The average adult consumes over 34 gigabytes of information per day. That equates over 100,000 words and is more than five times the average from just fifty years ago. This is hardly surprising, given the availability of information in the modern age.
What is surprising is how little of that information remains in the brain. The Ebbinghaus Forgetting Curve suggests people lose up to half of all new information they learn within an hour, and up to 75% over 24 hours. This is a major issue for marketers who want to make a lasting impression on consumers. The challenge is only made worse with the recent technological evolutions and how people consume their information. Most people view content on mobile devices and around 91% of people say they prefer visual content over written content.
These days, a smart marketer is one who understands the importance of visual content in social media.
The Psychology of Visual Content
Roughly two-thirds of Americans are visual learners. The human brain has an easier time processing visual information over text. We process visual content about 60,000 times faster than text. It takes just milliseconds to process an image whereas it takes up to a minute to read 300 words of text. Furthermore, people only remember about 20% of the text they read, while they remember 42% of an image they see. In the battle of visual content vs text, there’s a more memorable leader.
SEO and content marketing are also more connected than you might expect. Visual appeal goes beyond just marketing. Quick Sprout conducted research in 2019 that showed most people will stop using a website or service if they have a bad experience with how it looks and seek out a more visually pleasing alternative.
Infographics are one of the most popular visual content marketing trends. One infographic from MicroCreatives highlights this by showing that 61% of marketers believe visuals are a vital part of any successful campaign. Statistics show that visual design elements such as graphics and color cause people to retain more information for longer.
The ROI for Visual Content
Need further proof of the importance of visual content in social media or online? Consider these statistics:
- Image-based content marketing increases organic traffic by 175%
- Infographics increase traffic by 12%
- Articles with plenty of visual content get twice as many social media shares
- Website click-through rates (CTRs) are up to 42% higher for websites with images
- Content containing appropriate images is viewed almost twice as much (94%)
The Key Elements of Visual Content in Marketing
Now we come to the most important questions — what is visual content marketing? How can you use it effectively? Here are the key elements of how to combine SEO and content marketing in a flawless campaign.
Use Relevant Imagery
You should stick to images that better suit your audience and chosen platform to better get the message across. This could mean using different visual content for different parts of the audience. Avoid using stock images as much as you can, but if you do use them find ones that are relevant and more personal. Of course, you should never overlook copyright laws.
Keep Things Simple
The principle of “less is more” applies to visual marketing as much as anything else. Use simple and clear images that are easy to understand. Think about the visual format involved, such as an animation, chart, or graph. Find a way to convey your information as simply and effectively as possible.
Ensure It’s Easy to Find
Visual searches were up over 27% last year. Make sure that all your images and videos are optimized for SEO and social media to bolster organic and visual searches.
Share the visual content across all platforms and encourage readers to share it as well. Include social sharing buttons for easy sharing.
How to Create Great Marketing Visuals
Here are three things you should consider to put together amazing graphics that impress your audience and enhance your content.
Color choice is key with visual content. It sets the mood and causes emotional responses. Using the right colors spreads the right message to your audience. For example, yellow is the color of creativity and optimism while blue shows trust and security. Red evokes feelings of excitement and urgency. For example, you’ll see blue used in a variety of technology and healthcare logos—industries where trust and security matter. Understanding how people respond to certain colors helps create engaging visual content.
Natural light is another important aspect of any good photograph, video, or other visual piece. You can still use some darker imagery to evoke different feelings, depending on your content and what you are trying to communicate. Otherwise, stick with natural lighting. A soft natural light evokes a sense of peace and puts people at ease. No mater how you use natural light, you’ll find it drastically improves the impact of your content.
Show Off Your Lighter Side
You don’t need to be so stern and rigid with your imagery, unless that’s the look your clients expect and want to see. Letting your guard down and showing off your human side goes a long way for some people. Don’t be afraid to showcase the lighter side of your business such as fun Halloween costumes and the like. Letting the audience see the humans behind the brand builds a closer connection and gets viewers personally invested.
Use the Power of Visuals
There are some of the ways you can take advantage of visual marketing and see success. Whether you’re looking to engage your audience more, convert them to your brand, keep people on your website longer, or get a boost for your SEO rankings, visual media marketing should be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy.