Nearly every marketer, large and small, is now producing content to attract, engage and convince buyers online by showcasing their brand's value. In their B2B Content Marketing Report, published for 2015, Content Marketing Institute (CMI) reports that 70% of marketers are producing more content than they did one year ago. This makes the competition for web searchers' attention even more of a challenge for everyone, not to mention those just dipping their toes in the content waters.
All indications are telling us that visual content is the answer to setting yourself apart from the sea of content being produced today. New enhancement tools are making it easier and more cost-effective to create professional, original visual content. Online tools like Piktochart, Canva and PowToon are turning the average content marketer into a graphic designer and image producer.
Important Stats on Visual Content
In this post, we present 10 statistics that support the advice that visual content is the way to make your message stick with web searchers.
Creating original visual assets is at the top of marketers' lists for skills to learn in 2015 (Source: SMExaminer)
Social Media Examiner cites the fact that marketers are eager to learn how to create their own visual content assets. With so many tools available, even marketers with limited resources can easily find ways to create original visual content for their content strategies. This will become even more important as we progress further into 2015 and see more and more unique visual assets enter competition for searchers' attention.
Video and infographic production is on the rise
In 2014, the use of video content in B2B marketing increased by 8% (to 58%); the use of infographics increased 9% (to 52%) in digital marketing plans. (Source: demandgenreport)
B2B marketers are on board when it comes to the trend toward visual content. This shows in the steady increase in the use of video and infographics by these marketers. Those who dedicate more budget and resources to creating these assets will benefit by putting themselves in front of searchers and buyers increasingly attracted to visual content.
Facebook posts containing photos accounted for 87% of all network interactions in 2014 (Source: eMarketer)
Clearly, Facebook users are both sharing and responding to posts with photos. Posts that encourage interaction are those that contain images. Marketers using Facebook to share ideas about their business must employ images, or risk missing out on valuable connections. If your Facebook posts are primarily text, consider, at a minimum, adding photos or images to your posts now!
95% of B2B buyers prefer short content formats (Source: demandgenreport)
Short content, or snackable, formats are high on the list for B2B buyers in the awareness stage of the buying process. B2B buyers are interested in accessing quick, educational content when considering products or services. This engaging content can lead them further down the funnel toward your solution. These 'snackable' formats include online visual content like infographics, short videos and graphic quotes.
marketers see images and photos as crucial to social media
Images and photos are seen by marketers as the most important way to optimize social media posts. (Source: Software Advice)
Promoting social media posts can increase retweets and shares of your content. This can be done in several ways — with good writing (in about 140 characters), hashtags and, most importantly, according to marketers, through images and photos. A little extra effort to include relevant visuals in each and every post can increase post views and shares greatly.
The image below shows a breakdown of the most important ways marketers optimize their social media content, with images and photos leading the way.
Facebook video posts have increased 3.6 times
Facebook reports the amount of video posted by users (both individuals and brands) has increased by 3.6 times in the period from Jan. 2013 to Nov. 2014. (Source: Facebook)
Facebook remains one of the top-used platforms for social media, by both individuals and businesses. Facebook reports over 4.75 billion pieces of content (posts) daily as of May 2013 and boasts over 1.39 billion active monthly users in January 2015. Video posts and video that accompanies a Facebook message is constantly on the rise, as this content leads to the most interaction with viewers and followers.
Tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than those without (Source: buffer)
Getting your message into 140 characters on Twitter takes practice and skill. You can make it a little easier on yourself by adding images to your tweets to instantly increase your chances to get your content retweeted.
Visuals find a natural place in the top five most effective B2B marketing content sources (Source: HS)
Hubspot identifies the top five most effective B2B tactics that marketing professionals use to gain leads and customers (seen below). Each and every one of these formats can easily feature your original visual content. This adds to your content's value and attractiveness to users and prospects. When developing content for these formats, remember this advice: Don't tell if you can show!
Middle and Bottom of the funnel content is perfect for visuals
Top-researched middle and bottom of the funnel content formats pair perfectly with visual content: whitepapers, case studies and webinars (Source: demandgenreport)
At some point, serious buyers move on from the highly-visual awareness stage content (photos, visual quotes, infographics) to more in-depth content. Serious buyers look for more detailed information from sources like whitepapers, case studies and webinars. The great news is that these formats pair perfectly with all types of visuals: slideshows, infographics, videos, interviews, etc. All the benefits of visual content that come from top-of-the-funnel messages also apply to later stage content.
86% of buyers expressed interest in accessing visual content on demand (Source: demandgenreport)
On-demand services are becoming more and more common with media options. Consumers are able to choose what, when and where they interact with media like television, movies, online video and apps. This continues to prove a permanent change in the way consumers research and shop for nearly everything. Buyers want to have instant access to relevant information when they search. Buyers are looking for non-committal interaction with that short-form, snackable content that makes visual content so important.
Visualize Your Message
A study by Social Media Examiner found that a majority of marketers plan to increase their use and production of original visual content. This will include creative uses of original photos, artwork, infographics and more in 2015. This will be a smart move for any marketer in light of the stats on visual content that support the creation and use of more custom imagery. Will you be one of these brands responding to the visual preferences of your web audience?
How could your business message lend itself to graphic presentation or storytelling? What is your business's view and strategy for creating visual content in 2015? To get started with adding visuals in your social media profiles, check out the tips in our helpful e-book below.
Image credit: collage