That means that, more than ever, there is pressure for companies to stand out in a world where their target audiences are swamped with information, notifications and messages. Attracting an audience requires creating visual, eye-catching content for short attention spans.
According to research by global science company 3M, our mind processes visual images more than 60,000 times faster than text. This means, in the digital age, it’s more effective to include a distinguishing visual with your key messages.
Creating impressive emails
Epsilon Data Management reported that only 30% of emails are opened, and only one in 11 entice readers to click through them. Based on the average reading speed of 200 words per minute, this only gives companies 30-50 subject line characters to capture potential customers or clients. This is a glaring example of why a striking visual is crucial in engaging audiences.
An article published in The Next Web offers strategies on how to effectively deliver content through email.
- Test emails frequently before sending the final version. Previewing emails on desktop and mobile browsers is essential. No one wants to receive an email that’s difficult to view, has badly cropped content or images or that are incompatible with their device.
- One in five email recipients cannot view an image without taking extra steps, such as, clicking a “view image” option. A quick fix for marketers is to caption images, briefly explaining what the image represents.
- The time it takes an image or content to load on a mobile or desktop device can determine if your content is viewed or skipped all together. Busy professionals commuting to work or running from meeting-to-meeting, might not have the time or patience to wait for a sluggish image or video to appear. Thumbnail photos are a great solution, as they act as a snapshot for the featured article or text.
Standing out in a news feed
On Facebook, when a company posts visual content, engagement can surge as much as 180%. Leading influencer marketing agency, Mediakix, published an article that described how 100 million hours of video are watched every day.
The official Facebook Business website posted a blog in 2015 explaining video’s continued growth as the preferred and most effective storytelling medium for individuals and brands. The company shared their best practices for creating video ads that grab consumer’s attention and drive business goals. They include: tailoring your story to your audience, investing in production, using the first few seconds of video to attract and persuade the viewer, and telling stories with and without sound.
Twitter also released an update in 2013, allowing users to view photos and videos immediately. In a statement released with the update, the company said, “timelines on Twitter will be more visual and more engaging: previews of Twitter photos and videos from Vine will be front and center in Tweets. To see more of the photo or play the video, just tap.”
In a world where 65% of people are visual learners, companies must implement “snackable content,” e.g. media in bite-sized pieces, with their marketing content. This allows your target audience to easily spot, understand, and engage with ease.
Best in class companies and brands began integrating more video and visually pleasing images into their content several years ago. Now a universal mainstay, consumers expect content that will grasp and keep their attention. Remember that at the end of the day the goal is to stand out, enhance your work, and communicate effectively with the public.