What is it about visual content that resonates with audiences in a way that language alone can only dream of? Images, videos, infographics and memes have a way of quickly translating stories, ideas and messages, with images being processed 60,000 times faster in the brain than text.

By our very nature, humans are visual beings. Think about cave painting, the way in which humans communicated, entertained and expressed themselves for thousands of years. Here we are, thousands of years later, and humans have not lost the desire to visually share stories and connect with others through the use of imagery. Now, we are living in a visual age, where the majority of people have the ability to capture an image at the click of a button, and where complex information is readily communicated to audiences through the use of infographics.

 

So what does this mean for my content?

The better we understand the brain and the way in which it creates meaning, the better we can communicate right? We know that 4 times as many consumers would prefer to watch a video about a product than read about it, and those in social media circles will be aware that Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than those without images. Similarly, Facebook posts with images see 2.3 times more engagement than those without.

Source: Buffer

Needless to say, visuals should be integrated into your content strategy. Regardless of who you are and the message you are trying to communicate, you need to be using visual content to clarify ideas, enrich meaning and spark inspiration amongst your audience.

There are various types of visual content which come in the form of:

·      Videos

·      Photos

·      Memes

·      Infographics

·      Sketchnotes - Last week saw the return of Bristol Social Media Week, the global conference hosted in over 25 cities worldwide. Those of you who followed the conference as keenly as I did will have noticed the way in which Sketchnotes were used to capture key messages of events and talks, to be shared on social media within minutes. Clever huh?

 

Trends

With Instagram’s increasing popularity (over 800 million monthly active users would you believe it?), businesses are rapidly increasing their adoption of the visual platform to promote their brand or products. People are spending more time than ever on Instagram and over 4.2 billion posts are being ‘liked’ a day, so you can see why businesses wanting to grow their audience and connect with consumers are quickly falling in love with the social media network. Clearly, I’m not alone in saying that I can quite happily browse Instagram for an hour at a time – it’s reassuring to know my habits are in line with the latest Instagram figures.

 

On a similar note, for those of you who don’t know that social video is a big deal – it is. More than 100 million hours are watched on Facebook every single day, whereas Snapchat has been reported to have video views reaching 10 billion daily. More and more platforms are supporting video content and live streaming features, with Facebook deeming live video streaming as ‘a fun, engaging way to connect with your followers and grow your audience.’ With video and live streaming only set to increase in popularity in 2018, perhaps now is the time to consider integrating this into your content strategy.

 

Key take aways

If you’re not already regularly using visual content, start now.

If your visual content is somewhat lacklustre, improve it. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to capture the imagination of your audience and to stimulate engagement.

If you’re not already using visual platforms, such as Instagram, and incorporating video into your online strategy, you’ll be left behind.

 

If you’re wondering how to optimise your visual content, or even get started, get in touch with the team at SONDR™ on hello@sondr.co.uk to discuss your options. Here at SONDR™, we’re all about the concept that everyone has a story to tell - we have a team of trusted specialists that have a knack for translating your story and resonating with your audience.

 

 

 

 

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Ailis Campbell

Ailis works directly with clients to guarantee they reach their full potential and are delighted with the service they receive from SONDR™.