The truth is that people engage more with visual media; video, infographics; GIFS, and static photos that are clickable (linking through to another page). You’ll probably find that the average time spent on the page will be less, but page views tend to be significantly higher.
Having said this, they should stand alone, but rather be incorporated with quality, organic content. The aim is to have viewers spending more time on the site and by amalgamating these elements; this is a great recipe for success.
The era of online visual storytelling is firmly entrenched in today’s ‘consumer society’. According to an article published in The Guardian, ‘almost 50% of the world is online.’ – and it’s become evident they are craving visual content over tons of text. So, this begs the question, ‘What – and how – do we achieve this need?’ The answer involves a number of factors.
The impact of HTML5
October 28, 2014 was the day that HTML5 was released and opened a plethora of previously uncharted visual content avenues. Suddenly, we were able to view more visual content on our mobiles and desktops.
According to Search Engine Journal, ‘Image-based content started to gain traction through the rise of the smart phone camera, as more and more people started to share their everyday images on their social networks. The popularity of image-based content saw the creation of purely image-based social networks such as Pinterest and Instagram.’
In the nine years since the release of HTML5, the ‘rather show, not tell’ strategy has grown exponentially and there are no signs that this juggernaut will be slowing down. In fact, it’s increasing rapidly, and businesses need to be constantly adapting their materials and the way in which they display them so that the reader remains interested.
The mobile and HTML5 combo
Combined with HTML5, the most applicable reason for the need for visual-based content, is the smartphone, which gives us the ability to view endless amounts of content while we’re on the go.
The visual challenge for brands:
How to make their content stand out from competitors on a small screen? Thus, began the fight for visual content supremacy within the marketing industry. Another crucial question: even if we have effective visual content, how do we monetize it?
This brings new dynamics into the strategic plan such as the user journey (UX), the user interface (UI), and paid advertising. These fundamentals need to be engineered (with the visual content in mind) to not only pique the users’ interest but if they click through, give them an easily navigable UI for them to reach the intended objective.
Visual tools to enhance your marketing strategies!
Visual-based platforms such as YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat, Instagram, and LinkedIn, have a massive digital footprint – so, from a purely logical standpoint, incorporate them into your marketing strategies.
On a high level, using visuals will communicate your brand’s identity, core message, values, and positioning in the market a lot faster than using pure text.
Furthermore, visuals help create a comprehensive relationship between your brand and the user, building trust and credibility. All of these elements play an important role in:
- Driving organic traffic to your site
- Increase leads and conversions
- Reach your target audience
- Increase your digital footprint
- Provide valuable metrics to gauge whether you’re achieving your objectives. If not, then it’s time to rethink your strategies and possibly your overarching business model.
In summary, agencies’ content marketing strategies need to be focused on a marriage between lessening text – but at the same time, not sacrificing its quality – and carefully selected visuals that enhance the users’ experience. This is the way forward to using this new brand of content marketing to increase leads and conversions.