27.10.2020

Visual content

A picture is worth a thousand words. Sorry, but there is no better introduction to this topic!

"Content is king" - this is true in principle. But this is only true if the content is actually good enough. There are many types of worthwhile content - pictures are definitely one of them.

Nowadays, content without images is unthinkable. If the content has at least one visual element, it is shared twice as often on social media A than without it, according to the study by Buzzsumo and Okdork.com. Authentic, unique images are particularly effective because they arouse emotions in users. Visual content marketing" therefore means the integration of visual content on a website or various social media platforms.

Why is image content so important?

The metaphor "a picture is worth a thousand words" has been around for a long time and still holds some truth today. Images can be used to convey messages or complex contexts in a compact and entertaining way within a few fractions of a second. What's more, visual content stays in people's memories longer than pure text.

The use of image content is important because it loosens up the text and gives the user the feeling that he or she can skim and understand the text without much effort. Finally, the matching images to the text enhance the design visually, underpin it with their depictions, make it more comprehensible and thus make it easier for the user to consume. Common examples where image content is highly appreciated and loved by users on the web are handicraft or building instructions.

However, care should always be taken to ensure that the images used tell the same story as the text itself, as this is the only way to create a coherent and meaningful reading flow for the user. There are also exceptional cases where you may not find suitable images. In such cases, it can often be effective to use a funny, amusing or provocative image. However, again, it is essential to create a bridge between the image and the text in order to integrate the image into the text.

Content marketing content with visual elements such as images demonstrably achieves more views than content without graphic integration, and is also intended to increase user engagement.

Visual content gets straight into the mind

With visual content, you can not only stand out from the competition and achieve higher engagement rates, but also be perceived more quickly by customers and consumers. The human brain perceives visual content 60,000 times faster than purely textual elements. In addition, more than half of the information processed by the brain is visual.

What types of visual content are there?

The types of visual content images are many, ranging from traditional photos, to videos, cartoons, motion graphics, slideshows, memes, GIFs, infographics and more. These elements are just a few ways that companies can visually underpin and support their storytelling on their own posts.

Many companies use classic stock photos, which is not objectionable. However, care should be taken not to use a conventional 0815 stock photo in order to attract the user's interest and attention.

Basically, homemade photos are always the most beautiful, meaningful and unique, but they require a lot of work. Collages offer a refreshing change from single images and can show different perspectives at once while saving space. Illustrations, on the other hand, have a similar effect to infographics. They help the user to memorise relevant content and information and to convey it clearly. Even complex issues can thus be presented in a simplified way and made more accessible. Memes are humorous inserts and are usually used when, as already mentioned above, no other suitable image is available. The problem with the use of memes is the legal situation; it is usually not entirely clear or difficult to find out who the original creator is. So-called GIFs are primarily used on social media channels to attract attention. They are used when a graphic should not only be static and still, but should also show isolated animated motion sequences. Infographics can be used to present text-heavy posts in a better and more comprehensible way.

However, it should always be ensured, regardless of which visual element is involved, that the respective authorisation for one's own use has been obtained, otherwise penalties may be imposed!

When are images good for content?

If contributions are to be enhanced with image content, certain points must be observed:

  • The images should always be adapted to the context and not be too small, have good colour saturation and not appear blurred or out of focus, and there should also be sufficient contrast.
  • It is essential that the images are integrated in places that are appropriate for the content, so that the image can support the text.
  • The images should have the optimal dimensions: they should be as small as possible, as large as necessary and under no circumstances should they be scaled down in height and width on the website!
  • The image should be displayed as an enlarged zoom version with one click (zoom version appears in Google's image search ranking).
  • In most cases, the licences for a picture are bought from picture agencies, but you should always pay attention to the general terms and conditions of the picture agencies to make sure that you are allowed to use the picture for your own purposes, otherwise you may be subject to high penalties. 
  • Free alternatives to image agencies are images that are subject to Creative Commons licences. In this case, however, it should also be ensured that the image may be used as desired
  • .Your own images are best suited for content, but you should make sure that no personal rights are violated.
  • In certain exceptional situations, you may not be able to find a suitable image. In this case, you should rather use a funny, amusing, provocative picture, as this can be more effective. Here, however, it is especially important to create a bridge between the image and the text!
  • In general, text and images should always be inserted homogeneously into each other. 

Why is visual content marketing important for companies?

In toda's time, users are exposed to an infinide flood of information. Therefore, only a tiny moment decides whether the message is perceived or accepted by the target group. If you flood the user with non-expressive content instead of making the important things visible at first glance, you usually lose. The solution is therefore visual content marketing. First and foremost, infographics are ideal for clearly presenting important and complex issues and contexts and making them more comprehensible to the user. They are also shared more frequently in social networks and thus increase brand awareness. It has been proven that companies that offer their users infographics show an average traffic increase of as much as 12%.

The following figures show how important visual content is for companies in actual practice:

  • Facebook posts that contain images have a 94% higher engagement rate than a text-only post
  • Tweets on Twitter with visual elements are retweeted 150% more often
  • Videos on landing pages increase conversion rates by up to 86

Conclusion

Visual content marketing therefore not only increases the engagement rate, but also ensures a higher reach for companies. Other advantages that result from the use of visual content in one's own content are, for example, a better SEO ranking, an increase in awareness or even sales growth. As a company, you should definitely create creative content, use it and take a closer look at it, because it's not called "image info before text info" for nothing.

Sources:

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