Visual content is appealing, sometimes more so than reading text. Words are just no longer enough. We need new and juicy content in the form of delicious visual images, designed to intrigue, engage and tell our brand story.
According to recent research, blog posts with images receive 94 % more views than posts without. The same goes for social media messages, as Forbes reveals that social media updates containing images get far more likes, retweets and shares than those without.
Is it a short attention span?
Imagery in content marketing is necessary if marketers wish to make a lasting impression on consumers, and there is actually some sort of ‘science’ behind it: the brain can actually process images faster than text. An infographic in Adweek suggested that people remember 80% of what they see or do, in comparison to 20% of what they read. The irony is that you probably won’t remember that statistic; let’s make it more ‘appealing’.
Basic, but works, right?
The reason imagery appears to work so well is the capability for sharing. People are more inclined to share your content if it appears as a nugget of visual gold to be ‘ooh’ed or ‘ahh’ed at, then passed on to a friend. So if images are the key to 89% more favourites and 150% more retweets*, then we should consider the best type of visual content to be putting out to our blinking viewers.
Brand Media choose a decent example in proving the power of the visual. Introducing Grammarly, a web tool for avoiding grammar errors, they confess that the site could be misconstrued as dull and uninteresting. Cue some quality visual content via memes and Grammarly have us laughing all the way to their landing page:
So what sort of visual content should you be putting out there to be rewarded in the marketing sphere?
It is important to use images that will benefit your campaign, or brand in its entirety. The intent of image is to contribute, whether to a relevant brand message, or to what is occurring on social media at the time – drawing attention to the relevance of your brand. A stock image or irrelevant infographic is not an effective means of captivating your audience and may have the opposite effect!
- High Quality – mobile and social media friendly
Do not let a pixelated image be your downfall! If you’re advertising a professional service, or product, then your visual content needs to reflect this. The intention of visual imagery on social media and blogs is that it’s digestable, then shareable. You want to be the topic of every conversation, and not because your content won’t load on a mobile. Make sure images are social media and mobile friendly, ‘omnichannel marketing’ if you like.
- Reflects your brand and include a call-to-action
It’s easy to steal an image from any Tom, Dick or Harry, and claim it as your own. Using your own images, and branding, be it in the form of an infographic or stock photo, highlights brand personality, achieved through colour scheme, or font. Having a recognisable image will not only have an audience laughing, or intrigued by your post, but also immediately equate it to your company. Your content must encourage an audience to do something, however, be it share or follow through with contact. Make sure the hard work put into creating something visual is rewarded, it should be a call-to-action, that the customer may not even realise.
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