Visual content: why a picture really will be worth a thousand words in 2017

Visual content marketing – Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, and Tumblr. These platforms are at the top of their game for social media and sharing content, and they all have one thing in common; a focus on visual content instead of text.

This is true for Facebook and Twitter as well, the giants of social media. For platforms which rely heavily on text-based content, both sites have been developing new ways to engage with visual content. In 2016 Facebook rolled out its new live video function, and Messenger’s new update makes it even easier to privately send photos. In 2013, Twitter put inline pictures in tweets, and it was the best thing since sliced bread. The popularity of visual content is clear; tweets with images receive 150% more retweets (and therefore more exposure) than tweets without images, and on Facebook, posts with images see twice as much engagement with other users than those without images.

It is quick and easy to upload a photo to social media, even taking into consideration the time it takes to pick the perfect filter.

Visual content marketing is on the rise because of its accessibility. It is quick and easy to upload a photo to social media, even taking into consideration the time it takes to pick the perfect filter. It’s the easiest content to share online, and it’s the easiest content to share; to catch up with what your friends and family are doing. The statistics back me up. A recent study found that 42% of 18-29 year-olds visit Instagram at least five times a day, and half of those surveyed only browsed content which had been posted by others, instead of creating their own.

Marketing needs to embrace visual media; instead of focusing on reviews of products, developing videos of people touching, feeling, interacting with products is far more engaging. Social media trends for the year ahead are predicted to focus less on the durability of features and more on immediacy with the continuing development of live video and short-form content. This could be invaluable; applying ‘the fear of missing out’ (#FOMO) to marketing stunts and products. Once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Infographics are ‘liked’ and shared on social media three times more than other any other type of content

It’s not just the standard pretty photographs which are the most popular on social media either, although everyone is a sucker for a beautiful puppy picture or a stunning scene from nature. Infographics are ‘liked’ and shared on social media three times more than other any other type of content, which shows that pictures can be covered in text, as long as it looks good, as long as it looks vivid. The way forward is clear; we have to treat pictures as content, instead of just throwing a one on as a header for the usual text-based content. When one website introduced relevant pictures throughout their usual text posts, their traffic on Pinterest increased by 62.5%. Another study analysed over a million articles, and found that articles with an image once every 75-100 words received double the social media shares as articles with fewer images.

It’s proof; articles are funnier, more touching, more engaging and vibrant when there is more visual content, and marketing strategies which involve pictures more will get the same response.

In our next articles we’ll be exploring some of the tools and tactics you can deploy to get visual without the need to spend thousands on photography or an expensive design house!

Stay tuned for more advice on visual content! If you’re looking to get started with more visual content in 2017, but not sure where to start and how to keep things ‘on-brand’ then get in touch with us for a chat.


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