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Visual Content Creation: Slideshows

by | Jan 31, 2014 | Blog, Marketing, Product Creation, Resources | 5 comments

Visual Content CreationLong before Pinterest and Instagram, we knew and accepted that a picture paints a thousand words.

We are visual creatures, and as such, we tend to react faster to images.  It explains the popularity of those two image-based social networks, and why Facebook sharing of images tend to go viral much more than text-only status updates.

Beyond a single image, a collection of slides with images and relevant text can do wonders for your content marketing efforts.

I advised a client to augment her LinkedIn presence with a few slides on Slideshare.  She was a little nervous about creating Powerpoint slides without her being there to present them.

We solved that problem by adding a compelling image to each slide, and reducing the number of words to the bare minimum.  The number of views on her Slideshare assets rose very quickly, which helped give more visibility (and sales) to her digital products.

You can apply the same technique by taking your pillar blog post content, or excerpts from your information product, and turn it into a slideshow.

Follow these tips in making your slideshow standout and an asset to your online presence.

Keep It Short

Think micro.  Nobody wants to step through a 50-slide report.  At the same time, if it is just 3 slides, it might be a better fit for a single infographic, rather than slideshow.

Keep it between 7 to 10 slides, reserving the last slide for a call to action.

Use Images

The most engaging presentations I have seen use relevant images and just a few words of text to convey the message.  Remember, people glance at and skim over a slideshow.

Choose strong images that evoke emotion and engagement.

One Key Message Per Slide

it’s confusing to try and say too many things on a single slide.  Keep it focused on a single message or one piece of information per slide. If in doubt, split it into another slide.

When going through a list of items, either present one per slide, or group them in such a way that a single slide still has a single message.  For example, pros and cons can be grouped into two slides.

Keep Animations To A Minimum

I avoid animations altogether, unless it’s for a YouTube video.  The only time i have found that animations clarify rather than confuse, is when I want to bring attention to a data point.  For example, the slide first displays a graph, then an arrow pointing to the data point of interest.

Animations tend to distract from the content, so use them sparingly.

End With A Call To Action

Your last slide must always contain a call to action.  It could be as simple as ‘Follow me on Twitter’.  Ideally, you should have a link to your blog or salespage if appropriate.

One technique that works well is to have the slideshow capture an excerpt, with the call to action link pointing to the full report.  You could take them directly to the report, or use it as an opportunity to request their email address.

Foolproof Kindle Covers

Talking of calls to action and visuals, here is a shameless plug for Foolproof Kindle Covers, the follow-up to my Foolproof Kindle Formatting.

If you publish ebooks, whether as information products on your website or on Amazon Kindle, you probably need a cover, right? Well, Foolproof Kindle Covers shows you how to do it yourself in a simple, step by step manner.

It’s on launch promotion at just $0.99, so grab it today.  Even if you prefer to outsource your covers, learning how to quickly sketch your own covers will help you communicate your needs better to your outsourcer.

End of shameless plug.

One final thing about visual content: you can string the slides together, throw some nice moody music on it, and you’ve got yourself another content marketing asset in the form of a video, ready to enrich your YouTube channel.

The rate at which social networks are multiplying, and the pervasiveness of smartphones with good data plans means you must be in the visual content creation business to stay relevant.

How much of your content is visual? Let me know in the comments.

Meanwhile, go and visualize!