Jodi Harris from Content Marketing Institute looks at a couple of inspiring visual content that just hit the target with their campaigns.

Over the last several weeks, we’ve had a chance to get recommendations on a lot of aspects of the content marketing process — from ways to find great content creators (both internally and externally), to the latest tools and techniques for executing on and measuring the impact of a content marketing strategy, to ways to infuse content with a higher purpose.

But successful content marketing doesn’t just involve writing and technology decisions. The images that go along with a story work just as hard to convey your business’s value and message. In fact, as videos, infographics, and photo-centric social networks like Instagram and Pinterest continue to gain favour, visual content is increasingly being leveraged to engage and inform an audience in uniquely compelling ways.

For the last collaborative post in our latest series, we asked our panel of CMI blog contributors, Online Training instructors, and Content Marketing World speakers for their answers to the question, “What’s the most innovative or interesting example you’ve seen of visual content marketing?” Following are some of the efforts that stood out in their minds:

The infographic is evolving. I’m seeing animated GIF infographics and fancy web pages designed to look like infographics, but with CSS animations and embedded video. Here’s an example from Intuit. These would be hard to make and can’t be embedded, but they are really compelling.

Visual content dominates the social streams. It might not be innovative, but it’s still very effective to make feature images for blogs with the headline overlaid on top, Canva-style. Eventually, it may become standard to put a headline, quote, or statistic right into the featured images for all blog posts. —Andy Crestodina, Principal, Strategic Director, Orbit Media | @crestodina

[At our office] we all loved GQ’s Who Wants to Shoot An Elephant. —Gini Dietrich, CEO, Arment Dietrich, Inc. | @ginidietrich

One interesting piece of visual content marketing is an infographic made by Ginny Soskey of HubSpot called The Ultimate Guide to Social Media Image Dimensions. This extensive infographic has the correct image dimensions for every common social media platform, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube. For marketers that use — or could potentially use — HubSpot’s product, this is incredibly valuable. Soskey has created a one-stop destination for people to turn to when creating social media images. This is noteworthy because although visual content usually catches a reader’s attention, this piece of content actually keeps readers on and coming back to the page. —Pawan Deshpande, Founder and CEO, Curata | @TweetsFromPawan


Chipotle’s The Scarecrow is brilliant! —Scott P. Abel, Content Marketing Strategist, The Content Wrangler, Inc. | @scottabel

Joe Chernov and Ripetungi’s Shark Attack infographic is powerful, showing that you don’t need to cram tons of data into one graphic. Two statistics will do if they’re compelling enough. —Doug Kessler, Co-Founder and Creative Director, Velocity Partners | @dougkessler

I thought the Volvo Trucks ad, The Epic Split Feat with Jean-Claude Van Damme doing the splits between two Volvo tractors was a great example of visual content marketing. It was entertaining, interesting, and it made one say “wow.” I was engaged and, if I were a person who purchased (or influenced the purchase) of over-the-road tractors, Volvo Trucks would be top of mind and have credibility because of the video. —Bruce McDuffee, Interim Content Director at Boeing Digital Aviation Marketing consultant, Knowledge Marketing for Industry (KMI) | @brucemcduffee

I really like what LUSH Digital in Australia is doing with their LTV series. They’ve created high-quality interviews with leaders from a wide variety of industries, including government, technology, healthcare, and sports. There’s no pitch, just really great information that keeps me hanging out for the new episode published every two weeks.