Tips on How Visual Content Can Improve PR and Social Media Engagement


From beautifully styled photos to infographics and interactive videos, public relations and marketing professionals are increasingly exploring the impact of including more visual content in their communication strategies.

According to the 2018 Social Media Marketing Industry Report, 80% of marketers use visual assets in their social media campaigns, followed by video at 63%. And nearly 60% of marketers’ digital advertising budgets are now allocated to digital videos. Put simply, if your content doesn’t include a visual component, you’re losing a huge chunk of your potential audience and the opportunity to effectively engage with them!

So why is visual content becoming so important? It all starts with the consumer - humans are biologically wired to process the world visually, so adding an extra graphic or gif makes more people want to pay attention to your messages, attract new followers and keep the attention of your existing audiences.

David Gorodetski, Executive Creative Director, COO and Co-Founder of Sage Communications recently discussed how to use visual content to improve PR and social media engagement at a PRSA National Capital Chapter Independent PR Alliance workshop. Here are some key takeaways from the workshop to help you integrate visual elements into your PR and marketing strategy:

Know Your Target Audience

Who your audience is and what social platforms they are most active on is a great indicator as to where you should focus the majority of your visual content. The platform you are using will also help determine the depth and complexity of your visual posts. Every social media platform is different and each serves a different purpose. What you post on Twitter, for example, shouldn’t be the same as what you post on LinkedIn.

Prioritize Your Goals

With so many new ways to share content, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. First, recognize what you are trying to communicate or accomplish with your visuals. The answer to this question plays a huge role in determining what kind of media you use.

Visual content can help you:

  • Express your brand values, persona and CSR

  • Convey an emotion by humanizing your content

  • Highlight important data and make it memorable

  • Differentiate your business by using your visual brand style

  • Showcase and demo your products and offers

  • Increase engagement, sharing and followers

Start by figuring out what the purpose of your content is, and go from there.

Follow the Current Trends

When you plan your visual content strategy, you need to think about trends. Aside from images, you can post GIFs, use live streaming options and create infographics. Keeping up with the latest trends will let you play around with your content and determine what is performing best. For example, there is a huge opportunity with live video streaming right now. According to IAB’s Live Video Streaming study, 70% of consumers globally are streaming digital video content at least once a day, and 47% of those consumers are streaming more live video than they did a year ago.

Be Creative

You’ve all heard the saying before - a picture is worth a thousand words. Think about how much you can say without using written content. You can reduce the number of words, relay your key messages in an easily digestible way and save your reader’s time by including visuals in your post. Challenge yourself to explore what you can tap into pop culture or your industry, and not just go with the status quo.

Need help integrating visuals into your social media or marketing plan? Visit

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X-SageJim McIntyre