Social media has become a melting pot of white noise. For your brand to penetrate that noise and actually make any meaningful contact with your intended audience, you have to be ahead of the pack these days.
And being ahead of the pack, in no small way, means that your content needs to be visually engaging. Our news feeds and facebook walls are overflowing with what people did for lunch today or how tasty their grandma’s apple pie was or how much they love pizza and rosé wine, or how they “literally can’t even” – whatever that means, it’s become a battle for attention.
Visual content is no longer just a good idea, but an essential one. Especially when you’re talking about marketing and digital PR. According to a Digiday and Chute survey, visual content can be up to 10 TIMES more effective than plain text.
Think about it in terms of pure real estate: a text update could occupy a height of about 50 pixels, whereas an image could take up 500 pixels. So it would make sense then (in terms of the numbers) that a visual post would be 10 times more effective – because it’s 10 times bigger / more visible.
In the same survey, it is estimated that about one-third of budgets are now being spent on visual marketing, which is up from about 25% in 2014. And almost 80% of that visual content is owned, original graphic designs or images. In other words, they aren’t just buying stock images off the web and throwing it up on their channels, they are hiring visual professionals (designers and photographers) to create original content.
A lack of time or staff resources could pose the biggest challenge to creating effective visual marketing. The process is after all manual, and labor intensive. That’s why so many companies are now leaning on the expertise of outside providers and agencies.