The importance of visual content for your website
Thanks to the smartphones and constant internet access, customers can expect an ever more uncomplicated, faster acquisition of information. But simultaneously the time of attention spans while viewing web content is continuously decreasing. Whether the click of the target group is won or not decides in just a few seconds. In modern online marketing its’s valid more than ever: Put on expressive images! The visual content is easier to consume and better remembered – the key to getting the marketing content right.
In today’s blog post, we´ll explain what makes visual corporate communications so significant and provide tips for your visual content strategy.
The power of pictures
A picture is worth a thousand words – this saying is much more than a truism. That visual content is superior to a pure text is in the nature of human perception. The human brain can only process a limited amount of information and has to prioritize stimuli. Visual messages are preferred because it is much easier for us humans to decode them: images and videos are processed 60,000 times faster than information in text form. And visual content is not only perceived easier, but also stored better. From information in text or audio form we only reserve 10% after 3-4 days. But if a relevant image is added the reminder performance increases to as much as 65%. 
Importance of visual content in online marketing
Anyone who has ever tried to build a piece of furniture with a simple text guide knows how crucial a visual aid can be. The same applies to marketing content on the internet. Whether with products in need of explanation, complex background information or usage instructions – consumers can imagine things much more vividly through visualizations. This makes the click decision not only easier, but also much more likely: expressive pictures and videos on the landing page can increase the conversion rate by up to 7 times. 
At the same time images loosen up longer texts, such as blog posts. Suitable images facilitate the flow of reading and arouse emotions. It creates a certain mood immediately with the right image – this makes visual content the ideal support for storytelling in marketing. The visual content does not necessarily have to be a one-to-one translation of the text. Pictures are perfect for working with visual metaphors. A certain scope for interpretation provides for an active examination of the presented contend and thus enhances its effect.
Image content is clearly preferred in social media: the probability that a Facebook post is shared is more than twice as high if the post contains at least one picture – on Twitter, picture content is shared 1 1/2 times as often. On average the engagement with content (likes and comments) increases by 37% when visual elements are integrated.
Use images for your own content marketing strategy
Visual content creates a clear added value for consumers that is reflected in concrete marketing success indicators. The condition for this is that the right images are selected. A good picture is of high quality, enhances your own content and makes curious about more. Therefore, it should be carefully considered which images are used.
If the time and resources are available a self-production of visual content is ideal. Anyone who shoots pictures, record videos or creates graphics has full creative control and can perfectly coordinate the visuals with the content and their own brand image. Companies have different forms of visual content at their disposal. Typical examples are:
- Product or Mood photos
- Statistics and data visualizations
- Gifs and memes
Here are some tips and tricks on how to make the perfect product photo. In order to check which type of visual content is ultimately well received by your target group, A-B tests are also suitable. For example, by playing two ads with different creatives you can see which image will get the most clicks.
In addition Stock Photos can be used as an alternative or supplement to creating your own images. There are a variety of web providers where high quality photos can be purchased on any subject. Especially important when working with Stock Photos: Pay attention to credibility and originality. Use only photos that suits your brand and your corporate image and avoid as much as possible 08/15 motifs. A short Google image search with the main keywords for your post shows which photos are used from other sources on the subject. On the one hand this can help as an inspiration, but above all it helps to avoid overly used pictures. With the right choice of visual material you can create a unique imagery that is easily recognizable – even with purchased photos.
Search engine optimization for pictures
Whether created or bought – Google and Co. reward the use of images. To achieve the best SEO effect a few things should be considered. The first important ranking factor is the loading speed of the pictures. For optimal page speed the image files should be compressed to approx 150 kb. To ensure that the picture quality does not suffer, a resolution of at least 72 dpi is recommended. Next step is the correct use of the metadata. The actual file name should describe the content of the image as exactly as possible – only then the image can be classified as relevant for a corresponding search request. The same applies to the alternative text. This function is read out by programs such as for persons with visual impairment or loading problems. Last but not least the positioning of the image is important for the search engines. Text and headline around the image should therefore contain as many relevant keywords as possible.
Image messages can be processed within seconds, arouse emotions and are more memorable than pure text. The importance of images for marketing isn’t a new knowledge, but gains in relevance in times of increasingly visual online communication. Companies that focus consistently on expressive visual content can significantly increase their engagement and conversion rates. A potential that should be fully exploited!