As the old adage goes, "A picture is worth a thousand words." In reality, visual content like photos, images, and videos are worth so much more in the grand scheme of your digital marketing strategy. Would you believe that you remember more of what you learn visually than what you read on-screen or in a book? In fact, studies have shown that people recall nearly 65 percent of the visual content that they see almost three days later; whereas, they only retain about 10 percent of written content in the same amount of time.
Of course, it goes without saying that written content is very important to your marketing program. A thoughtful mixture of written content and visuals will help your business show up more online, attract the attention of prospective customers, and convince and convert them into paying customers. For instance, on Facebook, images receive a 37 percent higher engagement rate than posts with text alone. Still not a believer? Here are 3 reasons to liven up your marketing with visual content.
3 Reasons to Liven Up Your Marketing with Visual Content
1. We Translate Visual Content Quickly
We are visual creatures! Humans respond to and process visual data better than any other type of data. In fact, the human brain processes visual content 60,000 times faster than text. That means that a picture is actually worth 60,000 words! Even more, 90 percent of information transmitted to the brain is visual. We observe, learn, process and decide with visual information.
If you're trying to get a message through to your leads, prospects, and current customers, then visual content is going to "speak to them" in an efficient and effective way.
2. Visual Content Lives in Long-Term Memory
If you want your prospective customers to digest and hold on to your message, then you want to play to their long-term memory. The way to ensure that they store information in their long-term memory is to pair your marketing content with meaningful images. Research has found that this tactic increases recall better than when a business uses solely audio or text in its marketing. Visuals work because they help people make sense of the content and direct their attention, increasing the possibility that the audience will remember your intended message.
According to Dr. Lynell Burmark, an expert on visual literacy, "...Unless our words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear. Words are processed by our short-term memory where we can only retain about seven bits of information." Dr. Burmark goes on to state, "Images, on the other hand, go directly into long-term memory where they are indelibly etched.”
In essence, if you want your leads, prospects, and customers to remember what you’re saying, then you need to leverage the power of visual content.
3. Visual Content Can Trigger Emotions
Emotions aren't just for personal relationships. Connecting with your customer on an emotional level breaks through the noise and develops that true brand loyalty (and repeat business) you yearn for. Because visuals are processed so quickly, they cause a faster and stronger reaction than words. Visuals help your audience engage with the content, and the emotional reactions your visuals elicit lead to a higher level of information retention.
These visuals evoke emotions because the visual memory is encoded in the medial temporal lobe of the brain, which is the same place where emotions are processed. The brain is set up in such a way that the visual content and subsequent emotional response are easily linked, together forming memories.
Putting It All Together
Now that you have a better idea of why visual content is so crucial to your marketing, the next step is incorporating it into your overall marketing strategy. Start by taking some photos and videos on your smartphone and adding them to your website, email marketing campaigns, or social media. The more "real" and "genuine" the photos, the stronger the connection with your audience.
Learn more about visual marketing in Bryan Caplan's webinar, "Pictures Speak Louder Than Words: Visual Content Strategies for Small Businesses."
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