We’ve been harping for years over your need for a written content strategy. Blogs, emails and other written content helps rocket you up the search engine rankings and helps convince prospects to convert to clients.

All of that is still true: written content is undeniably critical to any marketing effort. But with the increasing importance of marketing tools like Facebook, Pinterest and its many spin-offs, it’s no longer enough to produce purely written content. You also have to add a visual content strategy to feed these hungry beasts that drive traffic to your site and help humanize your brand.

I know. I can hear you groaning from here. I don’t like it either–if it were up to me, everything would be written. But you can’t ignore the facts. Facebook’s conversion to Timeline means pictures are literally front and center on your brand page.

When someone visits your Facebook fan page for the first time, chances are good it’s not your stellar updates that will draw them in, at least not at first. No, it’s far more likely that the huge, dominant cover photo is going to help them form their first impression of your brand at a glance. And when they do get down to your status updates, there had better be pictures there, too. Either in the Timeline or in your news feed, pictures leap off the page and catch your eye, while yet another text link might make you skip right over and onto the next cute kitten photo.

Likewise, Pinterest is becoming too big to neglect. Whizzing past Twitter and YouTube as a referring source, Pinterest requires a steady diet of great photographs or fascinating graphics to get people clicking through to your written content. And let’s not ignore Google’s Image Searches. A properly-titled photo can get you noticed just as quickly as a beautifully written blog post.

Does this sound overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. Chances are, you already have everything you need to get started on a successful visual content strategy in your pocket or your purse. That’s right, all you need to dip your toe into the visual content world is a decent camera phone.

The days of stodgy, posed corporate photography is in the past. As long as you’re taking interesting, engaging photos and sharing them smartly, no one is going to care that they weren’t taken with a professional camera with deluxe zoom and all the bells and whistles. While you still want to shell out money for good photography every now and then, when it comes to feeding the gaping maw of social media, it’s okay to use cell phone pictures.

Take pictures of your product, pictures of people using your service, pictures of your staff. Post them on Facebook, insert them on blog posts, pin them to an interesting board on Pinterest. Make a plan, stick to it and you’ll be surprised at how effective a good visual content marketing strategy can be.

Do you have a visual content marketing strategy?

Need help? Contact Roundpeg, an Indianapolis marketing company.