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10 Visual Content Marketing Trends for 2021

10 Visual Content Marketing Trends for 2021

Marketing today is not the same as it was five years ago – or even just a year ago.

The pandemic turned the world upside down, but the truth is that we have been tending in this direction for a while.

COVID simply presses the fast forward button.

In a strange situation, quarantine and social distance measures for public health safety have affected our mental health as a whole and the way we look, interact with and act from brands.

To put it simply, society is:

Needs more engaging interactions with brands than before. Looks at brand trust and ethics on a new level. Focuses more on small businesses and sustainability.

This is a very different consumer base than we saw earlier. The question is, how do these trends affect visual content marketing?

Visual content creates more intimate, authentic connections between brands and consumers

The Edelman Trust Barometer reveals that 70% say that trust in a brand is more important today than it was before.


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Video content in particular gives brands a unique opportunity to connect in an (almost) face-to-face way with their audience.

It fills a void in an age of social distance, which is a big reason why 91% of marketers believe that video is more important to brands in light of the pandemic.

Here are some of the video and other visual content trends that need to be looked at up close:

Authentic content and stories drive audience engagement

Consumers will see the people behind the brand.

It can come in the form of:

The CEO discusses the company’s roots. A behind-the-scenes look at the CX team so people can see the face of the representative they spoke to on the phone. Or blog posts that show people making the products, not just the products themselves.

Use Instagram Stories, Reels and even video shorts to show this page of your brand. Be consistent in doing so and you will be noticed (in a good way).

Audiences today are less concerned about the smart “fluff” in stylized photo shoots and perfectly arranged models and product images. They want to see the right person.


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Instead of using gimmicks and outlets to focus on your brand, talk directly to those consumers who want to see a real attempt to connect on a more personal, human level.

Be open, vulnerable and not afraid to share your perspective.

2. Convert your lists to visual graphics

Converting your lists to graphics adds the benefit of creating visual interest while breaking the most relevant information out of a block of text that is much more likely to be skimmed over without sinking in.

Our brains are connected to visual processing; in fact, graphics are processed by the human brain 60,000 times faster than text.

Nail your engagement and increase site visit time with more content types that include visual graphics recycled from your written content.

3. Optimize your custom brands for Google Images

Creating your own data, graphs and visual concepts not only strengthens your brand as an authority within your niche, but also opens the door to links and quotes.

If you optimize each image you upload correctly with an alt tag, all that graphics can then be indexed by Google in Search and Images. They can also be found by publishers who could download them and link to you.

You can even optimize the images and graphics you create for your brand assets so that all of your content formats – not just some, but all – appear in Google Images.

Google is like a Dewey Decimal system. Give it the right information about every little bit of visual content you upload and you will rank everywhere.

Let us e.g. Say you have a podcast. If you optimize each podcast episode to correlate site content that includes graphics and graphics, your podcast can appear in Google Images.

See how the Search Engine Journal succeeds in this.

Because there are properly optimized Google alt tags for each graphic, even the Marketing-Ideas podcast appears in iTunes in Google Images:

4. Livestream video content

I’ve said this before, but I say it again because it’s so important – the audience turns away from polished, heavily edited content that does not feel authentic.


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This is the same case with live video streams compared to pre-recorded videos.

Live streaming has a sense of immediacy that makes the audience feel more of a connection as the events happen in real time, especially with the rise of virtual events.

Users are often able to post comments and interact directly with the host (s), further increasing engagement.

With these benefits in mind, it’s not surprising that live videos typically earn twice the engagement of pre-recorded videos.

5. Gamified interactive visual content

This type of highly engaging content is especially prevalent in social media stories, but it does not have to be limited to Instagram and Facebook.


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The visual function of this visual content is to challenge your audience to interact directly, whether it’s ranking a favorite outfit, taking an online quiz, playing “this or that”, participating in a bingo game, participating in a “choose your own” adventure “style item or a variety of other options.

You are essentially inviting your audience to share their opinion or play some kind of “game” with you.

6. Bid-sized TikTok-style videos

With standard TikTok video lengths of up to one minute, content should be fast and to the point while still entertaining.

Consumers’ appetite for that style of content is not going anywhere for a while!

In January 2021, TikTok was the second most installed app without games with almost 62 million downloads that month alone. Other platforms on social media (looking at you, Instagram Reels) are jumping aboard the popular trend.

What makes this type of visual content so exciting?

Most of these videos are funny, quirky and do not take themselves too seriously. They interact with the audience and get their opinion out quickly.


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7. Visual content that can be purchased

Buying products directly from social media was once a new concept, but it is fast becoming the norm. In 2020, 18.3% of Facebook users made a purchase directly on the platform.

Social media channels have leaned into the trend by offering business tools like shopping labels and product labels.

But visual content that can be purchased is not limited to social media.

Businesses get creative and add store links directly to their digital catalogs and lookbooks, blog posts and just about anywhere else a link can go.

8. Volatile content

Volatile content is temporarily available, typically within a 24-hour window before disappearing. If you are familiar with Snapchat and Instagram / Facebook stories, you already know fleeting content.

Because this content is so short-lived, it creates a sense of urgency that makes people watch. It’s particularly good at showcasing user-generated content (UGC) that does not have to worry about matching the aesthetics of the brand, as it will not continue to be displayed permanently.


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Instagram has reported that 58% of people became more interested in a brand or product after seeing it highlight in stories, so there is something to be said about the power of volatile content, especially when it can be purchased.

9. Animations and Gifs

This type of visual content has been popular for a while and is likely to continue the trend.

Gifs and animations can be used in a variety of ways, such as showing a step in an instructional post, spice up an image, or adding a fun or engaging twist to your content.

There’s a gif or animation out there for just about anything you can think of.

10. 360 ° visual

The audience welcomes the opportunity to “visit” a place and have control over what they see, by changing the view with a fingerprint or a swipe of the mouse, which immediately makes otherwise flat content much more engaging by arousing curiosity.

From an e-commerce point of view, products can be viewed from all angles to give a consumer a better idea of ​​what they are buying and elevate the online shopping experience as a whole.


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There are plenty of options for this type of content.

There is no way around it: Visual content is changing the way consumers interact with brands




This is what the modern consumer is looking for. Visual content across all platforms and channels evolves to meet these needs and change the way audiences perceive and interact with brands.

The companies that are rising to meet these expectations are the ones that will not only survive the post-COVID market but thrive in it.


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More resources:

Image credits

All screenshots taken by the author, May 2021

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