From Facebook’s Timeline to Pinterest to Slideshare to ubiquitious infographics, we live in a visual world. At an event about creating compelling content this morning, one participant asked the speaker how to create multimedia content without breaking the bank. So, here are a few quick and painless ways to introduce visuals to your communications:
- Find photos to accompany your blog posts and articles. If you don’t have your own cache of pictures, get an account at istockphoto.com. Yes, you can grab royalty-free photos on Flickr and other sites, but in my opinion, it takes too long to sift through the dross. Istockphoto.com’s easy-to-use search engine will help you to find the right photo for just a few dollars.
- Share your presentations on Slideshare.net. Without you to speak about the slides, the presentation is not as powerful, but people often do ask to see your slides. As long as there’s no proprietary content in my presentation, I’m usually happy to share it. Especially if you work in the B2B world, Slideshare can be an effective way to spread your ideas and put you in front of potential buyers. (With almost zero promotion, one of my decks on Slideshare has garnered more than 9,000 views.)
- Start using Pinterest. I admit that when I first saw Pinterest, I judged it to be a cute site for people who like sexy shoes and decorating “porn.” But now that I’ve started pinning, I’ve changed my mind completely. When you add a photo to your blog post, pin the photo with a link back to the post. Create a relevant Pinterest board title and include your pinned post. I’m amazed at how much of my blog traffic is now coming from my Pinterest boards.
- Publish a screencast. If you want to show your audience how to do something, why not make a screencast? You can take screen shots in sequence, or capture the live motion with a tool like Camtasia. Add an audio track with a snappy narration and you’ve created a useful, shareable piece of content without spending a lot of money.
- Create a quick video. I know what you’re thinking: A quick video? Seriously? Yes, seriously. The most difficult aspect of video is distilling your message down into as few words as possible. As a communicator, this probably comes fairly easy to you, right? Add some photos or graphs and put it all together with a tool like Animoto. Here’s an example I created recently to tell my own company story.
Let’s face it. Humans love to look at pictures. So satisfy their needs while telling your organization’s story visually.