The Power of Visual Content

August 1, 2015

The Power of Visual Content

How difficult is it to capture your prospects’ attention? Very. How easy is it to lose your prospects’ attention once you get it? Very. In this day and age of high demand for instant gratification and immediate results, attention span has become both a valuable commodity and a scarce resource. We marketers have to fight tooth and nail for every microsecond of attention we get from our prospects. Then we fight even harder to keep it because that’s the only way we can ever convert them into customers.


Unfortunately, our job is made extremely difficult because what we are trying to bring them -- information -- is precisely what they are trying hard to avoid. Information overload has turned around and bitten us in our collective behinds so that to succeed in winning the minds of our markets we have to find ways to cut through the clutter with content that is useful yet pleasing.


Fortunately, there are forms of content that manage to accomplish this quite effectively. Beyond the mind-numbing uniformity of text, more visually stimulating types of content are able to attract audiences and still convey information. Here’s a run-down of these visual content types.


Videos


Whether it’s cute and cuddly cats or some poor bloke executing the ultimate fail, videos have the power to captivate people. Beyond simply being entertained by events unfolding, video is also very effective in communicating ideas and messages that shape our opinions and impact our lives.


Photos


It’s such a cliche, I know, but a picture does paint a thousand words. Photos are almost as equally compelling as videos, and arguably just as effective in shaping minds and evoking feelings.


Graphic Images


Do you know what the most engaging posts on Facebook are these days? Images. Images with quotes on them, specifically. You may argue that it’s probably the quotation that drives the engagement, but then if you just post the quote alone, without the image background, do you think you will get the same level of engagement? It’s a visual world out there, and we are visual creatures.


Infographics


This is what a story would look like if you took away the words. And because stories are irresistibly engaging to humans, infographics tend to be interesting, at the very least. It helps, of course, that infographics appeal to the dominant human sense.


Slide Presentations


Everything we’ve mentioned above about the power of visual content holds true for slide presentations, which are sort of all of the first four types combined into a single graphic format. Slide presentations may contain video clip, but in themselves possess some kind of animation that tries to approximate the presence of motion in videos. They may contain photos and lots of graphic images so they appeal to the human sense of sight. They are also like infographics with a third dimension, so they unfurl a story as they move forward.


Challenges for Marketers


If creating visual content were easy, then we’d all be doing it. But we are marketers and therefore saddled by a few woeful realities.


  • We are masters of our products, but to create compelling graphic content we need to be intimate with our audience’s sentiments and interests.

  • We’re marketers, not designers. You may be one of those gifted with the aesthetic sense, but then you’d be the exception, not the rule.

  • Not every business has access to or can afford to hire artist-types to take care of these things for them.


No one said it would be easy, after all. But the opportunity is there. All you need to do is figure out how to make visual content work for your business.

And, don't forget, if you need free social media content scheduling tools we have them.

By Edwin Huertas
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