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The most common types of Visual Content

Digital Content



Types of Visual Content – Which Are Best for Your Strategy?

Visual content is one of the best tools for branding, marketing communication and digital result improvement.
But many businesses who want to equip their marketing strategy with this powerful weapon are stuck at the question, “Which types of visual content are the most effective?”
To help you make an informed decision, this article provides a comprehensive analysis of the most common types of visual content with different use cases.

Types of Visual Content: Images or Photos

Common Sources of Images

1. Branded images

You can find these images most easily on the business’ official website. They feature various aspects of the business: products, services, culture, people, activities, even processes and screenshots of their software, system or application.
These images can be produced in-house or outsourced, but they are all considered the business’ assets.
Pros: You decide how they should look, and because they are made for your company, they are unique.
Cons: They usually take more time and resources to create.

brand visual content

Brand visual content

2. Stock photos

These are ready-to-use products made by professionals and sold on reputable sites such as Shutterstock, Adobe Stock and many others. Once you pay, they become royalty-free and are at your disposal.
Pros: You have a huge collection of differently styled, high quality photos to choose and use right away.
Cons: There is no guarantee that you will always be able to find exactly what you want.

different types of visual content

Different types of visual content

3. User generated content (UGC)

These include both images and videos made and posted by KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) or your “fans”, users or customers.
Pros: UCG is highly valued due to its inherent authenticity.
Cons: The quality may vary greatly as they don’t necessarily follow your brand guidelines.

Why Choose Images

In most cases, image/photo is the first type to get chosen because of these advantages: Easy to get and produce
The most versatile
Images have the most applications among all types of visual content. They can be printed out or enjoyed digitally; they can be the main content or “supporter”; and they can work well on almost every channel.

various types of visual content

Various types of visual content

Types of Visual Content: Infographics

In some respects, infographics can be seen as an evolved version of photography. Despite a shorter history, infographics are still gaining popularity from both users and businesses.
This is partly because infographics improve communication both inside and outside of a business. And with the advantage of being an “image”, it loads faster than a video, hence more suitable for less patient readers.

Infographic is arguably the best presentation style for statistics, trends and processes as it makes complicated information easier to digest.

However, infographics are not as versatile as images and video, because not every piece of information can or should be made into an infographic.
So what are the best practices? Our article about Infographic Benefits has the answers for many questions about infographics.
CAUTION! Don’t confuse data visualization (charts, tables, maps, etc.) with infographics as it is just an element in a complete infographic. Data visualizations can also be used as a separate image or built into interactive content.

Types of Visual Content: Videos

Video is not just a different type of visual content. It has become a marketing strategy. Today many companies, both B2C and B2B, rely on video marketing to reach various goals: branding, advertising & promotion, and customer support.
As this is such a big topic, we have dedicated a page to provide you detailed answers about the benefits, process and best practices of video marketing.

types of visual content marketing

Types of visual content marketing

But let’s just imagine a website or blog with only video (and possibly text). How do you think it will fare in today’s fierce digital competition? Not so well.
Therefore a more moderate use of video is recommended. A mix of presentation styles always work better as it provides a fresher experience.
But that’s the answer for now. How about the future?
“Will video rule the world of content in the future?”
The answer is “very likely”.
First, many businesses prioritize video making as it brings about great results in trust and credibility, digital performance, conversions, and revenue.
Second, videos have been “hot” for a long time, and it’s still sizzling.
In the article about The Future of Content Marketing, video beat text since 2017 and is in the top 3 content marketing trends for this decade. And in the 2021 State of Marketing Report, Salesforce asserted, “Video is the star channel of 2021”.

many types of visual content

Many types of visual content

Types of Visual Content: Others

Meme & GIF

If you want to make your brand more relatable by adding a sprinkle of humor, meme & GIF may be your call. This type is most suitable for younger generations and social media.
A lot of marketers prefer using memes to go viral faster.
Think twice when you want people to take your ideas seriously though. According to Forbes, marketers need transparency and sensitivity to navigate the “meme game”.

Interactive Content

Interactive content satisfies the users’ need for participation, and sometimes even personalization. Images, infographics and video can all be made interactive such as 360 degree images or 360 degree video tours.
However, it costs more to produce and takes longer to load, which may negatively impact user experience.

different types of visual content marketing

Different types of visual content marketing


If you want to show all products quickly on your homepage before the visitors lose their patience, slideshow is a great option.
Another application is to illustrate trends and statistics. Here some may prefer slideshows to infographics as the former fits their screen better and they are less distracting.
Slideshows can also be made for advertising, such as Facebook Slideshow Ads.

Visual CTA

This is your call-to-action button enhanced with captivating visual elements. According to Content Marketing Institute, this is one sure way to improve CTA click rate.

Types of Visual Content: Make Your Decision

Now that we have learned about different types of visual content and their specific use cases, it’s time to make the decision. But first, answer two questions:
“Which types of visual content best represent my business, products and services?”
“Which types do my target customers prefer?”
This is Step 1 in our recommended visual content strategy.
Actually, there is hardly any company that chooses only one type to develop. The common problem is they aren’t sure about the right mix and its components.
If this is what’s troubling you or you have made your decisions but unsure how to start, entrust it to a reliable digital marketing agency with all-inclusive service packages. By this way, you will have more time and resources to focus on other core business aspects.

Read more: Tips on how to create visual content effectively.

different types of visual content for business

Different types of visual content for business


It’s not that difficult to choose the types of visual content that create the highest ROI for your business, as long as you are clear on your strategies and goals.
However, because each type has their own best practices, techniques, tips & tricks, only a few companies choose to produce all of them in-house. Also, what comes after production – distribution and tracking – is equally important and resource-consuming.
With an experienced and dedicated expert team, On Digitals is committed to be your loyal partner on this mission. Contact us today for free consultancy on your most suitable content strategy and tailored solutions that will bring you results beyond expectation.

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