By Tina Imperial

When you are trying to come up with usable content for your website, Facebook, blog or other digital real estate, it can be a challenge. Some would argue the most challenging part of content creation is figuring out what you’re going to talk about.

It’s no surprise that compelling content is the key to keeping customers interested in your company. Photos in particular are an effective way of being seen by potential customers so you’ll need lots of them. For compelling reasons to develop a visual content strategy, go here.

When business owners do think to develop a visual content strategy, they tend to wait for special occasions. They’ll only whip out that camera in the big moments, like a grand opening, new product launch or a new employee. Frankly beyond those obvious occasions it can be difficult to find other relevant photo opportunities to use. Sometimes you’re just too close to your business to recognize the visual opportunities right in front of you.

Ideally, you’ll have a stockpile of photos and stories to use when it comes time to make and eventually use content. When you are running a business it can be difficult to devote time and mental energy to accumulating a collection of photos and stories for future use in your marketing.

You can make the task easier by  gathering photos and stories a little bit at a time. Here are some “back burner” ideas for generating content on an ongoing basis:

1. Chronicle a Process: Everything your company sells, whether tangible or intangible, comes from somewhere. Show your customers where you begin and where you end up. For example, if your company builds houses you may have a series of photos from the groundbreaking all the way through to the finished home. Showing customers a process gives them an idea of exactly what they can expect from your company.

2. Show Them Your Toolbox: Keep in mind all the resources you use to help your customers. Customers usually don’t know what goes on “behind the scenes.”  Show them your old tools, show them your new tools, show them the tools you’re testing out. For example, a dentist’s office might feature a weekly photo of an instrument that the dentist uses. Educating patients about the tools they might encounter while in the chair may reduce a future patient’s  anxiety.

3. Start a Collection of Stories: Collect customer experiences like you are starting a rock collection. To make story and testimonial collection effective you have to channel your inner reporter. Find the answer to who, what, where and why. What did you do to help that customer? Where is that customer now? What problem did you help them solve, what did you help them achieve? Let the client tell the story in their own words as much as possible. This is a great application for video or other multimedia. Customer stories mean so much more coming from the horse’s mouth than coming from you. Think about each customer and start collecting their stories.

Although visual content creation can be a challenge to implement, it can be turned into a manageable task with a little advanced planning and cooperation.