Social media marketing professionals should take note of these insights, particularly as social platforms grow more visual in nature. The success of Instagram and Pinterest were built largely on the premise that consumers like image-heavy content that catches the eye. That’s why Facebook and Twitter have both worked to improve their support of media-rich content.
And those efforts are being met by strong evidence that a visual content strategy is paying off. In a press release, DCI CEO Venkatesh C.R. had this to say:
Facebook data shows that posts with visuals result in dramatic upswing in user engagement, YouTube’s colossal video stockpile has made it the second most popular search engine after Google, and retweets increase exponentially on Twitter when the tweet contains visual content.
Retail websites have seen an impressive bump—both large images and the presence of video on those sites increased conversion rates by 46 percent, as stated in the infographic.
Social media marketing, meanwhile, gains from a share rate that is three times greater for visual content than what text and other content experience. Infographics also seem particularly successful at breaking down complex subject matter and delivering it to consumers in an accessible way.
Overall, the infographic advocates a much deeper investment into visual content, and that will require marketers to take another look at their present content strategy. According to CMO Council, nearly one-quarter of all chief marketing officers devote five percent or less of their total budget to visual content measures. Fourteen percent don’t even give visual content its own budget line.
Meanwhile, an understanding of visual content’s value seems to be mixed. While 79 percent see the value of video as increasing, only 60 percent said that was the case for infographics, and just 50 percent for photos—even though all of these trigger engagement in similar ways.
Based on the available data, a brand’s content strategy should strongly consider increasing its investment into visual content, or at least singling it out as its own line item and evaluating its ROI in a limited capacity.
Infographics are best deployed when digesting large amounts of information or complex subject matter, and they are more effective at spurring on comprehension than tapping into audience emotions. Photos and video are better outlets for content targeting consumer emotions, although video can be used in informative ways as well. In either case, photos and videos should be a more integral part of any brand’s website, creating eye appeal and increasing engagement throughout the site. Infographics should be deployed where they can be useful as an informative tool.
It’s often tough for management to hear that another strategy requires a budgetary commitment, but the evidence endorsing visual content is strong—and if the numbers on engagement and conversion rates are right, smart spending will more than pay for itself.
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