Did you know that visual content is 40x more likely to be shared on social media?
You’ve probably noticed the explosion of visual content online over the last few years, even if just through your daily web browsing. I mean, do you remember seeing infographics 10—or even just 5—years ago?
Visual content is relatively new, but it has taken over the internet like a swarm flash mobbers taking over Penn Station. That’s why Instagram is becoming the most popular social media platform amongst ‘the cool kids’.
Visual content is no longer simply an added bonus or a good boost for your content; including it in your website’s content is critical to drawing people’s attention and engagement. After all, infographics are liked or shared 3x more than any other type of content! So, if you want your content to keep up (and be able to compete against the appeal of infographics), you have to include visuals (images, graphics, or video) in your content.
Visual content is a must. If you want to engage and attract readers, you need visuals.
Why do visuals work?
I used to think that visual vs. auditory learners were split right down the middle. Fifty-fifty.
Well, it turns out that 65% of people out there—the majority—are visual learners.
Visual learners have a natural affinity to images and colors. Not only do visual learners pay more attention to content with images, but they also understand it better. Because we digest it more efficiently, we are able to engage with the content more easily.
Incidentally, visuals also appeal to more than half of the readers on the Internet.
These days, people have an innate psychological attraction to content with visuals: presentations with visuals are 45% more persuasive than those without. This preference may have to do, in part, with the way we consume information.
Through the Internet, people are much more likely to see and interact with visuals than, say, 10, 20, or 30 years ago. I mean, when our grandparents were growing up, information was shared and consumed almost strictly through text. But nowadays, between TV advertisements, print advertisements, and ESPECIALLY digital content, we are almost completely surrounded by visual information. Consequently, our society has adapted psychologically to live in unison with visual information and, arguably, we have become more attracted to visual learning as a result.
Visual content is simply more appealing than content that merely comprises a text and link. While text is informative, it’s not attractive. I mean, look at these two tweets and decide for yourself… which one is more attention-grabbing?
How about the following Facebook posts—which would you rather click?
I rest my case.
“But, how can I actually incorporate visuals into content?”
At this point, you might be asking, “How can I actually use visuals in my content?”
Well, Sprk’d has got your back. Here are some of the most useful ways to beautify your content so as to make it more attractive for your target audience:
Social Media Images
As we saw above, social media messages are way more attractive when an image is attached. As such, make sure than 100% of your social messages are accompanied by an image. By attaching images that are relevant to your message, you can draw in your readers with a powerful and enjoyable hook
Infographics are pieces of content that leverage graphic design to share useful information. Instead of only using text to share an opinion, fact, or interesting piece of information, you can strengthen your point by emphasizing it graphically. It’s sort of like pictionary:
Presentations are no longer confined to boring meetings or important corporate deals. Nowadays, you can easily use presentations to share information with a broad audience. One excellent platform for doing so is Slideshare. You can effectively engage visual learners simply by uploading a presentation filled with images, visuals, and even dynamic video to SlideShare.
A lot of people out there say that video is quickly becoming the standard for digital content. Have you noticed seeing more videos in your every-day browsing? I have. Videos provide you with an excellent avenue for communicating flexibly and efficiently: through them, you can incorporate the trifecta of verbal communication (arguably the most efficient way of sharing information), text, AND images. Besides, people love videos. Oh, hey, while you’re at it—check out this hilarious video.
A call-to-action is an attention-catching, clickable image that helps moves your readers along in the customer’s journey. Calls-to-Action are ideal because they don’t just attract people through visuals, they actually turn viewers into active participants:
eBooks are longer pieces of content that share a lot of valuable information with readers. But, instead of just sharing this information through text (like a White paper, for example), eBooks incorporate as much design as they do text. Through an eBook, you’ll produce a highly visual and attractive piece of content that is also dense with valuable information.
What to do if you aren’t a graphic designer
“But I’m not a graphic designer.”
Yeah, me neither. My design skills are pitiful. But don’t worry: there are ways around this. You don’t have to hire or even be a trained graphic designer to effectively incorporate visuals into your content. For one, here is an amazing online tool called Canva that helps you create graphics, even if you have little to no design experience. If you struggle with graphic design, this website is your salvation.
The world is changing. Content is different these days. Robots are taking over. Ok, just kidding—robots aren’t taking over—but content is changing regardless, so start creating your own graphics today, and make sure your content ALWAYS has visuals!