Written content is incredibly important in digital marketing, but the concept of visual content is catching up in terms of its importance and how much focus it receives.
Despite the growing importance of visual content, studies show marketers face challenges in how they implement these strategies and doing so effectively.
Recently, Adweek reported that during a Venngage survey of more than 300 marketers, 53 percent of respondents said that anywhere from 91 to 100 percent of the content they publish has visual elements.
More than 90 percent of survey participants said visual content is used in at least half of their posts.
With that being said, the survey also highlighted challenges. For example, fewer than eight percent of respondents stated that they got high engagement levels when using stock photos, but still, 35 percent use them most frequently.
When discussing visual content, it can refer to any number of things including images, videos, infographics and more. It’s important not just to see visuals, but to use them strategically to ensure you’re getting the most possible engagement.
The following are some trends that can help you boost your engagement in 2017.
Move Away From Stock Photos
If the research above indicates anything, it’s first that visual is incredibly important, but also that stock photos aren’t likely to get the results you want.
If you want to set yourself apart regarding visual marketing, try to avoid using stock photos as much as possible.
Stock photos tend to come off as boring, and unoriginal, which defeats the purpose of visual content altogether.
Consider Visual Storytelling
Visual marketing shouldn’t seem superfluous. It should seem like it has a point, and a good way to make sure that’s happening is through visual storytelling.
You can make it easy for yourself to create these visual stories by using a visual story platform that gives you the tools you need to set up and share your content.
Stories, as long as they have a human element, are an excellent way to build an emotional connection with your audience through visuals.
When In Doubt, Go With Infographics
Using visual content marketing can be difficult, particularly when it comes to doing it consistently. When in doubt, rather than automatically defaulting to stock photography, think about doing an infographic instead.
The trends are pointing to the growing prevalence of stock photography as a go-to for visual marketing.
They’re excellent regarding engagement potential because they’re inherently shareable, and there are plenty of platforms that make it easy to design a compelling infographic without any prior design expertise.
If you’re unsure of the importance of infographics, consider the fact that according to Digital Information World, 41.5 percent of surveyed marketers said infographics and other original graphics were most engaging for their audience.
That was significantly higher than any other form of visual content, including charts and data visualization, for which only 25.7 percent of marketers said had the most engagement.
These are just three of the many pervasive trends that are taking over visual content marketing and are showing themselves to be an important part of creating a connection with your audience in 2017 and moving forward.