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.
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.
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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!