5 Resources to Get You Up to Speed on the Science of Visual Content Marketing

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There are many techniques to help engage people with your content—relevancy, personalization, quality, and on and on.  But it’s possible that none are as important as the visual aspects of your content. Imagery and visual design help people forge emotional connections to a story, and they happen instantaneously.

This isn’t just a case of people wanting to look at “pretty pictures”. There are metrics (yes, metrics!) to back up the notion that visual content needs to make its way into your content.

In a Forbes article, Daniel Newman made predictions about visual content hitting the scene hard in 2015. Marketers can’t expect to do the same thing over and over and expect different results (don’t they call that the definition of insanity?). 

Newman says,

Plain, boring text is passé; visual is in. Science reports that we respond to visual stimulation much better then optical. In the case of reading, our brain decodes visual information 60,000X faster than text.

Paul Bingham feels the same way it seems. He went as far as to detail 10 rules for visual content marketing.

“It used to be OK to have a static website gallery, post text to your social channels, and use corporate photos and videos online. Now, readers depend on visuals to figure out whether your content is worth their time.

Ok, so marketers are totally onboard with more visual content, but is the market need really that widespread?

Well, according to Mario Mejia, and the stats he’s citing in a PR Newser article…yes!

“Today we are constantly bombarded by content – and it’s only increasing. In fact,70% of today’s marketers plan to increase their use of original visual content in 2015. This is no surprise, as visuals are not only more engaging and digestible, but 86% of buyers actually express desire to access interactive/visual content on demand."

Still need more proof that visuals pack a serious punch?

Tom More, from Slidely, offered this in his article on visual content for The Next Web:

“In addition to helping you communicate a message that is remembered, effective visuals pack a serious punch when it comes to upping your engagement. OpenView Marketing Lab’s 'Beginner’s Guide to Stunning Visual Content Marketing,' reports that company Facebook pages who post status updates with visuals in the form of videos and photo albums create up to 180 percent stronger engagement."

Rob McLoughlin, VP of POPSUGAR wrote an article for AdAge about creating “Evocative Digital Experiences” with visual content and summed it up perfectly!

The future of storytelling depends on the use of high-quality visual experiences. This content evolution, driven by the dramatic increase in the adoption of smartphones and other mobile devices, is forcing publishers and brand marketers to rethink their approach to content development and to adopt a visual-first strategy.

There are so many benefits to visual marketing. And it’s not just lip service, because as you can see there’s some meaty metrics to back them up!

How are you using visual elements in your content marketing? Are you seeing higher engagement and conversion rates? We’d love to hear about it!