A picture is worth a thousand words…


Creating Visual Content

Getting on-board with the explosion of visual data.

The brain processes visual data 60,000 times faster than written content.

Seriously,  check out that link. There’s some hefty stats on the speed of the Digital Age and the effectiveness of visual content.

Visual content? Let’s break it down.

Those graphics I have at the top of every blog post? That’s visual content. An attention-grabbing graphic with the purpose of drawing readers into the key message of the blog so that they want to keep reading.

Also, if you’ve spent any time at all on Pinterest, you no doubt know what an infographic is. Infographics are visual content.


Here’s an infographic on creating a quality infographic from piktochart.com. 

Charts and graphs are also visual content.


Here’s a pie chart on America’s most popular Thanksgiving pies courtesy of incrediblethings.com.
(I’m hungry.)

To sum it up, visual content is used to visualize (go figure) data and key messages so readers can take in information without having to take the time to read an entire research report or article because the brain takes in visual information much faster than text.

The average attention span is 2,8-8 seconds. Your brain processes visual information  60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information sent to the brain is visual. (Source.)

However, most of the time, the purpose of visual content and data visualization is to entice readers to engage with some sort of written text after they find the easily-processed visual content interesting.

Like the graphics on my blog are a cry of, “Please read me!”

So, how can you create visual content?

Well, there’s piktochart.com. Piktochart promises “anyone can create mind blowing infographics, quick and easy.”

There’s Canva (a personal favorite of mine). Canva is a simple, online graphic design software. It provides templates for a variety of graphics for a variety of platforms. What’s cool about Canva is it provides hundreds of free images and fonts. The free options are cleared for use so you’re not inadvertently stealing anyone’s creative property. But they also offer options you can pay for, roughly ranging from $1 to $5. That means there is copyright on the image, but paying the fee attached to  it clears you for use.

Then there’s Snappa, advertised as “the graphic design tool for digital marketing.” This is something I’ve just discovered in this past week; it’s so new, it’s technically still in its Beta stage. But I gotta say, since I discovered it on Monday (it’s now Friday), I’ve created 12 graphics on it for a new job of mine (I’ll tell y’all more about that once I’m a little deeper into it…). Twelve graphics in essentially four days is astronomical for someone who is not a designated graphic designer.

But Snappa has made it unbelievably easy. It’s extremely similar to Canva, but perhaps maybe even more streamlined. It only provides images and graphics that are free for use. This way, I don’t see something I totally love only to be crushed when I learn I have to pay for.

And, like Canva, Snappa let’s me import my own images, which is great for my elusive new job.

I may be a Snappa-convert. I’m sorry, Canva. I will always love you, and I’m not deactivating my account any time soon.

So, there you have it. A lesson on visual content and how you can get started creating it.


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