The 5 Commandments Of Visual Content / by Shawn Binder

It is no secret that social media users respond best to images--and content with visuals is 40x more likely to be shared on social than content without. Images perform so well, in fact, that experts has predicted that by 2017, 74% of all Internet traffic will come from watching videos and taking in visually driven content. We often have clients ask us about the importance of visual marketing, and particularly how they can leverage their visuals online for the best results. At Ghost Media we pride ourselves on crafting engaging, stunning, and exciting content for our clients, and we’re always on the lookout for how images are best using in marketing practices.

We decided to compile our 5 commandments of Visual Content to give you an insight into how crucial engaging with your audience through images is. By following these five commandments, you’ll see more people engaging with your visual content in a more nuanced and meaningful way.

Evergreen vs. Timely


A tale as old as time: post evergreen content or content that is relatable to the current socio-cultural landscape. 65% of brand owners report that visual storytelling is the key component in how they share their brand with audiences, and it is important to keep a balance between timely content and evergreen. For those who may not know, Evergreen content is content that can be viewed at any time of the day, year, and month and still be applicable. Timely content would be, for example, a Father’s Day post that has a shelf-life of only a few days. By using both when it comes to visual marketing and storytelling you're making your visual digital marketing strategy a double-threat/ double-asset. 


Make It Personal


You know what performs better than stunning photos? Stunning photos with people featured in them. People love to see images where they can imagine themselves as--which is why according to 500px images that feature one person are 60% more likely to be effective. Furthermore, images with one subject looking away from the camera are 85% more likely to produce engagement. This is because audiences are able to project themselves onto an image and see themselves reflected in it. When it comes to visual marketing, people like to see themselves reflected in what they’re viewing. By tapping into this human emotion of belongingness, you can ensure that your digital marketing is getting the highest return and engagement possible. 


Pay Attention to Posting Times


Not all images are posted equal. You’d be surprised to find that what time of day you post your images on social greatly impacts how much they’re seen. For example, if you were to post a photo at 9pm PST, chances are everyone on the East Coast is fast asleep and will miss your post in the shuffle of everything else that goes up while they’re sleeping. However, by posting at strategic times that you know your audience is using social media, the chances of them not only seeing your image, but engaging with it, go up tremendously.

 
Be Innovative With Images


It may shock you to learn that people only retain 10% of what they read on the Internet a day after they've taken it in. However, when paired with an image, information is 65% more likely to be remembered. When using images in your digital marketing strategy, find innovative ways to blend copy and images together to get your messaging across. It may feel unnatural to overlay a statistic onto an image, but you'd be surprised how much more likely your message is to stick with your audience. By understanding that messaging with content makes it 94% more likely to be viewed, you're already putting your company in a better position to reach your target audience with visual cues. 

Memes are Dead, Lets Bury Them


Colored and unique visuals make a piece of content 80% more likely to be read than content without original, unique images. Do you know what is not unique? Internet Memes. While the average person may find Memes a fun way to spark conversation, they actually can harm your digital marketing efforts. According to PsychologyToday, Memes stunt the cognitive brain functions that are used when generating new ideas.

Now while this may sound abstract in a marketing sense, allow us to elaborate: by using a Meme that has been used countless times, you’re stunting the conversation you’re trying to have because your audience is associating that Meme with everything they’ve seen before it. Instead of using Memes to get your messaging across, remember to craft unique images that will only be associated to your brand and not the 50 other jokes they’ve heard before it. 

 

What are your rules of visual content? Let us know!