Each day, the average adult consumes more than 34 gigabytes of information. That’s about 100,000 words—five times more than 50 years ago. This is not surprising due to the availability of real-time information on our mobile devices.
What is surprising, however, is the amount of information we retain—or actually don’t retain! The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve suggests humans forget approximately 50% of new information within an hour of learning it, and that rate increases to an average of 75% within 24 hours.
This presents a major challenge for marketers attempting to make a memorable impression on consumers. Compounding this challenge, the technology revolution of the past decade has changed the way people consume information. Today, more people view information on mobile devices, and 91% say they prefer interactive and visual content over text-based, static content. Look at the growth of Instagram and Pinterest!
Therefore, smart marketers are incorporating visual content into their marketing mix.
THE PSYCHOLOGY OF VISUAL CONTENT
Sixty-five percent of Americans are visual learners. Our brains process visual content more easily and 60,000 times faster than text, needing just milliseconds to understand an image compared to about 60 seconds to read 200–250 words. Additionally, because text is processed sequentially, people remember only 20% of what they read, while visual content increases retention by 42%.
Visual content also increases engagement by 180%, proving that visuals not only help us process information more quickly, but they also evoke an emotional response. Who hasn’t wanted to go to their local pet shelter and adopt a dog after watching an ASPCA video or run through their office on a random Wednesday shouting, “hump day”?
THE ROI OF VISUAL CONTENT
Consider the following statistics for visual content:
- Website click-through rates (CTRs) are about 42% higher for websites with images.
- Content containing relevant images generates 94% more views.
- Infographics increase traffic by 12%, and articles with a large number of visuals can double social media shares.
- Social media posts with images drive higher engagement:
KEY ELEMENTS OF A VISUAL CONTENT MARKETING STRATEGY
There are many types of visuals you can incorporate into your video content marketing strategy: photos, infographics, vlogs, GIFs, memes, screenshots, flip books, illustrations and slide shows, among others.
1. Use Images Relevant to Your Audience(s)
Visuals that are relevant to the platform and audience better convey or support your message. This may require different images or types of visual content for different audience segments. Try to avoid stock images, but if you must use them, choose images that are personal and relevant to your audience. Make sure to observe copyright laws.
2. Keep It Simple
Use images that are clear and easy to understand. Consider the visual format (chart, graph, animation) that will convey the information in the simplest way.
3. Make It Easy to Find
Visual searches were up 27% last year, so make sure your images and videos are optimized for SEO and social media to drive both organic and visual search.
4. Encourage Sharing
Share your visual content across all your platforms and make it easy for others to share it by adding social sharing buttons they can click on and share to their social networks.
The demand for more visual content will only increase as society becomes more data-driven and data overloaded. Using visual content will make your marketing more interesting, attractive and easy to absorb, and it will also extend the reach of and engagement with your brand.