The digital age has changed the way we consume media. Every moment of our day is saturated with information, as if our lives are a never ending newsfeed that we could scroll forever. With all the content out there, it’s hard to reach your target audience. You need to make your message stand out in a sea of distractions.
Creating visual content is the best way to garner more attention. Images, videos, infographics, and other visual media boost online engagement for several reasons. These elements add both aesthetic and substance to your content, so your message can have more impact and reach in less time.
It’s no wonder that marketers rated visual marketing as the second most important form of content for their business—second only to blogging. In fact, 73 percent of marketers plan on using more videos in their campaigns.
For better or worse, words just don’t mean as much as they used to, so you have to get more creative to make people listen. That’s why visuals have become such a powerful tool for marketers to make their content matter to people when words alone cannot.
Too Much Text, Too Little Attention Span
If War and Peace were a picture book, would more people read it? The widespread decline in literary reading indicates that the answer is yes.
People won't take the time to sit down and read endless lines of text anymore. You have to convey your message quickly and effectively. Some researchers even say that our obsession with digital media is diminishing our attention spans to less than that of a goldfish.
Whether this cognitive deficit is fact or fiction, our culture’s constant need for instant gratification is very real. Perhaps it’s not a matter of people being unable to pay attention, but they’re simply unwilling to do so. In an age of perpetual stimulation, the threshold for boredom is at an all time low. That’s why dynamic content is essential in your marketing tool kit.
Hook Even a Goldfish
Maybe we’re all just swirling around in a fishbowl of information. Even so, your best bet in hooking people is to get visual. A pop of color alone can make people more willing to read your content. Aesthetic value aside, visual content is much easier to process. The human brain takes far longer to process text than visuals. Our affinity for the visual has an evolutionary basis, as humans rely primarily on sight to spot out food, threats and other primal stimuli.
Visuals not only make us understand faster. They make us understand better. People understand 70 percent of a message that’s presented only with text. When that same message is conveyed through images and text, however, the understanding jumps to 95 percent.
What’s more, people remember information better when visuals are involved. Hearing a message leads to 10 percent recall three days later, but when a relevant image is accompanied with the message, 65 percent of the message is retained three days later.
Thus, visuals make your message more attractive, faster to process, more meaningful and easier to remember. Where words fail, visuals fill in the rest. Even if your audience’s attention span is less than a goldfish’s, visuals will help you get their attention hook, line and sinker.
A Picture’s Worth A Thousand Retweets
Okay, maybe not a thousand. But tweeting an image will get you 150 percent more retweets, 89 percent more favorites and 18 percent more clicks than text only tweets. It’s not just Twitter though. Content with visual elements performs better on all social platforms. Adding images to your Facebook posts will more than double their engagement.
Obviously, images are effective social engagement tools, but nothing beats the power of video. In fact, 74 percent of all website traffic comes from online video, which may also explain why YouTube is the second largest search engine. Even traditional media outlets can’t compete. Nielsen reports that, in an average week, YouTube reaches more people aged 18 and older on their mobile phones during prime-time hours than any cable television network.
Visual elements like video can even boost your email marketing efforts. Adding a video to your email can improve your click-through rates by a whopping 200 to 300 percent. Even just using the word “video” in your subject line can increase open rates by 19 percent! When it comes to media, video reigns supreme. That said, if you need help with video production or any other content creation to boost your online engagement, brand awareness and lead generation, we’re happy to help!
If you learn nothing else from this article, just remember this:
That’s not to say that words don’t matter at all. It’s just that with so much content on the web, you need some creative flair to engage people.
Aim to produce content that’s equal parts substance and style, and above all else value quality over quantity—no matter what form your content takes.