Yesterday I received shocking news. During a casual conversation at a conference, an acquaintance shocked me by announcing his skepticism regarding the power of visual content for engaging audiences online; the written word, without accompanying visuals, is his preferred method for capturing clicks, comments, and fans on the web.
With an impressive résumé of accomplishments, including authoring bestselling marketing books, my acquaintance can easily be listed among the top marketing experts in the world. Thus, my complete shock by his lack of enthusiasm for visual content.
Our conversation is scheduled to continue tomorrow because we are both intrigued by the other’s opposing opinion. To prepare for our friendly debate, I am reviewing some of the best research on the topic of visual content.
In case you need to convince your boss, colleagues, or clients that visual content can improve marketing results, I want to summarize below the results of my research review.
Since the information below is a summary of research on topics that have been thoroughly explored in previous Ethos3 blog posts, I encourage you to review the list of facts, and then dive deeper into your favorite points by reading the complete Ethos3 blog posts, available via links included below.
I hope this information helps you convert nonbelievers into visual content enthusiasts because I have no doubt that visual content can help all marketers achieve or surpass their goals.
Why Visual Content Matters For Your Marketing:
1. B2B buyers want brands to share visual content.
According to the 2014 Content Preferences Survey, which polled more than 100 B2B buyers about their use of content in making purchasing decisions:
A substantial number of buyers this year (86%) expressed some level of desire to access interactive/visual content on demand, and the amount of buyers who strongly agreed with these sentiments increased from 34% in last year’s survey to 46% in 2014.
Review the research here: B2B Content Preferences Survey: Buyers Want Short, Visual, Mobile-Optimized Content
Read the Ethos3 blog post here: How To Succeed at B2B Marketing on LinkedIn (Infographic)
2. People pay significantly more attention to, agree more with, and better recall visual content, compared to text-only content.
According to The Use of Visualization in the Communication of Business Strategies, an experiment conducted to gather empirical evidence regarding whether the use of visualization is better than text in the communication of a business strategy:
Subjects who were exposed to a graphic representation of the strategy paid significantly more attention to, agreed more with, and better recalled the strategy than did subjects who saw a (textually identical) bulleted list version.
Review the research here: The Use of Visualization in the Communication of Business Strategies
3. Visuals increase audience engagement for brands on social media.
According to eMarketer.com:
Socialbakers.com looked at the top 10% of posts made by more than 30,000 Facebook brand pages and found that photos saw the most action—with a whopping 87% of total interactions. No other content type claimed more than 4% of the overall post pie.
Review the research here: Photos Cluttering Your Facebook Feed? Here’s Why
Read the Ethos3 blog post here: The Complete Guide to Content Marketing With Presentations
4. Visuals get views.
According to Ekaterina Walter’s book, The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand:
Visuals get 94% more views than text-based information.
Review the research here: The Power of Visual Storytelling: How to Use Visuals, Videos, and Social Media to Market Your Brand
Read the Ethos3 blog post here: 10 Facts About Visual Content For Digital Marketing
Conclusion: My esteemed acquaintance may never believe in the immense marketing power of visual content, and that is okay. The research on visuals is available for everyone to review. Whether you choose to harness the potential of visual content, that is your choice. However I hope that you give visual content a try before you opt for a text-only approach to engaging your audience online. I am confident you will be happy with the results.
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