In the world we are living in today, we are always surrounded by pictures and videos. Billboards that were once paper posters stuck to walls are now large LED screens displaying motion pictures and graphics. As consumers, we indirectly absorb all this information, stimulating our minds.
Social media has changed the market for marketing, and now brands are forced to be more creative with their content. It is thought that 80% of marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing. Video (63%), alone, has also surpassed blogging (60%) in usage as a social media marketing tool.
It is easier for visual content to go viral than it is for heavy text content which is why visual content is essential especially on social media platforms. Facebook dominance is still quite strong. A very significant 94% of marketers use Facebook (followed by Instagram at 66%). With two in three marketers claiming Facebook is their most important social platform.
Moreover, visuals are vital when it comes to purchasing decisions. In fact, 40% of customersalways seek out visual content before making a purchase decision.
So, let’s see why visual content is so crucial in social media marketing.
1. Visual content attracts follows
One of the downsides to social media is the size of it. There’s so much information, and the platforms spread so wide and thin that you can easily get lost in it. Because of this, businesses need to begin to use visual content on social media surrounding their product and services to obtain followers. Not only will you achieve a wider audience but will also increase the chances of consumers investing in you.
Your social media visual content should also set you aside from your competitors in an overcrowded platform, making yourself more accessible to find. You need to be tactful and ensure your visuals are enticing enough to generate new followers but entertaining enough to keep the attention of your existing followers.
Visuals offer you a quick way to express your brand, convey an emotion, highlight important facts and figures, differentiate your business, showcase your product and increase traffic to your site.
2. Visual content engages followers
As humans, our eyes are naturally drawn to colours and movement. Our minds have the capacity to digest visual content at a higher speed than textual content. Because of this, content with images has a higher chance of being read, liked, favourited or commented on in comparison to text-only content.
Statistics have shown that posts with images produce a higher engagement rate compared to text-only posts. Visual content is 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. Tweets with embedded images also get 18% more clicks, 150% more retweets and 89% more favourites.
Due to the power of images and pictures, it’s definitely a good idea to take advantage of sharing visual content on your business’s social media platforms. Social media platforms are intelligent enough to interpret content with more engagement as more popular and trending. Each platform has its own algorithm that determines the frequency and priority of material. Therefore, the more popular the material the more likely it is to come upon your audiences screens.
3. Visual content is easily understood and more memorable
Our minds can comprehend visuals at an alarmingly faster rate than text because visuals have the capacity to communicate information to us more effectively. It takes out brains ¼ of a second to process visual cues, and because the average consumer attention span is just 8 seconds, visuals give us the understanding we need quicker. Because our brains are pre-wired to interpret relationships between objects, visuals give us the leverage that we need for almost instant comprehension with minimal effort.
The reason why visual content is memorable is due to the fact that it is easy to understand. Your brain can quickly make connections to already stored memories, including emotional triggers and aesthetically pleasing designs can all help you retain what you are seeing. Including images that are thought to provoke or evoke emotion will make your posts more memorable.
There are a few different types of visual content you can utilise:
- Infographics – one of the most common forms of visualising information. Tools like Canvaallow you to create these easily.
- Interactive Charts – make charts and graphs to visualise complex data. Tools like Tableauand ChartBlocks can help.
- Slides – turn text and images into interactive slides. Slides can also be shared on platforms like Slideshare. Use tools like PoweredTemplate to create presentations easily and efficiently.
- Visualised Data – turn boring data and figures into sortable and filterable data with tools like Infogram.
- Video – more than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube each day. Tools like PowToon enable you to create animated videos.
4. Visual content is relatable
Consumers usually buy from brands and people they know and are familiar with. Because of this, visual content can be more relatable, which is what has given birth to social media influencers. When consumers can relate to your content, they are more likely to enjoy and engage with it.
In fact, according to 70% of marketers, content with visual assets performed much better than content that had no visuals.
It’s much easier to remember the brand by associating visual content than it is to associate the brand with text.
When it comes to visual content in social media, it’s vital to ensure that all visuals are designed to make an impact and be remembered.
Peter Jobes is a tech, communications & blockchain writer having worked with the Press Association and clients like Tesco, RAC and HelpUCover. CMO at Solvid.