bad thing, surely?
Now, regardless of everything said about using slide presentations, I don't think that including them in your blog posts is as popular as it once were, but it's still a great and effective option for diversifying your visual content and increasing engagement.
So, there you have it. Hopefully, these 9 visual content ideas and suggestions will keep you busy.
What do you think? Are you more inspired to use other forms of visual content in your blog posts, or are you just going to stick with good old free stock photo sites for now?
You can leave me a comment below and share your thoughts and ideas, or you can share this post on social media. I appreciate you. Enjoy.