Visual messaging is hot. I’m not sure if it’s because we’re seeking a bit of relief from the hundreds of written messages we get in a day (email – Gah!) or if the accelerated pace of our lives is driving us toward whatever is quickest. They say the human brain processes visual messages 60,000 times faster than the written word. I’ve never been able to find the science behind that claim, but let’s just agree that pictures are an effective means to build interest and convey information.
It’s no accident that the two fastest growing social networks — Pinterest and Instagram — are visual. Here’s an experiment you may want to test out in the office. Instead of writing a memo, create an infographic. They’re especially effective for communicating dry statistics and results. Not only will your message be more interesting, you’ll be able to leave behind those horrid PowerPoint slides that everyone is tired of seeing. Trust me on that one. In fact, you should delete all the corny clip art from your machine right now. Here’s an infographic that illustrates how different cultures around the world view specific colours–truly helpful if your marketing activities extend beyond your country of residence. Isn’t this an easier way to learn that green, a colour representing birth and regeneration in the west, actually represents death in South America?
The great news about making infographics is you don’t need to be a graphic artist. Take a stroll through infogr.am or Visual.ly. They make it easy and quick. If you’re thinking about making a career change, you might want to try Kelly Services’ free visual resume template.
Photos are another way to help your message hit home. Instagram, a photo sharing social network, is now the fastest growing platform among the top 10 smartphone apps. And we all know the world is shifting toward mobile so it’s not a question of whether our brand should be active on mobile — the only question to be answered is which mobile platform to focus on.
Did you know you can publish 15-second videos on Instagram?
I’ve had an Instagram account for a while but only recently started using it daily. It’s driving traffic back to my blogs and YouTube channel, and I’ve met some great local folks just by paying attention to geotags and hashtags. If those two terms are foreign to you, you can Google them and find lots. Basically, they’re used on social networks like Twitter and Instagram to help you search more easily for topics and places of interest.
So what are you waiting for? Go check out some of the resources in this post and pick just one to add visual interest to your messages. Let me know if I can help.