Business growth typically requires a steady stream to new customers if it is going to be sustained. Indeed, if you run a freelance business and you want to expand it, you need to ensure that you are getting enough new clients into the company, as well as building out your brand and promoting repeat business.
This is where it can be so important to invest properly in creative visuals. Stunning visual content can be a hugely valuable part of lead generation, as well as turning those leads into new, reliable customers.
Creating great content is one of the most cost-effective ways of getting more leads for your company. And while it is important to point out that getting leads and maintaining growth does not necessarily equate to business success—it certainly has the ability to push your company in the right direction.
In this article, we look at some of the ways you can use creative visual content to help generate leads and grow your company.
The popularity of video content is not something that can ever be in doubt. Indeed, it has been established that across 2022, 82% of internet traffic will be online videos. Many businesses do see sense in creating videos for this reason—but they are always aware of the huge range of roles that videos can play.
Indeed, videos can be an important form of content with a huge variety of different uses. In fact, businesses are recognizing the marketing power of a professionally edited and polished video more than ever. For example, videos can do everything from helping you build up an audience, to growing your brand presence, and of course for generating new leads.
Some businesses, however, make the mistake of thinking that video content can be made as cheaply as possible. Yes, it is possible to shoot video content with a handheld smartphone – but you are always going to get far better and more professional-looking results if you invest in equipment such as a dedicated video camera and a tripod.
It is also important to think about who you put in front of the camera—this isn’t a role that is suited to everyone. Check through the business to see if anyone has any experience or training either in performance or media.
There is a world of difference between good quality stock photography, and the actual planned and conceived individual photography work that a business can create for itself. It is completely noticeable when a business uses only stock photos, the reverse is true; it looks fantastic to have your own images.
One of the key challenges with creating fantastic photography is the cost of the equipment that you are going to need. But you might be surprised to learn that getting access to this kind of equipment might not be as tricky as it seems. There are many businesses that offer a full range of camera equipment relatively cheaply—even if your budget won’t stretch to a truly professional-grade camera, having any kind of dedicated camera is far more effective than taking pictures with your smartphone.
Consider as well that an investment in a camera is long-term. It helps with a huge range of issues discussed below and there are a variety of situations where having your own camera equipment available can be beneficial to your business.
It cannot be denied that for social media marketing there is a significant need for great visual content. Indeed, social media strategy often lives and dies on the quality of its visuals. And this is something that you can make far easier simply by putting the right tools and budget in place. Once again, it is smart to move away from stock images or basic images and text. Create something that your audience actually wants to see.
Social media marketing is underrated as a strategy, and indeed it can be used by a much greater variety of businesses than you might think. Indeed, you only need to consider how B2B businesses are using LinkedIn to see the broad range of possibilities. It is the right idea to take the time to understand the preferred social media platforms of your target market and then focus your content creation around those platforms.
Authenticity is a huge part of making powerful visual social media content, audiences prefer brands that have their own unique style and gravitate towards accounts that they can immediately recognise by the strength of their content. Remember too that there is a need to make a fast impression. If your content looks too much like everything or, worse, if it looks like an advert, audiences will scroll by in an instant.
There is no doubt that the devising and creation of high-quality infographics can be very expensive and highly time-consuming. This is chiefly because to bring a great infographic together it can take the work of a number of individuals from researchers and content writers through to graphic designers. The whole process from the concept of the infographic to its use in the overall campaign is something that does take time and effort, and that can be enough to put some businesses off.
But ultimately, when you look at the results and what can be achieved, the hard work is completely worth it. This is especially true if your competitors aren’t currently producing these kinds of graphics. Being able to show off fantastic, well-researched and head-turning infographics can make your social media accounts very popular.
Infographics serve a number of different roles. One of the key benefits is that they can be extremely valuable from an SEO perspective. They are designed to be shared and can be used across multiple platforms, which only adds to what they can potentially do for your company. Create a great and useful infographic, and you might find that it is a fantastic organic source of link-building for your business.
It should be noted that email marketing is another discipline that can benefit enormously from eye-catching visuals. Remember that only a very small percentage of emails in a business email campaign will ever get seen—this makes it all the more vital that those that are seen are making the desired impact.
Emails need to catch a reader’s attention immediately—so a simple text marketing message or an uninteresting image isn’t going to cut it. Even the strongest marketing messages can fail to hit the mark if the emails themselves can’t make an impact on those people opening them. Having a dedicated graphic designer who is willing to create excellent visual content can be a great way to counteract this problem.
Putting the right visuals in place can make all the difference and ensure that when the emails do get clicked, they make an immediate impact on the viewer. The last thing you want is for that potential customer to be unimpressed by what they see—or simply turned off by too much text.
Of course, many businesses think that a blog lives and dies on its written content. In some ways this is true, and it is vital that businesses put in the effort to create great content that is interesting and valuable for a user to read. But this focus on great writing content should not ever minimise the importance of good visual content on the blog.
Remember that a blog can be another example of a great lead-generation tool, so you need to make it as effective as possible from a visual perspective.
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Written by Millo Team
Staff at Millo.co
Millo has been serving founders & freelancers since 2009. We are a team of experienced freelancers ourselves with over 30 years of combined freelancing experience. This piece was written by multiple members of our expert staff.
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