Marketing is a quick and ever-evolving business, but this year saw significant changes in the way the industry prioritizes visual content. Trends show that marketers utilizing visual content effectively saw significant increases in the areas of blog traffic, inbound customer acquisitions, social media engagement and conversion rates.
This trend mirrors consumer actions. Viewers uploaded more video and images this year than any before. This is the time to show and tell – or be overlooked.
Over the past year, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram have boosted the importance and prominence of visual content.
66% of all social media posts include visuals.
Last year we saw 15 distinct trends emerge:
1. People and brands increased video 3.6X in Facebook’s News feed. (Source)
2. Tweets with images received 150% more retweets, 89% more favorites and 18% more clicks. (Source)
3. Posts with photos saw the most engagement, a massive 87% of total interactions – as assessed from the top 10% of posts made by more than 30,000 Facebook brands. Via Socialbakers.com
5. Retweets increase by 35% if a photo is added to the tweet URL. (Source)
6. Images and/or photos are the most valuable way to optimize social media posts. (Source)
7. Visual content is key in all top 5 most effective B2B marketing tactics
8. 70% of marketing professionals intend to increase original visual assets in this year. (Source)
9. The 3 foremost content formats B2B buyers seek out to research purchasing decisions are: White papers (78%), Case Studies (73%), and Webinars (67%). (Source)
10. B2C marketers more often use original video and original visuals when compared with B2B marketers (63% B2C v. 56% B2B). (Source)
11. 95% of B2B buyers agree to preferring shorter content formats. (Source)
12. Infographics were the most adopted form of B2B marketing content this year, from 9% to 52% – while video content increased from 8% to 58%. (Source)
14. The average number of content formats used by B2B marketers is 12-14. (Source)
15. Due to more easily digestible and interactive formats like video, white papers was a decline in popularity with B2B content marketers. (Source)
These 15 trends signal that content, mostly blogging and social media, are on the upswing for visual assistance. Visuals get maximal distribution because they increase engagement.
Content with images gets 94% more views than content without – regardless of the industry or niche. Blog posts with images get 35% more re-shares. What will that mean for you?
Here are 6 tips to show you how to optimize for the new market reality.
1. Use a featured image at the start of every article
Also: Including this same image in the snippet section of the blog’s main page will draw further attention to the content down the page.
2. For every 350 words, place one image
For an average 2,000 word blog post, this means six images. Make sure to space these images regularly, as the visual will allow readers to “breathe” between the text and better engage with the content.
3. Define a style – and stick to it
Your branded image should have a recognizable aesthetic. This will help viewers recognize you amidst the rest of online content. With an increased identity and visibility of your brand, content distribution and and retention increase.
Take Red Bull for example. From the edgy aesthetic, to the action-heavy pics to the extreme color-ways, Red Bull branding ensures that when you see their content you’re immediately cued into who you’re engaged with.
4. Use a variety of images
Graphs and charts – The explanatory text for a graph or chart is quite complicated compared to such visual simplicity.
Stock images – Easy to edit, quick to find and mostly inexpensive. Don’t rely upon these too much, they’re stock and it shows.
Custom images – The ideal, but most costly option. More readily communicates your brand style and message.
Cartoons or comics – Break for humor, we could all use a laugh.
Memes – Occasionally appropriate.
Screenshots – Great for tutorials and how-to’s.
5. Garnish custom photos with your logo
Take ownership of your images and utilize the powerful resource that is your brand. Once an image is created, you own it (given proper licensing) and if anyone else tries to use it, it’s got your logo on it. An image with a logo engages readers at the start of the article while simultaneously affirming brand loyalty.
6. Put an alt tag on custom images
Alt tags are simple parts of HTML code that name your image. The “alt” will describe the image for search engines and browsers and increase your SEO. Readers will also see the descriptive alt tags as they scroll across the image.
This is image SEO marketing too. Search engines employ alt tags to index and deliver search results. When properly tagged, images are more likely to display in search results. The best ranked images also appear on the main search results page, not just the images page.
Visual content is the emergent marketing method to ensure customer interaction and engagement.
Consumers today expect not only a content-rich experience, but content diversity as well. By integrating visual originality and your logo into visual assets you can increase viewership and enthusiasm for you brand. Obviously, Instagram and Pinterest are greats ways to get visual appeal across mediums as well. As always, be sure to invest time and energy in quality content – and make sure it’s got curb appeal too.