How about we show you how to increase the engagement rate of your double the number of social media posts and triple the time users spend with your content (and therefore your brand)?
Too good to be true to be you think Then pay close attention because it is possible!
By Visual Content.
That doesn’t mean, that from now on you should simply add any picture to any text. Rather, the goal is to communicate your message visually and to help the reader understand it.
A beautiful picture from the beach to the example arouses emotions, perhaps also memories, and creates a certain emotional state. However, this does not necessarily support the main message of the article (unless you are a travel blogger and describe your summer vacation) or lead to more conversions. But you can also influence that with the content design!
Visual Content Definition
What is visual content? As the name suggests, this is visual content designed to convey information. These can stand alone – as is the case with infographics, for example – or supplement other content, for example as an illustration of an article or a summary graphic.
Visual content should always be self-explanatory, which means it should also be understandable outside of the original context – such as a website. This is necessary to ensure its success, for example with regard to distribution via social media. In addition, visual content is distinguished from “normal” web design by its own function.
Form does not follow function, form is a function!
But why am I writing so much…?! Take a quick look:
Don’t you agree? Bill Slawski’s claim hits the nail on the head when it comes to the impact of visual content. From the advertising pillar to the TV commercial – marketing has always used visual means to communicate messages anyway.
Not without reason:
Visual information is processed faster by the brain and stored longer than written text and auditory signals. Images stimulate certain areas in the brain that we cannot reach through text or hearsay alone. As a result, we can remember information from images five to six times better, even after three days. Researchers refer to this scientifically proven finding as the “Picture Superiority Effect”. In addition, our brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text, and the color is one of the most effective ways to grab attention.
In addition, there is a decreasing attention span of users, coupled with the desire for faster information satisfaction – with a tendentially increasing number of competing offers.
Already knew? Every second person evaluates credibility based on the visual impression!
As a result, the increasing focus on visual content on the part of (online) marketers is only logical, because those who do not meet the needs of their target group risk losing them permanently.
In addition, visual content has great storytelling potential that goes far beyond mere advertising. Strictly speaking, this is not new either, just think of ancient cave paintings or the triumph of film and television. With the technical possibilities created by digitization and the multitude of online channels and platforms, the possibility of actively using this potential has increased significantly and visual storytelling has become an integral part of every comprehensive content strategy.
Content Design (2nd Edition)
With this book, you will learn to consider the conception and visual design of content holistically and to implement it in a targeted manner.
Learn more apart from that, we have actually always communicated visually, because ultimately gestures and facial expressions are nothing else. It’s also no surprise that emojis have become so popular, and that stickers are growing in popularity as well. Instead of saying/writing, we can show – through pictures, animations or video. They give our written communication an emotional component and are just plain fun – something that has become increasingly rare in marketing communication.
And here too we are still a long way from the end…
At this point, I recommend a quick look at the Intercom Blog and TechCrunch. Advantages & Special Features of Visual Content.
Visual content offers you a number of advantages that make it an essential content format for your content strategy:
Fast transmission of information: The human brain processes visual stimuli, as already mentioned, very quickly than all other impulses. Studies show that we can understand the meaning of images within 13 milliseconds. If you want to reach your target group quickly and also in situations where they have very little time, you cannot avoid visual formats.
Illustration: Visual content gives users a clear idea of your product or idea. For example, you can present complex facts clearly and easily in an infographic. You can inform or inspire your users very quickly. This, in turn, allows them to more quickly make a decision to what extent they want to react – for example, whether they want to buy your product or not.
90% of all purchase decisions are influenced by visual factors!
Social media affinity: Social networks are increasingly characterized by images and videos (keyword: video marketing), which significantly increases the interaction rate. For example, Facebook image posts are liked, commented on, and shared twice as often as low-media status updates. In general, the picture is the most shared type of contribution, ahead of your own opinion and links.
Emotionalization: So informative and important as they may be, lyrics aren’t exactly known for expressing great emotions solve. At least not in the short term and to the extent that visual content can. With an inspiring picture or funny video, you can address your users on an emotional level and stay in their memory longer.
Conversion increase: Visuals only improve the first impression and increase your credibility, but they also serve to draw the viewer’s eye – for example to important information or elements such as links and buttons. You can also use color, contrast, and size to influence perception and control the reaction (i.e. the action) of the user in your favor.
What visual content formats are there?
Visual content is basically not a separate format, but an umbrella term, the one range of visual media, each with its own characteristics and advantages. So let’s take a look at the most common formats currently:
Picture: Next to language, the image is probably the oldest medium of mankind. It does not require any text of its own and can be used for a variety of purposes. The image category includes photos and illustrations as well as screenshots, diagrams, or collages. Images can usually be created with reasonable effort or purchased from stock archives (see links below).
Infographic: Infographics are used for the visual bundling and processing of information and connections. They are good for a quick overview he to give complex phenomena and processes and have a high interaction rate (especially on Pinterest, but more on that in another article).
Motion image: Since pictures have learned to walk, they have enjoyed enormous popularity. The focus is primarily on videos, which are also the most popular content format on social networks. The challenge lies in designing them without sound. Apart from that, there are GIFs that mostly repeat amusing scenes in a continuous loop, as well as animations that can be used, for example, to show processes that cannot be filmed.
Comics and Memes: Memes are, so to speak, the little siblings of infographics. Like these, they have a high interaction rate, but use far less text and are mainly used for humorous (keyword: entertainment) or inspirational content. They are primarily used in social networks and can be created quickly and easily with the help of meme generators or image editing programs. Because of this, they are also ideal for responding quickly and pointedly to current events.
Text: The focus of texts is clearly on their content, but they are also perceived visually. The choice of font, color, and structure will help determine whether it will grab the reader’s attention. The quality of the content must be reflected in its presentation, true to the motto “reads as good as it looks”.
Presentations: Actually, presentations are a hybrid of the previous formats, but due to their utility and the availability of dedicated platforms like SlideShare, I won’t leave them out here. Quite apart from that, they add an interactive component that involves the user in a new way.