In the modern era, it's all about the visuals. From the explosion of video across social media to the popularity of memes across the internet, visual content marketing has become vital in the business world for big companies and small startups alike. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, which is a great return on investment from a marketing perspective.
In this guide, we'll explain exactly what visual content marketing is, what types are out there, why it's important for your business, and how you can implement visual content marketing strategies effectively.
In this guide:
Whether you're simply sharing the occasional Instagram or using a full-on social media management tool, integrating visual content into your marketing strategy can have a significant impact on your bottom line. But if you need any further convincing, check out these notable visual content marketing statistics below to understand exactly why this medium is so valuable for your business:
Top Visual Content Marketing Stats
- 91% of consumers prefer visual content to written content (Forbes)
- 87% of online marketers use video as a tool for marketing (Wyzowl)
- On average, people retain 55% more information when it is paired with an image (bloggingwizard)
- Almost 41% of survey respondents said infographics and illustrations are the most effective for achieving their marketing goals (Venngage)
- Personalized imagery has been shown to decrease cart abandonment rates by 17% and improve conversion rates by 200% (Hyperise)
As you can tell, these stats paint a pretty clear picture to show that investing and actioning visual content marketing into your business can make a big difference to achieving your business goals and staying ahead of your competitors. But before we go any further, what exactly is visual content marketing?
What Is Visual Content Marketing?
1. 91% of consumers prefer visual content to written content (Forbes)
2. Users are 30% more likely to send payment when visuals are involved with your marketing (Xerox)
Visual content marketing describes the use of visual content, such as images, videos, infographics, and even memes, to inform, engage, and connect with your audience in service of growing your business.
Considering visual content has infinitely more staying power than the written word when it comes to marketing, this kind of strategy is highly recommended across the marketing world.
In so many words, users engage more when they have something to look at. In fact, users are 30% more likely to send payment when visuals are involved with your marketing.
Now that you know what visual content marketing is, here are some of the specific types you might want to explore for your business, including video, images, infographics, and memes, listed in order of popularity
Video Marketing Statistics
3. 87% of online marketers use video as a tool for marketing (Wyzowl)
4. 84% of consumers agree that watching promotional videos have convinced them to purchase a product or service. (Wyzowl)
TikTok's meteoric rise has caused some people to deactivate Facebook and ditch other social media platforms, despite the expansion of video tools across social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Regardless, one thing is clear: the future is video.
From a marketing standpoint, video content is best used to demonstrate setups, solutions, and other step-by-step processes that would otherwise be challenging via standard images. However, you could use it for demonstrating your products and services or simply producing content that will appeal to your target audience, to increase brand awareness.
Image Marketing Statistics
5. On average, people retain 55% more information when it is paired with an image (bloggingwizard)
6. One study found that articles with images were twice as likely to be shared than those without (Buzzsumo)
7. Personalized imagery has been shown to decrease cart abandonment rates by 17% and improve conversion rates by 200% (Hyperise)
For those without the time and money for video marketing, images provide an easier avenue to engagement than their motion-based counterparts. As for how much more effective images make your marketing attempts, one study found that articles with images in them were twice as likely to be shared than those without. Still images with accompanying text are the foundation of visual content marketing and no business has an excuse not to use them — especially with the amount of free image libraries available online.
Of course, unique, custom imagery will take you further, allowing integrated branding and tailored messaging. Personalized imagery has even been shown to decrease cart abandonment rates by 17% and improve conversion rates by 200% (Hyperise).
Source: Starbucks email marketing campaign
Infographic Marketing Statistics
8. Almost 41% of survey respondents said infographics and illustrations are the most effective for achieving their marketing goals (Venngage)
9. Infographics are the fourth most-used type of content marketing. (HubSpot)
If you still need to use some text to get your point across but want to add a bit of visual flare to your marketing, infographics are the way to go. They combine engaging design with pertinent information to draw in readers in a more meaningful way. They're highly shareable and can be made with minimal effort too with easy-to-use online infographic creation tools.
Meme Marketing Statistics
10. The click-through-rate of a meme campaign is 14% higher than email marketing (Forbes council)
Memes often rely on humor and timely events, so they aren't likely to be as effective or popular as videos, images, and infographics when it comes to your overall visual content marketing strategy. However, on social media, they are uniquely positioned to humanize your brand while engaging with younger demographics that see through the average corporate marketing strategy. They’re cheap to create and built to go viral too, so why wouldn't you take advantage of that potential?
How to Implement Visual Content Marketing Strategies
Follow the steps below and you'll be on your way to a more effective visual content marketing strategy.
Consider your audience
While broad appeal can help, it's always best to know exactly who you are targeting with your strategy and what the best way to reach them might be. To narrow down your audience a bit, you'll want to ask yourself questions like, “what problem are we trying to solve?,” “who are we trying to help?,” and “how will we measure our audience engagement?” These will help you to get a better picture of your audience to better inform your strategy.
Establish your brand
Visual content marketing is about telling a story that is unique and special to your specific brand. Subsequently, you're going to have to establish your brand in a concrete way that will inform your future visual content strategy. The best way to establish your brand is by being consistent. If you're a retail business, try to keep your visual content marketing based in the retail space, rather than branching out for the sake of a broader appeal. Use your brand’s colors, tone, and style wherever you can.
Encourage user-generated content
As a business, the idea of posting enough content to get noticed can seem like an insurmountable task. However, if there’s a niche for your business then there’s a niche for your audience, and by encouraging user-generated content, you can build a community that enjoys engaging with your brand and wants to spread the word themselves, helping your visual content marketing to go further. Whether it be soliciting reviews for your products or posing questions on your social channels, getting your potential customers to drive engagement for your brand will definitely make your job easier in the long run.
Optimize for specific platforms
Now, with so many different social media platforms out there, marketers are being encouraged to cater their visual content to specific platforms as well, in order to play the algorithms and get the most views. From TikTok and Instagram to Gmail and Outlook, visual content can take many forms. Most notably, Reels and TikTok style videos are huge drivers for discovery and are pretty much exclusively portrayed vertically, on mobile devices. Subsequently, businesses focusing on those platforms should avoid horizontally framed videos to ensure they have the best chance of making an impact.
Consumers in the modern age are smart. Sales-y language, marketing jargon, and anything implying that all you care about is making money will almost assuredly fall flat. If you really want to build community, engage customers, and unlock the full potential of visual content marketing, being genuine needs to be a priority. How can you be genuine? It all depends on your business, your customers, your team, and all the other details that make your business special.
Verdict: Should Your Business Use Visual Content Marketing?
Getting started isn't easy, particularly if you've been hesitant to jump in with both feet until now. But there are plenty of tools online that can help you start designing and posting your visual content on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you want to make the biggest impact, you'll need to invest to make sure you don't go viral for all the wrong reasons.
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