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social media how toDo you create images?

Do they inspire your readers to take action?

When used strategically images, slide decks and infographics can drive traffic to your business. They also offer the opportunity to provide further value through your content.

In this article I’ll share three creative examples from businesses that used visual content to drive traffic and get results.

use visual content to drive traffic

Discover how to use visual content to drive more traffic.

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Why Images Matter

Images are not just separate pieces of content. They are doorways to more valuable information. Use visuals to drive traffic to your website, blog, products and services.

The key is to design each visual in a way that asks your fans or followers take some sort of action.

  • Would you like visitors to engage with it (like and comment)?
  • Would you like them to share it?
  • Would you like them to click through on a visual to arrive at your blog post or podcast show notes?
  • Would you like them to go from one social media platform to another?
  • Would you like them to click through from a social media platform back to your website?
calls to action shutterstock 247945348

Use your image to drive specific action. Image: Shutterstock.

Identify the end point, and then craft the appropriate call to action.

Here are three ways to use visual content to drive traffic to your website or blog.

#1: Integrate Images Across Platforms

Amanda Smyth from the blog Cooker and a Looker featured a blog post about how to create the Perfect Pavlova dessert in celebration of Australia Day.

It was a perfect example of how to drive traffic back to a website from multiple social platforms using visuals.

cooker and looker pavlova blog image

Create visuals on various social platforms to drive traffic to your blog post.

Here is what Amanda did that was so cool.

First, she created a series of six images with “Tips for the Perfect Pavlova.”

The images to promote the blog article were posted as a set on Facebook and individually on other platforms like Instagram. Additional descriptions on each image provided a clear call to action so followers could click back through to the original blog post.

cooker and looker pavlova tip images

A series of tip images is helpful and engaging visual content.

Amanda also embedded a portrait-sized, Pinterest-optimized image with additional text in the blog post. That way, when the image was separated from the blog post and pinned to Pinterest, users could see immediately what they were clicking through to.

cooker and looker pavlova pin images

A Pinterest image with text embedded in a blog post gives readers information regarding what the post is about when they see it independently on Pinterest.

Additional details on a pin could be enough to entice someone to click through back to the blog post for more information.

Finally, Amanda squared the images, so they were ready to post on Instagram and Facebook.

Look back up to the Pinterest image. Can you see what Amanda did with the image? She included a square-shaped image as part of the overall design. She was then able to separate the square image from the Pinterest image above. Here it is below, pulled directly from the Pinterest image, and ready for posting on Instagram and Facebook.

cooker and looker pavlova square image

A square image looks great on platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

Traffic-Driving Tips: Post your most important content on your blog, since all roads lead from social platforms back to your website. When planning traffic-driving images, try to incorporate at least two image shapes: square, landscape and/or portrait will cover most of the major sites. Remember to create images in batches if possible; a series of tip images is almost as easy to create as just one tip image.

#2: Drive Traffic From SlideShare

To help new readers discover my blog, I created a SlideShare presentation around an already popular blog post called 36 Visual Content Tools the Pros Can’t Live Without. It was content-rich and featured 36 tools loved by experts in visual social media.

I used quotes from the blog post for the SlideShare presentation. I uploaded it to SlideShare and then embedded the presentation back into the blog post. That way, readers could view the slide deck within the post, without leaving the website.

socially sorted slideshare in blog post

Upload a presentation to SlideShare and then embed it into a blog post.

The presentation was awarded SlideShare of the day and retweeted by SlideShare on a number of occasions. In just a few weeks it attracted over 100,000 views on SlideShare and the blog post was shared more than 4,500 times.

socially sorted slideshare

A well-crafted presentation may receive the distinction SlideShare of the Day.

To drive traffic, the SlideShare presentation included a call to action for users to click through to the original blog post to download a handy cheat sheet of the top 5 tools out of the 36 tools mentioned.

The combination of the blog post, cheat sheet and SlideShare presentation attracted almost 600 new subscribers (and counting).

socially sorted slideshare call to action slide

The SlideShare ends with a call to action.

Traffic-Driving Tips: Add SlideShare to your marketing mix. Create a well-designed helpful or inspiring presentation and you may attract the attention of the SlideShare team. If you follow a few key actions, your SlideShare can make it to the SlideShare home page or, even better, SlideShare of the Day. It might also be featured in the Trending in Your Network section. Any of these opportunities would give your traffic a huge boost.

#3: Create Helpful Infographics

Infographics are traditionally data-filled and statistic-heavy. While they can be made attractive with an attention-grabbing, creative design, the reality is that after an initial view, pin or share, they are rarely viewed again. In many cases they are repinned even without any click-through back to websites.

Create a super-useful infographic, and it is more likely to be bookmarked, kept, referred to and used by Pinterest users.

Outrigger Resorts in Hawaii achieved this with their series of Beach Infographics, showcasing activities on the major islands in Hawaii. I randomly found one of these infographics on Pinterest when searching for visual content examples for a presentation.

outrigger infographic pin

If you’re going to create an infographic, make sure it’s attractive and useful.

When I clicked through from the infographic, I found a series of four infographics, as well as a convenient booking form.

outrigger infographics

Outrigger’s infographic led to four more infographics, as well as a booking form.

Outrigger Resort’s infographics are designed to help guests plan their holiday, and give them a memorable experience in the process.

If you look closely at the landing page for these infographics, you can see that, although it is designed to drive potential guests to the accommodation website, it also provides visitors with more great value and content when they arrive.

To get an idea of how often these four infographics are being shared, do a Pinterest source check on the visual content being shared from the Outrigger website. Visitors are continually pinning the four infographics. Once pinned, others find the infographics and click back through to Outrigger. It is a perfect example of organic sharing, leading to free marketing for Outrigger.

In addition to the infographics, there is a Beach Quest Chart, which allows a potential guest to search for the right type of beach on the right island. This takes the infographic content even further.

outrigger infographics

Outrigger’s Beach Quest Chart is another bit of added value for potential visitors and guests.

Traffic-Driving Tips: Create an infographic that not only drives traffic, but also creates an emotional connection with your readers. This type of content is perfect for the tourism industry, since they can do more than just showcase a product, attraction, accommodation or venue. They can showcase a region and the experience. It’s the experience that wins the hearts and minds of customers.

Conclusion

If you’re going to invest time and/or money in creating great visual content, always ensure you know:

  • What you want people to do with your content (like, comment, share or click through to your website)
  • What awesome content you will provide (a content-rich blog post, free download, podcast show notes)
  • What you want your audience to do at the destination (subscribe, download, purchase)

Once you have all of the details figured out, you can skyrocket your results by using visual marketing.

What do you think? What visual content do you create? Have you used images to drive traffic to your website, blog, event or podcast? What types of visual content provide value to your readers while guiding them back to your business? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Blackboard call to action photo from Shutterstock.
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  • Great article Donna.

    Would you advise putting a watermark on everything you create?

  • Great tips .. I guess watermark will also help with visual branding as well as copywrite?!

  • Yes definitely you can include branding but make it about the content helping your audience – the branding should be tehre but not too over the top!

  • Hey Gary – certainly copywriting is a huge part of a great piece of visual content – especially infographics and slide decks where you are drawing people in and helping them to click through to your website or take some sort of call to action. On Slideshare, snackable, short pieces of copy help tease the person to click through to the next slide.

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  • Awesome article, Donna! So many valuable tips in here – especially love the series of images being formatted for Insta and Pinterest in a really smart way. Lots to plan now! haha

  • Thanks so much Celeste – Amanda definitely did a good job with her image sizes – very smart! Have fun with it! :o)

  • Mr. F

    This is some great stuff. Images help increase visibility no doubt, and a “how-to” guide surely helps. Thanks.

  • Thank you for sharing! This is very helpful.

  • Good post Donna! Visuals are so important. Great examples and have a fun Friday! 🙂

  • treb072410

    Thanks for sharing a very informative post Donna, very helpful..

  • I do agree with your statement. Also thanks to social media examiner for this great post.

  • Lance Rohde

    Awesome actionable tips Donna. Amanda is a rockstar.

  • Guest

    Try freelancing from your home office a­n­d get paid weekly… By completing basic computer-based jobs on your PC… I work 3hours daily, 5 da­ys in week and I earn an extra 1000 bucks e­ach week…>>>>>>>

  • Thanks Lance – Amanda did a great job, hey? Very smart use of visuals!

  • You are very welcome!

  • Thanks Steve – glad you found it useful!

  • You are very welcome – so glad to hear you found the case examples to be useful!

  • Awesome – glad it helps. Thanks for stopping by Mr. F!

  • Thanks for sharing such an awesome article here, Donna.

    I know that there’s tons of tools out there that can help you create awesome stunning visuals (e.g. Canva, PicMonkey etc), but was just wondering if you know of any tool that automatically customises and optimises visuals across all the major social media platforms? So that the same visual which we create for 1 platform (e.g. Facebook) will automatically be optimised to look good on other social media platforms as well?

  • Hey John – I don’t know any that do that fully and personally I think we should always be tailoring visual content to be native to each platform so that often requires some re-inventing or repurposing for different social networks – not all images need the same text overlays or descriptions etc. However, I know that Canva has released a new Pro Account that does allow you to easily take, say, a pinterest sized image and then resize it to square or landscape etc. There is still some work to be done on the new image as you may need to re-jig the elements, resize and move them around and add any information that suits the platform you are repurposing it for… but that function will make you happy for sure! They were rolling out a trial of the feature to test users at SMMW and I am sure it will be released to the public soon as it is a sought after feature!

  • Thank you for the great tips Donna. We also notice that posts in social media tends to be ignored if there’s no visuals, watermark is also a good and we will use it more often

  • Cheers – and glad to hear you are using visuals in your social media marketing – it’s more effort but the pay off can be exponential!

  • treb072410

    Thanks Donna, cant wait to read your next work

  • I have a tool that does exactly this John if you have any interest in being a beta tester?

  • I’ve recently developed a tool that does exactly what you’re asking and much more John. I’m happy to chat with you about beta testing it if you like?

  • treb072410

    Cant wait to read more from you Donna