When it comes to engaging with customers and potential clients, content marketing is still very much a powerhouse. The biggest difference? Now, there’s a shift toward visual content marketing.
Visual content marketing relies on the use of appealing or captivating imagery to convey information, often delivered in several forms of media, the most common of which is a photo or image. You can also use videos, livestreams, GIFs or animated images and more. Marketers often use infographics to convey statistics or other data.
And of course, it all follows the same rules as general content marketing, which is to inform and share knowledge with an audience to build trust. It kickstarts engagement, and really gets your customers or audience involved in the marketing process.
Thirty-seven percent of marketers said visual content marketing was the most important form for their business, behind blogging. And, by the end of 2017, video content represented 74 percent of all Internet traffic.
We’re long past the question of whether you should be using visuals as part of your marketing strategy, because you absolutely should. Mobile devices are just as capable of displaying high-resolution and HD content as a desktop computer now. In fact, mobile users often welcome visual content, especially when browsing apps — it’s why services like Instagram, Snapchat and many others are so popular.
Capturing Attention in a Fast-Paced Society
Thanks to mobile, everyone is now moving — and consuming content — at hyper-speeds. The convenience is that they can do it from anywhere, anytime — during a morning commute, on a quick coffee break or even in the bathroom. Whatever the case, these bite-sized experiences can make or break your marketing campaign.
As a marketer, you need to capture people’s attention as quickly and efficiently as possible. Since people often don’t have time to read all the copy on a site, they often scan over a page and spend the most time on imagery that captures their eye. Grabbing people’s attention with graphics has given birth to the rise of visual content. Ultimately, you are trying to convey a message, idea or point through simple visual stimulation.
Do you want your audience to follow through to your email signup page? Do you want them to check out your products or services? Do you want them to reach out for a price quote? Is there something else you’re trying to do?
Visual content is just as crucial in industries where web copy or content marketing might be bland or uninteresting. Industrial companies, for example, can benefit from the adoption of visual content. An image or video helps spruce up the page and or design, and even works to direct the viewer’s attention to the rest of the content.
What Does Visual Content Do?
For starters, visual content taps into the visual cortex of the brain, engaging people on a more personal level. At the very least, you’re kickstarting a creative process in their brain that makes them more likely to engage.
Visual content is often bite-sized and easy to consume — two things audiences want. Our brains tend to process images much faster than words, and you don’t need to read any text to understand the message.
Finally, graphics and videos break up your page and create visual interest. It’s more conducive to viewers who prefer to skim a page and pick out the most valuable content to them. Appropriately placed images will snag viewers’ attention, causing them to slow down or stop altogether to take in the accompanying content. If there is no connected content, they’ll spend a little more time viewing the image.
In a survey, 41.5 percent of marketers said infographics and original graphics produced the most engagement among their audience. It’s no surprise, because people love visual content. But when you’re talking about statistics, marketing info and relevant points, nothing conveys those more effectively than an infographic.
Throughout 2018 and beyond, visual content marketing will continue to be crucial. While the types of content and the platforms where it’s delivered may have changed, the basic concepts have not. Virtual reality, 360-degree videos and interactive streams are just a sampling of what’s in store for the near future. We can expect to see new forms of visual content designed to engage, build trust and educate.
Don’t underestimate the power of visual content, and by proxy, visual content marketing.
Author: Nathan Sykes
Nathan is the editor of Finding an Outlet. Follow him on Twitter @nathansykestech to keep up with his latest articles.