Writing Pixelated: Visual Content for Generation YThe busy, digital lifestyles of Generation Y are forcing the web to become more visual.

Visual content is processed in the brain 60,000 times faster than text, according to 3M Corporation.

Social media, the driving force of the digital world, thrives on visuals because they are easy to share on major networks such as Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Catchy headlines, bulleted lists, and content written with the “F” pattern in mind are still an essential part to communicate and connect with digital users today.

But, while writing is still a major factor in the success of your content strategy, without good visuals you may fail to keep your younger readers engaged throughout the entire post.

Creating Visual Content

High Quality Photos. Whether it’s an article or your homepage, it’s proven a smiling person on your website will increase conversions and reads. However, use good judgment as a corny photo can be a major turn-off to your reader. Photos should be real-feeling, appropriate, and topically relevant. Out of courtesy, always cite the photographer or source and when possible link back to the original picture.

Check out sites such as Creative Commons, Flickr, Stock.XCHNG, and morgueFile to find free images.

Infographics. These easy-to-digest, visual fact sheets are one of the best ways to present information. Even if you’re not an expert designer, consider making some sort of data visualization using free tools and templates from Piktochart or Infogr.am.

For example look at Clarity Way Rehab Center’s blog where the majority of their posts have visual content: Infographics or educative animations. Infographics should be dense with facts but not overly cluttered. Your infographic should answer a question or have a goal of what you want your readers to learn.

Remember to cite your sources and include your own logo so your brand can receive credit as well. Lastly, make sure it is easy to share by providing an embed code and pushing it out through social media.

Videos. The vice president of global content at YouTube, Robert Kyncl said in his keynote address at CES that soon video will be 90 percent of Internet traffic. Twitter allows you to share mini videos using their app Vine. If you don’t have a camera, use motion graphics or funny animation like this international background investigation company put together.

It doesn’t have to be the best quality video to get views, but humor and/or applicable information helps.

Memes. Memes are pictures or short clips with humorous words superimposed on top of it. Usually the picture and portions of the phrase gets used over and over again with a different comedic twist. They are easy to put together and highly shareable, which will lead people back to your content.

Top Rank used the following popular meme to illustrate a major point in one of their articles, which also made it memorable.

Meme Example









Typography. Overuse of fancy fonts can kill a website. Use them sparingly – like salt – to spruce up a headline, quote, or important fact. Quozio is a free and easy tool to help you quickly make important information visually appealing.

Be Creative. The Internet is constantly evolving so don’t worry about sticking to a cookie cutter form. Use visuals in moderation, but don’t be scared to push the envelope and experiment to find the best visuals to communicate effectively with your audience.

Keep in mind these four underlying reasons for using visual content:

  • To attract the user to read it.
  • To allow them to quickly and easily understand the material.
  • To make something memorable.
  • To make your information easily sharable.

What would you add? Do you use visual content in your marketing efforts?

Alicia Lawrence

Alicia Lawrence works for WebpageFX - the best SEO company (in her humble opinion). WebpageFX is a full-service Internet marketing company offering innovative web marketing solutions to mid to large size companies across the globe. Alicia also blogs at MarCom Land in her free time.

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