Visual Marketing 101This is a guest post by Karen Gunton of build a little biz: 

People are visual and images can often resonate in a way that written content alone does not, so it is no surprise that visual content is becoming the new trend in business marketing.

And the great thing about visual marketing is that it does not have to be a “huge” job added to your to do list. You can very easily create simple branded visual content using a free site like picmonkey. Add your “headline text” to a photo (one of your own or a stock image that you are allowed to alter with text) and you have a powerful social media marketing tool!

Here are 8 ways that you can use that one branded image…

  1. Blog – Not only does an image in your blog post draw readers in but it also gives them something to pin to Pinterest when they want to bookmark your post.
  2. Pinterest – Most images on Pinterest are “repins” of existing Pinterest content. Adding your branded images creates fresh content for pinners, and they link back to your site.
  3. Facebook – Images shared on Facebook pages generally get more engagement (comments & shares) than text only posts – plus you can add text to the image, include the link back to your blog post!
  4. Twitter – Tweets don’t have to be text only, you can also add images to them! And of course you can include the link to your blog post
  5. Google+ – Google+ has the best platform for images – they are so big and look so vibrant on the page, and like Facebook often get loads of engagement. Sharing your images on Google+ can help with SEO as well, yay!
  6. Instagram – You don’t HAVE to take a photo with your phone to share an image on Instagram, you can also choose photos from your image gallery or drop box. Load up your branded biz image and, you guessed it, include a link back to your blog post.
  7. Newsletter – When you send your email newsletter to your subscribers, include your image along with an excerpt of the text from your blog post and the link so that subscribers will click through to read more.
  8. Website or Sidebar Buttons – If you want to make sure that new visitors can still find that one super important blog post, pop your image in the sidebar and link to that content. You could even build up a “start here” area and include links to the 3 most important posts you want them to read.

Yes, I know I said I had 9 ways for you to use your images… here is a bonus idea:

The ideas I have shared so far are all for online marketing, but social networking can be an “in person” activity too, so you can also use your branded images for print as well.

Use moo to create post cards, greeting cards, or even mini-cards that include your biz images and pass them out next time you are at a live event.  (I love moo because you can order one pack of cards that all contain different images!) This can be a great way to share your brand message and build brand recognition.

Just be aware that online images are low resolution (72 dpi) so if you would also like to print your images be sure to save them at high resolution (300 dpi) first, and then save them for the web at low resolution.

Adding visual content to your marketing is a great way to share your brand message in new ways, add variety to your existing marketing plans, and take advantage of the fact that the online world is very visual right now!

And it doesn’t have to be more work, just smart work! One image. Lots of ways to use it.

Time to Take Action: Tell me in the comments below which ONE way will you use to promote YOUR smallbiz with a branded image.

karen gunton is a teacher, brainstormer and visual marketing specialist, and she is passionate about helping business owners SHINE online. take her FREE visual marketing mini-class to learn more about creating your own branded visual content.