In the rapidly changing landscape of content trends and consumer demand, it can be hard for marketers to ensure their latest campaign is just as innovative and relevant as the last. This holds especially true as new trends and techniques in visual content emerge. Still, there are some fundamental features that every successful visual marketing campaign has. 

But let's pause for a clarification. What is a visual marketing campaign anyway? Specifically, how is it different from any other marketing campaign? 

If you're following all of today's marketing best practices, there effectively is no difference. A great marketing campaign is by necessity visual. 

After all, 91 percent of buyers prefer visual content to traditional, text-based marketing. If that's not reason enough to make sure every campaign you plan is visually driven, consider the astounding return-on-investment for visual content: Motion graphics can boost conversions by 80 percent, and interactive content boasts a 70 percent conversion rate

Now, no two campaigns are the same. Even within a single company, each campaign has unique goals, and most have a clearly defined target audience in mind. But if you ensure your next visual campaign avoids these five common mistakes, you'll set yourself up for success in a big way.

1. It focuses on quantity over quality. 

Ten years ago, organizations had discovered just how much visual content like infographics could boost their engagement. Many committed to produce as many as possible, regardless of quality--and for a while, that strategy worked for some. 

But today's audiences are more visually literate than ever. That's because they have access to more visual content than ever--and the quality of that content is just getting better and better. 

That also means they're very adept at recognizing high quality--and quick to dismiss anything that feels stock or cookie-cutter. The result is that just one piece of high-quality content can do a lot more for your business than 10 DIY or stock assets.

2. It prioritizes selling over educating. 

A 2018 study of B2B marketers from the Content Marketing Institute found that 90 percent of the most successful marketers surveyed put their audiences' informational needs first--and consider it more important than sales messaging. 

Providing your audiences with information that is truly useful to them, whether they ultimately choose to work with your brand or not, is an incredible way to build trust in your brand. It also boosts your thought leadership.

3. The content isn't optimized for your goal(s) and audience. 

The first questions you need to ask whenever you're planning a marketing campaign is what goal(s) you want to achieve and who your target audience is. 

Only when you have these two factors clearly defined will it be time to build a visual strategy. That strategy will include decisions about the types of content you'd like to produce--whether you need a motion graphic, an interactive infographic, a social-media micronarrative, other visual content, or some combination of all of them. Each type of content will be best in different situations, and optimal for reaching certain audiences. 

4. You've failed to define a visual language for your marketing campaign. 

The visual strategy you develop should also define a visual language for your campaign. This means identifying the right color palette, typography, and design style to achieve your goals. 

The visual language for a particular campaign should keep your brand's overall visual identity in mind, but may incorporate some additional, campaign-specific elements or small changes--all designed to make your campaign a success. 

5. You haven't optimized your visual content for every channel. 

You don't want to invest a lot of time and resources in creating a quality piece of visual content only to have it display poorly on one or more of your channels. Yet many organizations fail to optimize each piece of content for the platforms on which it will be posted. 

Imagine, for instance, that you've developed a two-minute motion graphic. It looks great on YouTube. But because it's horizontally oriented and way too long for Instagram, posting a segment of it on your Story could make your brand look unprofessional, or even sloppy. 

It's worth the extra effort to re-edit a segment of the motion graphic to display well on your Story--and on every other channel where you share it. You'll see huge increases in engagement when you optimize. 

The marketing landscape is constantly evolving, and it can be hard to keep up. But follow these five directives, and you'll see better returns on your next visual marketing campaign.