Visual content marketing

What is Visual Content Marketing?

Visual content marketing is a practice that consists of getting a message across using images, videos or infographics. Today it is used in many ways and is an almost mandatory approach for anyone who wants to do marketing in 2020. So what are the different practices of Visual Content Marketing and why are they so effective?

An increasingly varied world

The collaboration between Marvel and GI Joe, launched in 1982, has resulted in the famous toy being included in the Christmas list of two out of every three American children. It is one of the first examples of successful visual content marketing. With the success of social media platforms such as Instagram or Youtube, the consumption of images and videos has exploded. Visual content marketing is proving to be an ideal approach to tell a story while conveying emotion, which is conducive to customer engagement with a brand’s content. Today, we are exposed to different forms of visual content marketing in every one of our sessions on the web or social networks. 

What are the different aspects of visual content marketing?

In the form of a “board”, like in the style of Pinterest and Instagram. Boards allow you to create areas with a strong visual identity. They are not simple relays for a brand’s posts, but are an integral part of a company’s content marketing strategy. Offering Pinterest boards or Instagram pages that are easy to visit is a key element in the success of a visual content marketing strategy. It is important to post on a regular basis, but to keep the users’ attention it is just as important to offer high quality content with a special attention to its aesthetics.

Included in a news feed: this is the most common way to consume visual content on social networks. On Twitter or Facebook, posts will be seen mainly at the time of publication because audiences rarely come back to them. On these social networks, what’s important is to display content that is quickly identifiable and that captures the target audience immediately. Indeed, these streams are saturated and it is necessary to be active daily and to post in a very regular way to reach most of your audience. Some will not hesitate to post the same content several times in different forms. This is where re-publishing tactics or content snacking tools such as HootSuite, Missinglettr come handy…

In a blog: the articles published on a company blog are essential to the good referencing of a website. To make the most of the time and energy invested in each article, it is obviously preferable that they be read! This is where visual content marketing comes in. The right images and graphics can be beneficial in attracting and engaging readers.

Video occupies a special place among a company’s visual content. They have an even greater power to attract than images and convey a lot of information and emotions in a short period of time. It is worth noting that videos posted on Youtube, for example, are generally viewed for the most part within a few hours of their publication, and then gradually see their view counts drop sharply. Conversely, other types of audiovisual content such as tutorials do not really “age”. They are permanently relevant and can be promoted several times after their first publication.

This list is not exhaustive: there are other formats of visual content marketing such as stories, micro-videos  Tik-Tok …) animated gifs and others. In an increasingly connected world where our attention is constantly in demand, capturing the listener is more and more difficult. Attention economy has become a science in its own right. 

To understand why and how visual marketing is so effective we need to ask ourselves: why are we so receptive to it?

Visual content marketing is “naturally” effective

In this article we observe that attention has decreased in recent years to an average of 8 seconds. It’s not that we’ve all become dumber than goldfish, it’s just that distractions and solicitations are more and more numerous! We are in contact with an increasing number of screens on a daily and almost permanent basis, and all these screens are sending us an increasing number of messages. It is estimated today that we are confronted with no less than 5,000 advertising messages per day. No wonder we’ve become addicted and that people’s minds are dropping off. 

In this context, visual content marketing is valuable because it is based on mechanisms that are deeply rooted in us. Indeed, the human brain is naturally attracted to movement. The very movement of a video or an animated gif can capture attention very effectively. Moreover, we learn in this MIT study that the human brain identifies an image in 13 milliseconds, another reason to favour this form of communication.

For all these reasons, visual content marketing is a practice that has an immediate impact.

Visual content marketing has a real impact on the audience

First of all, an Internet user only reads 28% of the words on a website (according to a study by Nielsen Norman Group). You must therefore be as brief and as synthetic as possible. This is where visual content marketing can help you. By enriching your articles with images and graphics, you can air out your texts and highlight important information without losing the reader in endless blocks of text.

On social networks too, images are key elements in the race for attention. Posts with images get 94% more views and 3 times as many shares.

Finally, it is estimated that twice as many Internet users prefer to watch a video than to read a text on a given subject. A video also makes it possible to transmit more information in a shorter period of time than when reading a text.

Visual content marketing is a powerful means of communication, provided of course that it is conducted and implemented in the right way and that the necessary know-how is available.

Constantly evolving know-how and technologies

By enabling a message to be quickly and above all to be more securely inscribed in the mind of the target audience, visual content marketing has become an essential lever for generating commitment to your campaigns in a digital landscape saturated with content and information. 

To address these new issues, companies have recruited Content Creators, Content Editors and Brand Content Managers to create content on a continuous basis. The role of these visual content marketing specialists is not only to produce this visual content, but also to keep up to date with the latest trends and marketing practices. Some content, such as memes, quickly go out of fashion as new memes appear. Keeping up to date with the latest trends is important to control the company’s image, especially on social networks (e-reputation). In order to carry out many effective visual content marketing campaigns, it is also necessary to equip oneself with the right solutions. Digital Asset Management software is necessary to store, organize and adapt the large volume of digital assets that the company will produce or acquire over time.

In the future, new trends are expected to emerge. Visual content marketing will include new formats with virtual reality that will offer new experiences and new types of content. Some of these contents should “gamify” and offer more and more interactive and personalized experiences. We can also imagine that 360° videos and other interactive videos that have developed more recently should become even more popular.

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