The saying “a picture is worth a thousand words” is more than 100 years old, but is the saying still a valid statement in our century? With consumer attention spans at a quick 8.25 seconds you would think that a picture that conveys your message quickly and efficiently is even more valuable than it was 100 years ago. In fact, with the ability to take photos digitally, we are projected to take almost 1200 billion photos in 2016! As content becomes more global, and as the popularity of image-centric social networks rise, photos are becoming a universal language that can communicate to every audience.

Using images in marketing is essential on a biological level – 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and marketers can use this to their engagement-boosting advantage. A study by MDG Advertising found that articles with images get 94% more total views. Turns out, even the kinds of images that are used are important, as shown by a fascinating study by Netflix on the clicking habits of their consumers based on, among other factors, demographics and location.

According to the Social Science Research Network, 65% of humans are visual learners. If you look at some of the fastest-growing social networks – Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, Tumblr – it’s easy to see that the way people are consuming content is drastically and quickly changing, and the value of visual content will only continue to increase in the near future.

Take your content marketing to the next level with these types of visual content:

  • Images: Giving your audience bite-sized pieces of information, highlighted by a related image, is a great way to catch their short attention spans. While nearly everyone has access to a camera on their phones, it’s important for the images you distribute to be high quality. If you don’t have a photographer on board for a slew of original images, that’s ok – there are many new resources online to help you create images. There are several free image resources online, but it’s worth investing in an image resource website like iStock, Getty Images, or Thinkstock for your business. To make your images unique, there are many options for free or low cost photo editing software like Snapseed, Cupslice Photo Editor, or Canva to help spruce up the stock content.
  • Videos: Creating videos to post along with your content can greatly enhance your content marketing strategy: according to a study by Moz, posts with videos receive nearly 300% more inbound links. Consider creating how-to videos, demonstrations, or testimonials to help enhance your content.
  • Infographics: One of the leading forms of visual content on the web, infographics are an excellent way to drive more traffic to your website. Infographics take the information in text-heavy articles and it into an easier to understand (and pretty) visual. They are easy to share, so people share them, which helps your SEO. For infographics to be truly impactful, they need to be well designed, which isn’t easy, especially if you don’t have a designer on staff. Check out infogr.am and Venngage for some easy to use infographic template software.
  • memesMemes: Nothing yells “let’s go viral” like a good meme. While memes may not be the most “proper” form of content creation, they are a fun and easy-to-create form of visual content. They’re not meant to be serious and shouldn’t be overused, but they are a great way to get a laugh and get some fans for your brand. You can create your own memes with Meme Generator and ImgFlip.

Tips and Tricks for Great Images:

  • Use images throughout blog posts and social media. Visual content is more than 40x more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content.
  • Brand your images with your logo and company colors. Put your logo onto your images so if they are shared, you get the credit. Using brand colors will help increase awareness and will remind people whose content they are reading/seeing.
  • Use a variety of images. Custom images, stock images, graphs and charts, or embedded images from Twitter or Instagram can help you step up your image game.
  • Don’t forget about SEO for your images. Make sure when you add images to your blog posts that your alt tags are added so search engines can find your content easier.

Interested in learning more about current digital marketing trends? Check out our article Six Digital Marketing Trends to Follow in 2016.