The Value of Visual Content Marketing

In 2013, $43 billion was spent on content marketing. In 2014, 71% of marketers are planning to significantly increase their spend, according to Curata’s fourth annual benchmark study. With some companies spending as much as 40% of the marketing communications budget on content marketing, getting the most bang for your marketing buck is essential.

The easiest way to do that is to give people what they want. It means being concise, unique and compelling. All of which translates to a simple content marketing mantra — be visual.

After all, our brains process visual content faster. Stories that use compelling visuals are more easily understood and remembered. And visuals help trigger emotions.

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Visual social media is growing fast.

Facebook, YouTube and Twitter are the biggest social media sites now, but sites and services like Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Vimeo, Tumblr and Slideshare are growing exponentially.

Because of this, many brands are discovering more exposure on social media than on their own website. Consider Skittles as an example. According to Comscore, their website attracted 23,000 unique US visitors in March 2012 while their Facebook page had 320,000 visitors — a 14-fold increase over Skittles.com. It’s now very common for brands to rack up more page views on Facebook than their own site.

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Images and videos matter in visual content marketing.

According to Facebook, successful posts are visual. Photo albums, pictures and videos get 180%, 120%, and 100% more engagement respectively. That is why Facebook is rolling out video ads that play in users’ news feeds.

People are 44% more likely to engage with content on social media that contains pictures, according to Hubspot. It translates into sales too. Customers are 51% more likely to make a purchase after “liking a brand on Facebook”. Pinterest drives sales directly from its website — of people with Pinterest accounts, 21% have purchased an item after seeing it on Pinterest.

And it’s not just consumers — the more multimedia you include in your press materials the more likely they will be looked at, according to a PR Newswire Data analysis of more than 10,000 press releases. Press releases with photos and video have a 48% increase over just a text only release.

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10 steps to using imagery to enhance your content marketing.

  1. Use unique and compelling imagery.
  2. Use imagery and graphics to add meaning and value to your story.
  3. Match the images appropriately to your brand.
  4. Balance the images and text so both have room to breathe.
  5. Show real looking people and avoid images that look like stock.
  6. Don’t make your images look like ads.
  7. Label your images with captions and Alt-text to improve SEO value and help visual readers.
  8. Size your images appropriately so they load quickly.
  9. Stay positive, since good news beats bad news on social networks.
  10. Use images appropriate to the medium and your audience.
Mark
By Mark Abrials CMO + Creative Director Follow me on LinkedIn and Twitter