How vital is visual content for digital marketing?

Written by Adam: Content and Social Executive.
· 4 minute read

It’s a fact that every single one of us respond more to visual data than any other type of data. Our brains are simply hardwired to process images far more effectively than text. The days of search results being simple plain text have long since passed. Since the growth of mobile devices and the spread of the small screen, people increasingly look for visual information over text-based content.

If it comes down to endless essays of text versus pixel perfect pictures of cute cats, you can guess what usually wins…

Yep.

Incorporating visual content into any digital marketing strategy is an integral part of the process these days. Many marketers include more imagery and videos in their digital marketing strategies than ever before. Whether it’s interactive cooking recipes, or illustrated weather reports, one thing is certain; visual content is king.

Visual content is vital in order to create an adaptive immersive experience for those searching for content. The right images can help people to better find information and make it easier for them to pursue the things that interest them. Such as fashion styles, or specific shopping products.

Some Statistics

Let’s look at some of the most recent statistics concerning visual content for digital marketing, to demonstrate the impact visuals continue to have in the industry:

  • It’s estimated that 84% of all communications will be visual in 2018, and around 79% of internet traffic will be video content.
  • People only remember roughly 10% of information they hear, compared with 65% if the information was paired with a relevant image. (Source)
  • 70% of YouTube viewers watch video content for help and guidance purposes. (Source)
  • 55% of total smartphone video consumption time comes from videos 20 minutes in length or longer. (Source)
  • According to eye-tracking studies, users focus much more on relevant images that include information, rather than text on the page. (Source)

These eye-popping stats are just barely scratching the surface of how important visual content is.

For those looking to keep pace with award winning digital marketing agencies, integrating any visual content trends is essential. Doing so will undoubtedly have a positive impact to overall customer reach and user engagement.

Create immersive content stories

From photos to memes, and infographics to illustrations, visual content can create immersive stories and take users on engaging journeys as they consume information.

Our collective consciousness is always encapsulated by a well told story. Storytelling can draw in a brand’s target audience, as its products and services can effectively be brought to life. Visual storytelling is a must-have component of any marketing campaign in the digital age, and must be used well in order for brands to truly set themselves apart.

Every piece of varied visual content marketers utilise needs to play a part in the overall story of a brand. This includes incorporating consistent visual content across a website, any social media platforms, and other marketing tools. All this will combine to create a cohesive image for any potential customers and help them to recognise and remember a brand.

Video content is always crucial

Here’s the simple truth; people love video content the most. Admit it, when you’re searching for information online, your eyes will automatically flicker to the video results first every time.

Video content can be an extremely useful way to learn about and discover something new. And marketers are continuing to adapt their video content to match the changing behaviours of users.

2018 has seen the continued importance of visual content reach new levels thanks to the changes and improvements occurring across every major social network. On everything from Facebook to Instagram, videos have become an even more powerful communication tool for many brands and businesses. Plus, the development of virtual reality (VR) is further enhancing the visual content landscape.

Also, with Google introducing featured videos, people will be able to better find the most relevant and useful video content for them.

Speaking of Google…

Google are making visual content even more useful

Visual content is also at the forefront of some of Google’s new features for Search. Features that are using AI to make the whole Google Images search experience more engaging and enjoyable. The new and upcoming features for visual content coming from Google include:

  • Overhauling its Images algorithm to rank results that have both great images and content on the same page.
  • Prioritising fresher content and web pages where the image is central and higher up on the page.
  • Showing more context around searched images, such as captions, to help users better understand the webpage behind the image.
  • Launching Google Lens last year, which now helps people use their camera and existing photos to find items, learn about locations, identify iconic landmarks and more online.

Striking that balance between text and visual

The modern-day consumer now always expects you to include visuals in any digital marketing content, including images, videos, gifs, infographics and more. Everyone enjoys visual content, and as you can see with the changes coming from Google, search engines do too.

Digital marketers with strong, appealing and attractive visual content will gain a significant advantage over their competition. If the competitors are also going for the same visual marketing strategy, then it’s important to opt for quality, quirky videos and images that give the brand a distinctive feel and personality.

Text-based content is still essential of course, but striking a balance between text and that much-required aesthetic flair from various visual elements is the real key to achieving your Digital Marketing goals.

 

Sorry, we’ll stop with the cats now…

 

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Adam
Adam
Content and Social Executive