How to Create Engaging Visual Content – Essential Tips (ch. 4)
by David Gaudreault, Serial Entrepreneur, Online Marketer, and Personal Branding Passionate
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In this article, I teach you the best practices and tips to create engaging visual content to promote your personal brand and your blog. I talk about YouTube, IGTV, live videos, Pinterest and Instagram.
I provide you with a proven anatomy to build the perfect engaging video, give some valuable insights on Instagram and Pinterest and talk about the effectiveness of photos and images when comes the time to engage your audience.
Videos are everywhere and people like watching them. YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn and now Instagram TV (IGTV), all major platforms see the potential of videos and encourage content creators to create always more!
You should produce videos and post them on your social media pages, channels and embed them into your blog posts. Videos will help you set your credibility and give your audience a privileged access to your personality and your style.
It is your chance to show your authenticity and truly connect with your audience!
In this section, I will focus on YouTube as it is currently the second largest search engine in the world processing more than 3 billion searches a month.
On YouTube, there are many metrics that will influence your ranking, some are obvious like engagement (comments and likes) and views, but the most important metrics are the watch time, the number of subscribers to your channel and the session time of your viewers.
Just like for blog posts, there are good practices to make appealing videos that will hook your audience’s attention and get them to watch your content, boost your metrics, and get your videos to rank better in search results.
3. Use outlines and contrast to allow the graphics to stand out
4. Add big text to give context and make it short when possible.
5. Add a distinctive logo or watermark, use branded elements and be consistent in your design to allow viewers to easily recognize your brand
6. Design for small screens. Favor close-up and avoid small elements
Don’t underestimate the importance of the description.
Per YouTube advices, your description conveys valuable information that helps viewers find your videos in search results.
General Guidelines :
1. Give an overview of your video using natural language — not just a stream of keywords.
2. Be sure each video has a unique description
3. Put the most important keywords toward the beginning of your description.
4. Identify 1-2 main words that describe your video and feature them prominently in both your description and headline.
5. Add hashtags related to your video
6. Use Google Trends and AdWords Keyword Planner to identify popular keywords
7. Avoid irrelevant words
8. Consider prioritizing the first few lines of your description to describe your video because it’s what viewers will see first.
9. Add other key information about your channel, metadata, and links to social networks and your website
10. Add other related videos or playlists
11. Use timestamps to identify sections of your video
12. Add your affiliate links for monetization.
You should include relevant and smart tags including:
1. Your brand-specific tags
2. Your main keywords
3. Keywords obtained using the YouTube autosuggest when searching for your main keywords
4. Avoid stop words
Make your intro less than 10-20 seconds.
Videos viewers are immersed by tons of videos and you need to hook them within a few seconds of watching.
Start with a question, then tell them what you’re going to be talking about in the video.
List the main topics covered, so the viewers get a feel for what they will be getting through their watching.
Highlight the amazing value they will get if they watch the video until the end and remind the viewers how much value you offer with your channel and invite them to subscribe.
Be 10x energetic.
Be organized and interesting.
Provide amazing value to your audience
Mix your content with your message (20%) and support with life examples (80%).
Do a wrap up of the main elements discussed and start a discussion. You may end up with multiple questions to encourage people to comment.
Remind to subscribe, share and comments. Invite to participate in your future events or promote your live podcast or anything else you have to sell.
Bonus Tip: How to Drive More Traffic to your Channel?
Target a video with 300k+ views in your industry and make a video on the same topic, but make it better, more practical, more actionable, catchier, up-to-date and add a lot more value.
Then optimize your SEO using the same keywords as your competitor’s video. By doing that, your video will eventually appear in the suggested video list of that popular video and you will leverage its high traffic to drive viewers to your channel.
The main platforms for visual-centric content are Instagram and Pinterest. Both platforms are primarily used for uploading photos and images for other people to see, but they are very different in the way people use them.
Instagram is more about sharing your day to day, the behind the scene, through very authentic photos while Pinterest is more about organizing and categorizing visual contents. Pinterest is closer to a search engine in the way it works as users use it to search for content, products, tips or inspiration.
Below is an example of a great Instagram account by Justine Dufour-Lapointe.
She is a well-known Canadian Olympic athlete and she is successful with her Instagram account. She is very generous at sharing her day-to-day, her training, photo shoots, side projects, vacations, etc., and as a result, her followers feel a strong connection and sentiment of engagement with her.
Instagram will serve you well to build a strong connection with your audience. Your followers see you in your day to day life, every day and often many times a day and they feel like they really know every aspect of your personal life.
It is more conversational and users engage and comment more. Photography quality, beauty, and style are also more prominent and important on Instagram. Users expect stylish images and recognizable publishing style across your account.
Pinterest is completely different as most images or photos are content related featuring blog posts, products, ideas, lists, recipes, etc. Pinterest is a great SEO tool to generate external links and traffic to your website as every pin is a link to the source image, which is posted on your website.
It is, therefore, a very good idea to summarize or feature your blog posts into pin formatted graphics and pin it to your favorite boards.
The demographics of both platforms is also different. On Pinterest, 81% are females and the median age of the users is 40, a large percentage is US based and 50% earns 50k$ or more annual salaries.
On Instagram, 59% are under 29 and the dominant gender is still women in a smaller 60-40 proportion. However, 70% earns under 50K$ annual salary.
On Instagram, building a fan base starts with good hashtags that people search for, but hashtags that are not used too often on many posts or pins.
For example, you have more chance to rank in search results with a hashtag used two thousand times than a hashtag used one million times. But again, you need hashtags that users search for, otherwise, you are not going anywhere.
25 tips to Grow your Instagram Account And Get More Followers
Here is a nice video by Girl vs Globe who’s giving 25 tips on how to grow your Instagram account and get more followers
In Pinterest and Instagram, engage, interact and follow people in your niche as a large proportion will then follow you back and start a conversation. Then, as you build your fan base, you will be more susceptible to rank in search results and eventually get organic growth.
There are applications in Pinterest and Instagram to automate your follow-unfollow process to build your follower base faster. Pinpinterest, NinjaPinner, and NinjaGram are a few examples.
To manage your Instagram and Pinterest account, you can use Tailwind, a helpful tool to discover content, schedule posts, monitor conversations, amplify reach, and analyze results.
Tailwind is particularly awesome to get engagement in Pinterest, thanks to Tailwind Tribes! Tribes are like group boards but on steroids. In tribes, people need to share the same number of pins from others than the number of their own pins they add to the tribe. As a result, if your pins are great you can really get a high-level of engagement.
As a conclusion, while most social media platforms are used to publish the end results of your work, Instagram is used to showcase the process behind the scenes: your studio recording, the lunch with your team, the seconds before getting on stage, your work at the café, your day off at the beach, etc.
On the other hand, Pinterest is used to showcase useful content on a Pin, which usually links to the original content, like a blog post or a YouTube video.
If you write a blog post, summarize your points or make a nice graphic of your headline on a vertical image.
People will pin it on their boards as a reminder or bookmark. It can be a checklist, a recipe, a quote, anything that people would benefit from pinning on their boards for future reference.
Did I forget anything? Please let me know what you think about this blog post in the comments below.
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