In just a few short years, the Internet has come along to change virtually everything we know about the way human beings communicate with one another. Take the social media phenomenon, for example.
As of today, 52% of adults in the United States have a social media profile – a number that has increased from 48% in 2010 according to Convince and Convert.
Likewise, more than 12 million Americans admitted to using at least one social networking site “several times per day.”
People have gotten used to having conversations play out online in real time – whether you’re talking about a friend, a family member or even a large brand doesn’t matter. People want what they want and thanks to social media, they’ve been trained to want it right now.
These admittedly simple ideas are actually a large part of why visual content is currently taking over the Internet landscape, both in terms of the content people are sharing in their private lives and the collateral that marketers are creating in their professional ones.
Visual content doesn’t just let you play to the strengths of how the human brain works in the first place, but it lets you optimize your message for a delivery mechanism that is more efficient, more visual and wider reaching than ever before.
The visual content revolution
As marketing, in general, is essentially a communications medium, it is particularly important for advertisers around the world to sit up and take notice. More and more, marketers are learning that success in their field is only partially attributed to what you say – how you choose to say it matters just as much, if not more.
Keep in mind that this is only about people who have decided to use visual content in their online marketing campaigns, of which social media plays a big role. When you consider how effective visual content is in this context, things get even more impressive
According to a survey conducted by Sproutworth, for example, everyone agreed that visual content was more effective than text content. This wasn’t up for debate – just how much more effective, however, is where things get interesting.
- Only 5.3% of respondents said that visual content was “less than 2x more effective” than traditional, text-based content.
- The majority of people who responded to the survey said that it was 3x more effective.
- An incredible 7.5% said that visual content was up to 8x more effective than text-based content, particularly on social media.
The reach of social media
When you consider what social media allows people to do and why it has become such a fixture of our daily lives, it’s easy to see why visual content and social networking sites really are a match made in heaven. In many ways, social media is a visual communication tool by its very creation – it makes it effortless to not only discover interesting content but also share it with nearly everyone you know with the click of a button.
If people just wanted a soapbox for whatever opinion they had or topic they wanted to write about today, a site like Twitter or Facebook wouldn’t necessarily be the best platform for that. Instead, people flock to these sites because sharing is such a key part of the experience.
According to Buffer, visual content is actually a full 40x more likely to get shared on social media than text-based content. According to QuickSprout, almost 66% of all updates on social media are visual in nature. It’s something that marketers have noticed, too – Social Media Examiner said that visual asset spends on social media were up to 74% in 2016 from 71% in 2015.
Visual content is also hugely important in terms of communicating your brand’s larger story. Say you have an overview of charitable contributions or community outreach efforts that you’ve engaged in over the past year that you want to get out to your audience to help convey your values. A 10,000-word blog post on the subject isn’t going to be read by nearly as many people as you’d hoped.
If you embrace data visualization and use a tool like Visme to take that same information and convert it into one or more Infographics, however, now you’ve got something that people want to experience. It also happens to be something they want their friends and family members to experience, too. Visme is also a presentation tool, giving you the ability to work within a variety of formats depending on the audience you’re trying to engage with. Creating compelling Infographics and presentations with tools like this is very easy.
Visual content is not a trend. It’s a way of life
Because so much of success in marketing comes down to always being ready for the “next big thing,” far too many marketers have tended to look at the visual, social world that we’re now living in as a trend. It’s a passing fad, like so many others before it, that just happens to be the “next big thing” right now.
The most important thing you can understand moving forward is that this is absolutely not the case. Social media is here to stay, as evidenced by the fact that most of the major networks are still growing – particularly as mobile use stats show the same. Visual content is not a technique to be exploited today and forgotten about tomorrow.
It’s the natural evolution of language – a way that lets you take your message, repackage it in the ideal format for your readers and get it out to a wider audience than you could have ever imagined 10 years ago. With the right collateral by your side, visual content is going to take you far – and it’s something that is only going to get even more important as time goes on.