The trend has been set for many years now that the content you share online for your business should be visual. That is to say, your social media output and written content should always include or be accompanied by a visually stimulating element.
This could be a photo, artistic image or even an infographic. Naturally, it makes sense to display something relevant to the main content, and you can also use the imagery as an extension of the written piece. Good storytelling is always a balance between 'show vs tell.'
For businesses competing for clicks, endorsements and eyes in the social media landscape, here are seven signs that visual content is still the way to go this year.
01. Better Rates of Conversion
The common practice of seeing which elements of your web pages are the most effective is called A/B Testing. In these experiments - also called split testing - users' responses to two or more design variants are measured and preferences recorded.
Many such A/B Tests have indicated people prefer landing pages that feature video. Conversion rates rally by 86% when watching a video is involved. This should motivate every sales-focused business to get a product or service-related video online. Allowing web visitors to quickly learn about what you're selling and easily start building trust is proving an evermore essential element of a business's online presence.
02. Quicker Understanding of Visuals
The human brain is remarkably complex, but there are ways to hack it. For instance, 90% of information is received visually, making pictures easier to grasp initially than text. Similarly, the mind processes visuals 6000 times faster compared to strings of words.
The science alone proves that visual material really is a shortcut to helping your audiences get a foothold of reason with your content. Blogs especially can be enhanced with the use of supportive visual aides, thus increasing the impact of your ideas, analysis and insights.
03. Plays Great on Socials
All of the leading social media platforms heavily favour visual content. TikTok has exploded in recent years, thanks to the plethora of features available for creating video-centred pieces. Rivals like Instagram seek to compete with their Reels function, while Facebook has tried to keep pace with its own Stories feed.
While you don't have to try and master every platform, more people engage with and share visual content than posts that feature just writing. At the very least, try to add imagery to your written posts and see how much your audience engagement improves as a result.
04. Fast-track traffic with Infographics
Infographics have taken the internet by storm since their rise to prominence. Their ability to display data - often complex or crucial - quickly and elegantly makes them ideal for displaying quantitive information. When results, research data or statistics need to be displayed, audiences can immediately relate to infographics.
Indeed, a 12% rise in website traffic can be gained when using infographics instead of plain text void of visuals.
It's easy to think, however, that making infographics requires a degree in graphic design. With the growth of creative platforms such as Canva and stock sites such as Envato Elements, there is a huge choice of templates that can be employed as affordable starting points for making eye-grabbing infographics.
05. Blockbuster Blogging Results
As brilliant as your blog might be, words alone are no longer enough to get you noticed. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then you may not be surprised to learn that visual accompaniments attract 94% more page visits.
Regarding Facebook, wishpond.com reports that posts with imagery get twice the number of comments as those without visuals. Having that striking picture, image or graphic to get potential viewers' attention is a standard practice well worth adopting for your business blogging.
06. Search on Your Terms
Getting clicks on your own search results is vital to maintaining and improving your ranking. Studies show that 60% of consumers would click on links for businesses that appear alongside images in search results.
The best way to empower these visual elements is to ensure appropriate alt tags (or alt descriptions) are applied to your images. These give search engines the ability to understand your product images through alternative text means, positively impacting your SEO, visibility and page ranking.
07. Images Increase Importance
Consumers' and potential customers' attention are key currencies online. When it comes to your reputation, it is built and broken by what they think of your business. Close to 67% of online audiences will judge the importance of your product from the quality of images that represent it.
That is more than the weight of reading customer reviews, product ratings or detailed information about your sellable products and services. This alone demonstrates the need for high-quality images and videos in your sales and marketing material.
Consistent lead generation, sparking customer inquiries and even getting traffic to your website are vital aspects of driving sales and increasing business revenues. In the age of social media, attracting and holding attention to your channels has never been more critical.
As all these seven signs show, visual content should be at the heart of your online commercial activities. With many different options to explore, there's no reason you can't immediately begin to harness the vitality of visual content for your own business. Find out more about our unique Ice Cream Model of Content Marketing with our handy video guide.