Is visual content the future of digital?

When people think of the content for their digital marketing, their website and social media posts etc., they often think about the words. Content is often seen in terms of website copy, blog posts, articles, news items. Even tweets we think of in terms of the number of characters.

But what about visual content? How much effort and time do you put into the visuals that you use for your business online? By visual content I mean photographs, videos and other visual graphics including infographics.

I’ve read some pretty startling statistics recently when researching the subject which I thought I’d share with you as a way to get you thinking differently about visual content and how it can improve how visible your content is to your audience and potential customers and clients.

So firstly, why is visual content so engaging? Humans are very visual creatures, we like images, it’s as simple as that. Visuals are more memorable and more easily understood and processed than written content, however short, snappy and pithy that copy may be.

Let’s start with the biggest social platform, Facebook, which is still experiencing good rates of growth. Facebook posts from brands that included images got 87% of all engagements. Furthermore, the number of videos appearing in posts has increased by almost 4 times in the last year or so.

It’s the same story on twitter. According to Buffer, tweets with images got 18% more clicks, 89% more favourites and, importantly, 150% more retweets – tweets with visual content travel further.

If you think about your experience on both of these platforms, you’ll see that this is true. There are so many more video posts than there were this time last year and I know that personally I pay much more attention to posts with images and I believe that others would too.

If you look at those digital platforms that are experiencing high growth such as Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr, they have one thing in common – they are all primarily focused on visual content. That’s not to say that they’re not great for signposting text based content but they are image led. Clearly people like visual content if Pinterest’s phenomenal growth over the past two years is anything to go by.

Perhaps the most startling statistic I read was that by 2018 79% of internet traffic will be video. Imagine that! Now obviously that is affected by the rise in people watching film and TV online but it’s equally important for businesses trying to promote themselves and actually sell online. For example, 85% of people are more likely to purchase a product after seeing a video of it. And back to that statistic about video in Facebook posts – if you are a brand and you’re using video you get 3 x the amount of engagement.

So where to start? Well here are some simple steps that you can take straight away to improve your visual content;

  1. If you sell products, invest in good product photography or at the very least invest in equipment (lighting etc.) to ensure the images you take yourself are as good as they can be
  2. Look at stock photography sites like www.istockphoto.co.uk and www.shutterstock.com/uk to find some low cost, royalty free images for your website and your social posts.
  3. Commission a designer to produce a range of illustrations or graphical images for you to use.
  4. When you make social media posts always include an image – you can find out more in general about the required sizes etc. for social media images here
  5. Consider how video can help you to sell your products and services more effectively – talk to a video production company and see what ideas they have for you.
  6. If you already blog, definitely use images to illustrate and create social link posts but consider how you could also video blog (vlog) by using some simple in-house video equipment and editing software.

I’m hoping to do some deeper blogs about individual aspects of visual content so if there is anything that you’d be interesting in hearing about do let me know by commenting here.

If you think you need some help with your visual content strategy then we can help, just email sarah@tent.uk.com or call 0191 4475376.

 

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