Visual Content, the Key to Conversion?

Content marketing, a method of using advertising to tell a story, is something which has been growing in popularity along with visual content, to the point where it is nearly ubiquitous. While this growth in popularity may or may not have been accompanied by a twinned growth in competency on the part of those using this method of marketing, it is definitely here to stay.

Content marketing is a way of softening the edges of an advertising campaign – it is most definitely not a hard-sell method of marketing. Rather than focusing solely on the product itself, content marketing focuses on telling a story of how people will benefit from it, trying to engage an emotional response from prospects in the hopes of turning them into clients.

Visual content and content marketing are almost a match made in heaven because we as humans are visual creatures – in the vast majority of cases, sight is what we rely on the most. It makes sense, then, that visual content would go a long way to influence prospects. Telling a story, or creating a scene to influence people who are viewing the advert, is very easily accomplished when video is used, and – due to us being visual creatures – we are increasingly likely to ask for or demand content in a form which most entertains us.

According to socialmediatoday.com:

  • It takes about 50 milliseconds for a new site visitor to form a first impression.
  • The brain processes images 60,000X faster than text.
  • Companies that create custom visual content have a 7x higher conversion rate.
  • Social activity that contains visuals has 40x more shares than text-only.

Since this is the case, it’s easy to see why so many companies are beginning to believe that visual content is the key to converting prospects into clients. People do not want to spend much time looking at or watching adverts, and when they do venture into the world of advertising, they want to be entertained. Visual content, such as infographics or short videos, allows marketers to present their goods and services in these forms; a prospect who is entertained or touched by an advertising campaign is much more likely to be persuaded into being a client than a prospect who remains unmoved.

While the popularity of visual content was perhaps an inevitable outgrowth of the popularity of content marketing, particularly since most people appear to be influenced by advertising campaigns which appear on the TV or some other screen in their lives, increased digitalisation does play a part in the story. More and more people are using mobile devices in their everyday lives, and advertising has to adapt to keep up with the change. Anything which takes more than about half a second to load on a mobile device has lost any chance of turning a prospect into a client – it makes sense that visual content would come to the fore against that background. Advertising is influenced by more than just changes in what people want – it is also influenced by the technology which it uses to reach prospects, which means that visual content will only become more entrenched in the advertising landscape.

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Arnt Eriksen. Simplifying the complexity
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