Visual content has been compelling for ages—ever since prehistoric humans adorned the walls of caves. And since the days of ClipArt, we've known that communication methods that include graphics grab the eye and influence engagement more than those without. However, today many companies don’t put visual content at the core of their company engagement strategies, which is a big mistake.
Visual content is vital to building company engagement because it communicates more effectively than verbal or written content, builds trust, and naturally motivates people to interact with content. Additionally, visual content can be added to almost any medium, whether you want to integrate images in your presentations, videos on your website, or graphics to your internal company communications. Here are just a few of the many reasons why visual content is so important for driving engagement.
As you know, strong communication is key to engagement because building a two-way conversation, whether with your consumers or your employees, starts with getting your message across effectively. The saying “A picture is worth a thousand words,” exists for good reason: 90 percent of information your brain absorbs is visual, and visual messages are processed 60,000 times faster than text. Also, according to Wyzowl, people remember only 20 percent of what they read and 10 percent of what they hear, but retain 80 percent of what they see.
This means that using visual content is positive in short and long-term strategies, because it can be used to communicate large amounts of information quickly in a way that people can easily and naturally absorb. How can you use visual content to your advantage? Use images, infographics, or video clips to convey statistics, data, and brand messages.
It’s impossible to build engagement without trust, and in business, trust is usually built through good customer service and a positive public image. We trust statistics because they demonstrate concrete facts; and in the same way, while words wield the power to distort, photos can’t lie. Anyone can make promises about a product or company plans, but only images and videos can really demonstrate what the product looks like or how the company has progressed. Trust from images matters. According to statistics, 67 percent of consumers rely more on product images than other customer’s ratings.
Most importantly, visual content should be core to your company engagement strategy because it’s easy—both to implement and for your consumers or employees to engage with. Visual content boosts social media and online engagement. In fact, images receive more engagement than both links and text on social media. For this reason alone, there’s no reason not to prioritize visual content in your company’s engagement strategies, because social media dominates web engagement, so adding visual content to your social media will drive it to the top.
The good news is that you don’t need to bust out an enormous budget to begin implementing visual content in your company engagement strategy. Start small by sharing others’ visual content online, building high-quality, unique visual content on your online channels, and integrating high-powered images and video clips to spice up presentations or slideshows. Test how your audience responds (and what they respond to) to form a full-fledged strategy that uses visual content to drive engagement.
Tom More is CEO and Founder of Slidely, a popular creator of Slideshows, videos and imagery.
To learn more about the guide to content creation, visit salesforce.com, or download the free e-book.