What a year 2016 was! We survived(?) a crazy election in the United States, watched the world compete in another Olympics, lost iconic musicians including David Bowie and Prince… And witnessed some crazy Mother Nature weather events.
And, ahem, some of us became somewhat obsessed with Pokémon Go.
Those of us in the online marketing space — or anyone learning about social media and anything we can do to grow our businesses — heard much about live streaming. Periscope and Snapchat grew in popularity, we said goodbye to Blab, and were introduced to Instagram Stories.
And through it all, visual content continued to dominate. While, we can’t downplay the importance of words, graphics will continue to play a huge role in all that we do.
Much of the above has been long forgotten, of course, as (at the time of this writing) we are in February 2017.
I know, I know… We were bombarded with “Best Of” and “Resolutions” posts a month or more ago. Am I late to the game?
Actually, we’re at the point when most of us have broken — or even forgotten — our New Years’ resolutions and have fallen back into old habits.
Not going to the gym, not updating our blog (guilty!), not finding time to update social media like the experts we follow… And so on.
So I think this is the perfect time to realize we haven’t blown it. One month is down but we have 11 left to make 2017 the best year yet.
First things first, one final look at what worked in the past. What can we improve on? What can we avoid?
Without further ado, take a look at this collection of visual content marketing posts that rocked our world in 2016.
7 Best Visual Marketing Posts of 2016
1. How to Make Visual Content That Doesn’t Suck: 3 Easy Principles
by Dustin W. Stout
In this post, Dustin does an outstanding job of explaining three fundamental design concepts — balance, framing, and contrast — you can use to create stunning visual content. No design background, no problem. Dustin explains each design principle in easy-to-digest bites, and includes plenty of clear examples.
2. 50 Shortcuts to Create Visual Content for Social Media
by Donna Mortiz
Referred in some circles as the Visual Marketing Queen, Donna dishes up a ton visual content creating tips. I like this round up of 50 — yes, 50! — time-saving tips because everyone that has attempted to create visual content day after day (professional designers included) knows it doesn’t happen instantly.
3. Planning Your Next Instagram Photoshoot: 3 Key Images You Need
by Sue B. Zimmerman
I love how niche Sue B. dives into Instagram, which is to be expected by the Instagram Expert herself. So it makes since she suggests we plan an Instagram Photoshoot. While many of us scramble to schedule a standard shoot to get a professional headshot, Sue B. reminds us we need to capture much more. And as competition to stand out online continues to heat up, posting the best visual content — catered to the constraints of a specific network — will get you noticed fast.
4. 7 Visual Content Ideas that Get Shared Like Crazy
by Kim Garst
Kim is quick to jump on the latest social media trend, figure out what works, and then teach the rest of us the best practices. But I love this post, because she reminds us that even as much of some networks change (I’m looking at you, Facebook), many things remain the same. Timeless visual content ideas such as industry stats, tips, quotes, and humor continue to increase engagement.
5. DIY Design: How to Design Compelling Visual Content for your Blog
by Peg Fitzpatrick
In this post, Peg provides some great pointers for DIY design, reminding us all that’s a great skill to brush up on as online entrepreneurs and small business owners. There’s not a day that goes by that you couldn’t use a little visual content, and you won’t always have the time or budget to work with a professional designer.
(Oh, if you are looking for a pro designer, you could hire me.)
6. Creating Viral Images with Rebekah Radice
by Jeff Sieh
Jeff has mastered repurposing! His blog posts are generally show notes from his show with embeds — all produced so you can take your pick in how you want to consume: watch it, listen to it and/or read it. Be sure to check out this post in which Jeff chats with Rebekah Radice on how you can create images that go viral. As we’ve discussed, visual content is here to stay. But as more marketers get on board, you will have to rise above the competition and make your images stand out among the clutter.
7. Kickstart Your Visual Content Marketing Without Delay
by Rob Russo
Last but not least, I had to include myself. Well, I didn’t have to (trying to remain humble) but this is my blog. Actually, I think of it as your blog, as I try to bring the best in visual marketing trends, tips and techniques. Still a young blogger, I wanted to share one of my most popular posts of 2016 nonetheless. In this post, I spill my secret to launching online and the quickest way you can begin to brand yourself.
So that’s it. They say don’t look back because you aren’t going that way… But one more quick glance couldn’t hurt, right? Now, time to spring ahead in what will be the best year ever!
By the way, is anyone still chasing Pokémon? (I’m asking for a friend.)
Did you have a favorite visual marketing post of last year? What did I miss? I’d love to learn. Let me know in the comments below.