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Ten Reasons to Develop a Visual Content Strategy

Content marketing is not just about text. It embraces images, videos, infographics, slides and  other types of visuals. An effective visual content strategy supports your words and helps you educate, entice and inspire potential clients. Here are 10 reasons to use it.

1. Build Your Brand Identity

Brand identity requires more than a logo, a slogan and a WordPress Theme and a website template. A visual content strategy uses photos, video, art, infographics  and text images to create a memorable and recognizable brand persona.

2. Expand Your Reach

Mashable notes that people are more likely to share photos and videos than text content. Shared content extends your reach.

3. Emphasize Important Information

Pictures tell a story. Pictures also drive home important points. Clarify  essential information with a photo, video or infographic. There is a good reason why people talk about illustrating a point.

4. Simplify Complex Information

Did you ever try to read a text description of an exercise, dance move or athletic skill? Without pictures, the information gets lost in translation. The same applies to asking directions, they are much easier to follow with a map in front of you. A visual content strategy facilitates understanding, and shows off your impressive communication skills.

5. The Brain Processes Visuals 60,000 Times Faster Than Text

Mike Parkinson of Billion Dollar Graphics writes:

What we see has a profound effect on what we do, how we feel, and who we are. Through experience and experimentation, we continually increase our understanding of the visual world and how we are influenced by it. Psychologist Albert Mehrabian demonstrated that 93% of communication is nonverbal. Studies find that the human brain deciphers image elements simultaneously, while language is decoded in a linear, sequential manner taking more time to process. Our minds react differently to visual stimuli.

Parkinson goes on to explain that visuals get processed 60,000 times faster than text,  and that images trigger immediate emotional responses. Furthermore, graphics quickly affect our emotions, and our emotions have a profound effect on decision making. We base many important decisions on quick, intuitive emotional reactions.

6. Increase Time Spent on Your Page

“Sometimes a picture says a thousand words and video says 50,000 words,” explains Drew Smith, Director, Online Marketing, Attivio. After adding video to the company website, Attivio reported a 200% to 300%  increase in monthly unique visitors, 100% longer average time-on-site per visitor and a three minute  average time spent on pages with videos, as compared to 90 seconds spent on pages without video.

7.  Visual Content is the New Headline

David Ogilivy sometimes called the father of advertising, wrote that five times as many people read a headline as read the actual copy. Jason Miller of the LinkedIn Marketing Blog notes that images increase the power of the headline. To back up his opinion, he says that:

I have seen many instances of text-based content repurposed into a visual format and achieving 10-15 times more views than the original. That is a game changer in the world of content marketing.

Visual Content

8. Visual Content Adds Levity to Your Message

Marketing pages for high-tech products often suffer from geek-speak overload. Comic-based visual images add humor to a subject, while making content more readable for less technical audiences. The Content Marketing Institute shows how Google used comic content to announce the launch of their Chrome browser.

9. Curating Visual Content Is Easy

Most websites do not need high resolution photos, so you do not need to hire an expensive photographer. In fact,  you can snap photos with your iPhone or Android, and upload them to your site. When all else fails, many sites such as Compfight, Creative Commons and Wikimedia Commons have a diversity of photos you can use free of charge. Just remember to post the proper attributions. Furthermore, many infographic designers want you to share their masterpieces, as a means of displaying their expertise.

10. Posting Visual Content is Easy

You do not need tech or photo-editing skills to post visual content, especially if you use WordPress. For video, simply cut and paste the embed link into the text editor.

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