Using Visual Content to Increase Audience Engagement

Using Visual Content to Increase Audience Engagement

This week we caught up with Sandra Ponce de Leon, VP of Marketing at Trunx, to talk about the future of visuals and images in cloud storage, and the use of visuals in content creation. Trunx has been making headlines for their easy to use app that allows users to organize, store, share, and unify all of their images in a secure cloud storage environment.
Creating, using, and storing photos and graphics is new to many marketers, but creating and keeping images is something that has been happening in homes for centuries. The tools and apps now available open up new possibilities for visual content creation and storage for consumers and marketers alike.

The Trend Toward More Visual Content

At the beginning of 2014, many of the predictions about content marketing centered around the rise of visual content as one of the biggest areas of change for content marketers. The emphasis on social media and it’s visual nature, has challenged the word centric world of marketing. Highlighted trends included:

  • Videos
  • Infographics
  • Slideshares
  • Ebooks
  • Blogs

The reason for the trend is not hard to explain. Research shows that our brains process visual information more easily and quickly.  We tend to remember visual information more readily, and visuals are easier to understand. Knowing that visual information enhances understanding is not a new concept, the old adage, ‘A picture is worth a thousand words’ has never been truer than in today’s marketing ecosystem.

Making Visuals Count for Marketers

Making visual content count is an evolving challenge. Where clipart and stock photography used to reign, a bevy of image options now appear. Not only are there tons of graphic artists, photographers, and editors available – but there are now countless sites and apps to use to locate the best image and designer, purchase the needed image and secure licensing for brand use.
While there are tons of options out there for professional visual content, a trend that continues to rise is selecting images submitted by your brands users themselves. Videos, photos, and designs are all created by consumers and amateur artists – many of whom will trade their image for notoriety, a small fee, or an exchange of goods or services from the brand.
Using amateur imagery should still be done with caution – ensuring that proper licensing is secured, the resolution of the image or video is usable in the format the marketing team needs, and any other people that happen to be in the photo / video have given  necessary consent.
If you are going to go the route of stock photography, you can still put your own unique spin on it by changing the color saturation or making it black and white, having a designer add other elements to the image, or combining it with other images to create a new picture.
Video cannot be overlooked as an important trend, and optimizing videos for findability is an incredibly important practice, especially when spending marketing budget creating them. To learn more about video SEO, check out this blog post and this Slideshare for more.

If You Need Statistics

The statistics support what we already know. According to Hubspot, “Visual content makes up 90% of human communication and 40% of users online will provide better and more favorable responsdes to a particular piece of visual content than other plain and text-based content.” Statistics also point to the success of videos on landing pages, the popularity of posts with infographics, and positive impressions created by visuals.
For most marketers, the problem is not being convinced that visuals work, we all instinctively understand that.  The challenge is how to do it. Traditionally, the world of graphic design has been left in the hands of the advertisers, while the marketers refined their skills as wordsmiths. Be assured that no trend will go unnoticed by enterprising entrepreneurs. Some photo editing tools are already available for the marketing professional, and other tools, formerly in the realm of the consumer, may become useful for marketers as they enter this arena.