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3 Tips to Improve Your Visual Content Strategy


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All content -- except for a few minor exceptions -- is visual. Images (and the void of images) are visual. Text and the way is is presented is visual. As content marketers we must master the art of visual storytelling in this ever-changing landscape of delivery channels. Practical tips for planning, organizing, delivering, and optimizing visual content for an effective Visual Content Strategy.

Presented at the American Marketing Association NJ chapter in Morristown, NJ. NJ Executive Circles of AMA formerly MENG.

Key takeaways:
1. Practical plan for effectively integrating design strategies into your strategic process
2. Useful talking points and recommended resources for content marketers who want to work better with designers
3. Examples of smart, engaging visual content

Published in: Marketing
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3 Tips to Improve Your Visual Content Strategy

  1. 1. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Words + Pictures: 3 Tips to Improve Your Visual Content Strategy Buddy Scalera @BuddyScalera The Annotated Version!
  2. 2. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Disclaimer The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of my employer. All views and examples are my own.
  3. 3. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Delivered to the American Marketing Association of New Jersey. About the Annotated Version The Annotated Version includes modifications to prepare it for Slideshare & ebooks. It is slightly different from the live presentation. All content, unless otherwise noted, is © 2017 Buddy Scalera. Delivered to:
  4. 4. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Content Marketing “A strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
  5. 5. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj The web is a visual medium. Pictures are visual. Designs are visual. Words are visual. Humans are visual.
  6. 6. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj 30-60%60% 30%
  7. 7. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj We See Images (Really) Fast 13ms100ms Neuroscientist Dr. Brad Wyble ( measured that the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds. Approximately how long it takes to blink.
  8. 8. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Three Tips 1.Know Why 2.Include Designers 3.Follow Process
  9. 9. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Infographics Can Be Stories... But They Aren’t Always Stories Infographics by Ivan Ruiz. Infographics can be an effective content marketing tactic, if they are part of a multichannel marketing strategy.
  10. 10. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Story is not an autobiography about your brand Brand storytelling.
  11. 11. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj is about your customers. Your brand is just a plot point in their story. StoryCustomers are on their own hero’s journey.
  12. 12. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj This is Who and Why Let’s talk Where, When, & How What they need User Journey User Journey Continued… Content X Goes Here What you have
  13. 13. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Content Marketing is about behavior change.
  14. 14. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Behavior Change • Try my product A • Use my product moreB • Tell a friend about my productC • Who • What • Where Content = X • Why • When • How
  15. 15. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj So why are you creating content?Content made for the purpose of marketing should be intended to motivate behavior change.
  16. 16. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Three Tips 1.Know Why 2.Include Designers 3.Follow Process
  17. 17. What Failure Looks Like …and Why
  18. 18. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Wait, wait, wait…GO! Creative Timeline Big Idea Brain storming Concepts Revisions Approval Design This is how stock art happens to good ideas. Lame statistic here. Process Fail. Just Say No to Stock Photography
  19. 19. What Success Looks Like …and Why
  20. 20. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Align Content Strategy to User Journey +UX Strategy Research: Data, analysis, process UX Strategic Insights Personas Pre-Seeker Seeker Considerer Active Evangelist
  21. 21. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj User Journey. Like a Funnel. Only not. Pre-Seeker Seeker Considerer Active Evangelist Lead Prospect Evaluation Purchase
  22. 22. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj A sales funnel is about you. A user journey is about the customer.
  23. 23. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj A sales funnel, is about selling. A user journey, is about telling.
  24. 24. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Content for the User Journey Pre-Seeker Seeker Considerer Active Evangelist About your product. Features & benefits. Comparison. Details, getting started. Qualified leads. Category content & keywords. Tell a friend.
  25. 25. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Strategists Own Tactics Content Strategy Editorial & Copy Strategy Content Engineering Strategy Content Distribution Strategy Media Strategy Measurement Strategy Design Strategy Creation LinkingPlanning Maintenance Technology Publishing Taxonomy Syndication Repurposing Social Media RelationsPaid Media Analytics Design Branding UI UX Maintenance KPIs & Reporting @2013 Buddy Scalera For more information on this diagram, contact Buddy Scalera at
  26. 26. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Three Tips 1.Know Why 2.Include Designers 3.Follow Process
  27. 27. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Process at the Enterprise Level •Documented process •Creative templates •Style guides •Governing body
  28. 28. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj UNIVERSAL GOVERNANCE • File naming • Version control • Source files • Ownership • Manager • File metadata • HTML Alt tags • HTML title & captions Filename: Vis_Story_Info-1x5_600x900-v3a.jpg Version: Revision: v3a Source: //sharepoint/folder/images/infographics/Vis_Story_Info-1x5_600x900- v3a.psd Owner: Corporate communications Manager: Design File metadata: Infographic, gorilla, 1 of 5, corporate, corporate communications, visual storytelling Alt Tag: Visual storytelling infographic #1 of 5 with 800 pound gorilla. Title: Visual Storytelling: Plot Your Presentation Caption: Before you start creating your story, plot your ideas. Also address the question of software and desired output. Digital Asset Management Pro Tip: This is not where creativity happens.
  29. 29. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Content Strategy Alignment CONTENT STRATEGY • User journey & relevance • Related content • Reuse across multiple owned platforms (web, mobile, print, video, live events, etc.) • Reuse in social, open graph tags • Visual standardization across paid channels & landing pages User: Persona A User Journey: Seeker Linking Strategy: Section 2.4 Relevance: Reflects brand paid advertising campaign Usage: Website, owned Convention booth Social: Twitter, Facebook Instagram Channels: Owned Paid, banner Paid, print Related content: Image 1 of 5 in series
  30. 30. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Three Tips 1.Know Why 2.Include Designers 3.Follow Process Content Strategy Editorial & Copy Strategy Content Engineering Strategy Content Distribution Strategy Media Strategy Measurement Strategy Design Strategy @2013 Buddy Scalera
  31. 31. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj how to put content here… Don’t just ask
  32. 32. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj why you want to be here. Ask
  33. 33. @MarketingBuddy • #CMWorld@BuddyScalera • #amanj Thank You. Buddy Scalera Sr. Dir. Content Strategy The Medicines Company The Annotated Version!