Few things on the Internet can be as daunting as a big, thick wall of text. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that our days are just too jam-packed to spend time wading through an ocean of words.
The funny thing is, though, we actually don’t mind reading as much as might think we do. We just need something that pulls us into the subject matter. That’s why I wanted to give some virtual staffing tips on how to elevate your published articles to the next level.
Your own personal experience will probably tell you that there is nothing more effective at engaging a reader than visual aids. And if that isn’t enough, studies have also shown that articles with images get 94% more views. I don’t think that is really any great revelation. The problem is that you rarely have time to go through the trouble of creating appropriate visuals and coordinating them in a way that makes your articles really stand out.
That’s where your virtual assistant comes in. Many VA’s are already highly qualified when it comes to visual design that makes your text more reader-friendly. And even if they’re not, here are some tips for your virtual staff that will get them started on creating effective and engaging visuals to complement your articles.
Use Images to Pull Readers AlongUsing great images will not only draw people’s attention to your article, but they also encourage the reader to keep going until the very end. With today’s attention spans being what they are, this is a bit of a necessity. Continual visual stimulation is often the key to keeping readers engaged.
However, purchasing high-quality visual images for each article that you write is cost-prohibitive for most small businesses. What’s more, even if you have the skills to make them yourself, who has the time? But don’t worry, your virtual assistants can come to the rescue. There are plenty of talented VA’s available who have the ability to create incredible images that will pull your readers happily along to the end.
Use Videos to Generate InterestThere are so many ways that embedded videos can enhance your content or strengthen the argument you’re making. A study by Moz.com showed that posts containing videos received 300% more inbound links than those with text only. It could be something as simple as an explanatory cartoon, a tour of your showroom, a demonstration of your product, etc.
Whatever the case, videos are proven to keep visitors interested. And if done correctly, they can spark your readers into wanting to know more about your business. Let your virtual personal assistant either do your editing or even create something from scratch that will keep your readers amused and engaged.
Infographics: Shareable Ways to Condense Your Complex Data
When used effectively, infographics can be one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. Many small businesses today have products or services that are, in ways, quite complex. In order to convince your potential customers that what you offer is unique, necessary, or superior to everything else out there, you may have some explaining to do.
When done well, infographics allow your data and statistics to tell a powerful story that requires minimal effort to understand. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then an effective infographic is worth at least several pictures. So that’s a lot of text that you can sweep aside and replace with a single, cool graphic representation. Even better, well-executed infographics tend to get shared at high rates both through social media and the blogosphere. It can be an excellent way to extend your reach.
Screenshots Can Establish Credibility, Or Provide Clear Explanations Want to demonstrate how simple it is to use your product or service? Do you need to walk a customer through a process step-by-step? Rather than just offering a PDF of your dry as dirt instruction manual, use screenshots to help your customers understand things in a much more effective manner—and without the hassle of downloading anything. When used in conjunction with your effective marketing text, screenshots can help to establish an easy to follow the narrative.
Screenshots can also go long way toward boosting your credibility. By capturing positive feedback from actual satisfied customers or clients, you will be offering a much more persuasive testimonial than a mere quotation with a name next to it.
One Does Not Simply Use Memes Somewhat divorced from its original meaning, the term meme generally conjures up the idea of an image accompanied by a caption. This form of meme was originally a staple of online message boards and forums. But now they have infiltrated the Internet at large and have found a niche as effective marketing tools in the process.
One of the great things about memes is that the same image is used repeatedly, while the text is tweaked to fit a certain situation. If you’ve ever seen an image of Boromir from The Lord of the Rings explaining that, “One does not simply…” do any number of things, then you get the general idea. If you can come up with a creative, humorous, or witty variation on the text that also pertains to your business, then you can have a very effective marketing tool that gets shared across the Internet.
Presentations and Slideshows
These can be as simple as a series of captivating images with engaging text, or an infographic-rich detailed summary of some aspect of your business. Either way, slide shows have proven to be extremely effective in keeping the reader going from the beginning to the end.
A good virtual staffing tip is to make sure your VA’s understand how to build effective slideshows. For example, humor is great, but that doesn’t mean that every single frame needs to be a zinger. Maintain a balance. Also, keep the message of each slide simple. If it looks too busy, or too complicated, consider breaking it up into multiple slides. Or, consider the possibility that this particular subject needs to be presented in a different format.