Why Visual Content is Key to Being Successful With Social Media Marketing
If you haven’t noticed already, we are spending more and more time on our smartphones these days. When we are not browsing through photos on Instagram, we are watching videos on Facebook, or liking and sharing images and memes. It is safe to say that visual content has gained a tremendous amount of popularity in the recent past.
As people are getting busier, the need for instant gratification is increasing, and attention spans are decreasing. Levels of patience are going down as well. People just don’t want to read anymore. Visual content is instantly transmitted without a waiting period and doesn’t require any effort to consume. This is probably why images and videos are getting the kind of attention that they do on social media platforms in terms of likes and shares.
In today’s world, we are dealing with a new reality, a world of information overload. What our brain chooses to pay attention to depends on its nature: the more easily and quickly information can be understood, the more likely we are going to stop and notice it.
According to 3M Corporation, the processing of visual information by the brain takes place 60,000 times faster than text-based information.
BuzzSumo, a popular social media analytics tool, evaluated over 100 million Facebook updates and found that updates which had images received 2.3 times more engagement than those updates that did not have any images.
Visual content is a powerful tool in social media marketing. Companies are cashing in on this trend and are creating innovative visual content as a part of their brand strategy. Social media marketing is only effective if you are aware where people are looking. Earlier forms of marketing were primarily text-based. In current times, visual media grabs more eyeballs and also complements textual information.
In another study, a one million article evaluation conducted by BuzzSumo, a comparison between articles with more images versus articles with fewer images revealed that articles which had an image inserted after every 100 words or so were shared twice the number of times compared to the articles which had more text and fewer images.
The message is clear: articles interspersed with relevant images lead to higher engagement and are far more effective in social media marketing campaigns. A similar conclusion arose from a study by Buffer on Twitter trends. They found that tweets with images got 150% more retweets than those without images:
Social networks are moving towards visual forms of communication to keep up with the times. Applications like Snapchat and Instagram, which are entirely based on visual content have exponential growth and have surged in popularity.
Business Insider had come out with an article about Snapchat’s growth in terms of their daily active users. Their numbers have gone up from 50 million in the first quarter of 2014 to 161 million users in the fourth quarter of 2016.
Source: Business Insider / Snap
Other social networks which are not exclusively visual are also adding more visual features to their platform to stay relevant and retain their user base. For example, Facebook recently added the live video feature. It’s a fun way to connect with your audience through live video streaming, which is automatically recorded and archived and can be watched later.
While visual content is important for the social media marketing of a company, what’s equally important is how well the content ties in with the brand’s characteristics and enhances brand recall. Simply using memorable images or videos is not enough, companies also have to ensure that visual media creates the right associations for their brand. A well-defined brand strategy strikes a balance between the quantity of visual content and the relevance of the content in terms of the brand’s personality.
If you are interested in learning more about how visual content can help with your social media marketing campaign, Results Driven Marketing can help! Our team of experts is focused on helping you increase traffic to your website and boosting your Google rankings. If you would like to learn more, contact us at 215.393.8700.