What do you think about visual marketing?
According to research cited by NYU psychologist Jerome Bruner, people remember 10% of what they hear and 20% of what they read. However, they remember a staggering 80% of what they see and do.
That’s a huge disparity, one that can’t be ignored by social marketers. Consider these other statistics about visual marketing:
- Photos account for 75% of Facebook posts.
- Photos on Facebook receive 87% of total interactions. The next-closest type of content earns only 4%.
- Adding a photo URL boosts retweets by 35%.
- High quality infographices are 30 times more likely to be read than text articles.
- Nearly half of all Internet users have reposted a photo or video they found online.
- Content with relevant images get 94% more views than content without.
Get the picture? If you want to increase reader engagement – likes, forwards, shares, retweets, etc. – include one or more of the following with every post.
Photos. Magazine and newspaper editors know it. Advertisers know it. So do package designers. Photos sell. Those people rely on professional photographers. All you need is a smartphone. (If you don’t have one, any digital camera will do.) Take and share photos of your product, staff, customers, location, production process or other subjects. It may seem mundane to you, but it’s news to your followers.
And don’t limit your photos to Facebook, Twitter or your website. The hottest venues out there are picture-based. Take a look at Instagram, Pinterest and Flickr to see what others are posting.
Videos. Chances are your target audience grew up watching TV and playing video games. Most of them probably still do both. Grab and hold their attention with what they’re familiar with: moving images.
As for subject matter, you’re only limited by your imagination. Companies post videos of everything from customer interviews and store openings to speeches given by executives. YouTube and Vine are two great repositories for marketing videos.
Graphics. Graphics are an artistic way to present words or statistics. For example, the graphic that accompanies this blog. Graphics let you turn text into art by experimenting with various elements. These elements are type fonts, sizes and colors; shapes that encapsulate the information; background hues.
One of the most popular marketing visuals is the infographic or infogram. Usually a mix of graphic elements and words, infographics present complex data in an instant. They are not as easy to create as photos or videos. You may need help from someone well-versed in programs like Photoshop or Illustrator. However, if you want to provide sales figures, industry trends or other detailed information in an engaging manner, infographics are invaluable.
Two final pieces of advice. One, whatever visual you use, it must be relevant to your message (if not the message itself). Don’t post a picture of a colorful bird with a highly technical blog. Visitors will feel confused or, worse yet, tricked.
And two, make sure your visual marketing is consistent with your brand. Visitors see inconsistent messages as signs of unreliability and lack of focus. Remember, you want your visuals to foster discussion, not disappointment.