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The Internet has gone visual. With the world moving at the speed of a tweet, getting your message out there can be tough—especially if you're only using words.

Studies show that our brains are more efficient at processing images than words. Some 75% of Americans have used emoji to communicate to others. Virtual corkboard site Pinterest has 53 million unique monthly users. Even Facebook is leaning hard into the image game, as evidenced by its recent $1 billion acquisition of Instagram, which has 300 million users itself.

Images overlaid with text—often called Internet memes—are a popular way for brands to reach their audiences. Ride that popularity wave by creating your own marketing images for distribution. As your followers and fans share the images, your products, your logo, and your brand spread to people you may not have reached otherwise.

It's the Age of the Image and you can take advantage of it by mastering three steps:

  1. Selecting the right images to use
  2. Adding the accompanying copy
  3. Using social networks to spread the message

1. Start with the images

The first step is to choose images appropriate for your message. The possibilities are literally endless. You can take images from your products or customers. You might look for images that evoke humor, pride, or any number of emotions. Just stick closely to your brand's core message to determine what type of images you should use.

The images you're using should also be watermarked. A watermark is an image that displays a message or logo and is overlaid on another image. Remember, you're creating these memes to be shared; ideally, people who have never heard of you will see these images long after you have posted it.

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image of Elizabeth Victor

Elizabeth Victor is brand adviser for Isentia, a media monitoring, analysis, and intelligence company.

Twitter: @evictorisentia