As the pace of content creation increases, our attention spans seem to be decreasing. This is requiring creators to adapt and consider ways in which people can consume content in a timely manner. The result is a movement towards highly visual content. While you may not have the resources to hire a designer or visual artist for your content, there are several things you can do to create high touch visuals with your existing content.
1. Comic/Illustrated Books
While comic books have been around for quite some time, a new trend is illustrated versions of business books.
Michael Port who had already published The New York Times Best Seller Book Yourself Solid teamed up with a visual strategist to create a 3rd edition of his book. This new edition translates all of the core concepts in the book into easy to understand visuals. The reason for the illustrations was simple. Plenty of people loved the content of his book, but many people never finished reading it. Illustrating the content not only enables readers to finish the book quickly, but also review and retain core concepts. According to the synopsis on Amazon
You won’t find business school graphs or mind maps. Instead, you’ll find compelling, visual stories that reinvent old and tired business concepts, making Book Yourself Solid Illustrated a fun and playful book that you will revisit year after year as you get more clients than you can handle.
Maybe you can’t afford to hire an illustrator or a visual strategist to work with you. Fortunately there are several free sites where you can create your own comics
For your next blog post, try creating a comic as opposed to writing it.
2. Animation of Existing Content
Another interesting way to create high-touch visuals is to animate existing content. That’s exactly what RSA animate does with TED talks and other speeches. You might be thinking that you need to hire a talented cartoonist and spend a small fortune to do this. But tools are popping up all over the web to make this possible for somebody who has a bit of creativity.
XtraNormal: This animation tool allows you to write a script, choose characters, and even a backdrop. Some of the following viral videos were done with XtraNormal
Wideo: Wideo is a recently launched animation startup that enables you to overlay soundtracks and create all sorts of videos ranging from book trailers to tutorials. If an infographic tool and an animation tool were to blend you’d have Wideo.
Find a topic you want to cover, write a script, and unleash your inner Walt Disney.
3. Slideshare Presos/Slide Decks
One of the fastest ways to turn existing content into a high touch visual is to convert it into a presentation. Let’s take a look at a concrete example.
Ever year on my birthday I write a blog post for all the lessons I’ve learned from my time on the planet. This year I decided to do something a bit different. I wrote the content and teamed up with my business partner David Crandall to turn it into something that combined my writing with his illustration skills. The result was a piece of content that went viral on slideshare:
Here’s a simple way to take a blog post and create a slide deck from it.
- Pick a blog post
- Find the 10 key points
- Create a logical flow
- Assemble them into a slide deck
While you don’t need any illustration talent, you want to put some effort into the design of your slides. Read the book Presentation Zen by Garr Reynold’s and implement his advice.
Whether you love them or hate them, infographics are a fantastic way to take existing content and create a high touch visual. The key to an effective infoographic is to have one major takeaway for the reader. After that it comes down to organization of the information in some sort of logical flow. While hiring a designer to create something amazing is optimal,it’s not the only option.
- Easel.ly is an incredibly easy to use infographic creation tool. The drag and drop interface makes it a breeze to work with. Decided what information you want to include and hammer out your infographic.
5. Pinterest Quotes/Facebook Timeline Images
If you’ve been on the search engine journal Facebook page you’ll notice that all the posts are shared with an image with a quote from the post. This is a great way not only to stand out in the timeline but to highlight a particularl portion of a post. You could even use multiple images with different quotes to drive traffic to the same post. These same images can also be used to create boards for Pinterest.
Have you thought about the role that visuals will play in future of your content strategy? Are there things that you would add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.