With information being shared through numerous channels and depleting attention spans, it has become essential for your brand to break through the noise in a way that makes it distinct. One way you can do so is by utilizing compelling and relevant visuals that align with your brand identity in a consistent manner.
Visuals not only attract more eyeballs to your content, they generate interest, build trust and credibility and are relatively more likely to get shared. For instance, tweets with images are nearly twice as likely to be retweeted.
They bring life to words and help the reader better understand the story while enhancing their overall experience.
Visuals are particularly important if you’re issuing a news release. A study by PR Newswire reveals that press releases with images can garner nearly twice as many views as compared to those with mere text. When distributing these to journalists, including visuals in the form of images, videos, infographics or any easily downloadable files makes it easier for them to present a story.
You can add visual content to press releases in several ways. It’s important to identify which form works best and complements your story, while communicating the message effectively.
The use of images in news releases has proven to increase views. According to MDG Advertising, inclusion of images increases the viewership of a release by 14 per cent. Journalists like to have many images, videos, data elements and other resources as they craft their stories. This gives them multiple angles and adds depth to their stories
Best practices for using images: Images work best when they are relevant, high quality with a high resolution and eye catching. Avoid stock images. It’s better to use original photos, preferably ones taken by a professional photographer. As an alternative to images you can use graphics, animations, illustrations or any other visuals that are consistent with your brand.
When pitching journalists, provide them with images in different shapes, sizes and formats that can be easily downloaded. Also, don’t forget to credit the source of the image if required.
Video is one of the most effective storytelling mediums because video can elicit memorable narratives and powerful emotions in a matter of seconds. While ironing out the complexity that could otherwise emerge in a write up, they add a human element which aids in building an easy connection that text alone can’t always achieve.
Videos are an important resource for journalists to support their story and, according to statistics, they have a greater probability of being shared among consumers.
According to the HubSpot State of Marketing Report, video is the number one format marketers used in 2021 for their content strategy and 87 per cent of video marketers found that it increased traffic to their website. Further, a report by Insivia shared by Foap reveals that 95 per cent of a message is retained when consumed through video as compared to 10 per cent when read as simple text.
Best practices for using videos: While professional videos may need your time and money, don’t underestimate the power of an off-the-cuff Instagram video that’s filmed through your smart phone. It’s important however to keep them short and simple with relevant content. It’s best to upload them to a hosting service like YouTube, or to a secure shared drive on the cloud. Using a service like YouTube can help your content (with the video) load faster while making it compatible with different formats, apart from giving an SEO boost.
Infographics are a natural choice when you have a data driven story. According to a Hubspot research blog, they are already in use by 45 per cent of marketers and 38 per cent plan on using it for the first time in 2022. Another blog by Hubspot states that infographics are the fourth most utilized form of content marketing.
They are considered appealing to the eyes and while they make information easy to absorb, they also have a huge potential to get viral. When presented well, they portray your data in a way that makes it easy to read and understand. It makes it a better experience for journalists when they have well presented data to support their story.
Best practices for using infographics - When you start, question yourself - “What do I want the reader to take away from this data?” This will give you a direction for designing your infographic. It’s best to depict your data through infographics. Keep it simple and clear. And of course it needs to be relevant, meaningful and credible.
In conclusion, it has become almost essential to include visuals that support your content and you have various options to choose from in terms of what form they take. Keeping it consistent with your brand will help you create a unified image for your brand, while establishing your brand identity and aiding recognition. Not using visuals is an opportunity missed, whether you’re distributing your press release to journalists or sharing it across your audiences. Data proves that visuals work.
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