If you’ve been around Marketing for the last decade – especially in the digital space – you’ve heard the phrase “content is king” used often.

And that’s because it’s true.

If you want people to engage with your business in this social web world, you need to be providing them with quality content that they actually want to consume.

But for years, people have been stuck in the mindset that quality content meant a good blog.

It would be very hypocritical for me to tell you in a blog that a blog isn’t quality content. It definitely is.

But we live in a visual world and the power of good content needs to go beyond just well-written blogs, tweets, or updates.

There was a time when Facebook and Twitter were mostly filled with words. People would rant about their lives on Facebook or create these wonderfully-clever 140 word tweets on Twitter.

But if you look today on your social media networks, it’s images and videos that are grabbing your attention first then you look at the words second.

So, both are important, but if you don’t have a strong visual component, your users aren’t going to read the clever thing you’ve written and won’t convert on what you want them to do.

I’ve been on a journey to improve my skill set in this area for both myself as well as clients. That’s why I’ve been digging deep lately into photography and video.

In the past, marketers would simply hire these things out, but in the real-time social media spaces, you need to be able to create high-quality, visual content on the fly.

And images or videos snapped on your smartphone don’t cut through the noise as effectively as something that looks and sounds professional.

Example Time

Earlier this week was our local TEDx. I knew there would be lots of people there that were tweeting about the event but I wanted to see if I could get my tweets to stand out more by pairing them with better pictures than just a smartphone pic.

So I brought along my dSLR, which I now know how to use (and you can too using my simple guide and practicing), and took some great-looking photos to accompany my tweets.

It was a bit more work than just snapping and tweeting from a phone as I had to take the pictures, drop them onto my computer to quickly edit, then tweet from my computer.

But I think the result was worth it. Here’s one of my tweets that was the second most popular that I could find with the hashtag #TEDxRegina at 5 retweets and 6 favourites:

Screen Shot 2015-06-04 at 11.33.21 AM

Now, I think the writing on the tweet is good, but I believe a lot less people would have read it and shared it had the image not been such a good one.

I believe this is a huge opportunity for businesses that want to differentiate on social media. Yes, it’s a little more work, but not that much. And creating better photo and content to push out through your social media channels will help you cut through all the noise on social.

Next up is an experiment with better-quality live or near-live video. Stay tuned!

photo credit: Sorry via photopin (license)