When we simply listen to information, only 10% of us are likely to remember that information three days later. However, when paired with a relevant image, 65% of us retain the information three days later (source). This really highlights the positive impacts of combining text and visual content together within your marketing communications. And, whilst using visual content within marketing is nothing new, and it is only set to get bigger in 2018 – so is definitely worth putting some extra time and effort into going forward.

Images

Using imagery is what first comes to mind when we think of visual content, but how can we use this most effectively? They can be a great tool when it comes to emphasising a message you’ve put across in copy, or perhaps to break up text within a blog post. Users are naturally more likely to be engaged with a post which is more visual rather than simply being faced with a large block of text; look at adding imagery to make the content more digestible for the user. This isn’t just on your website, the same concept can be applied across your social media profiles (social loves visual content – tweets with images receive 150% more retweets than tweets without images!) or in your email marketing campaigns for example.

Whilst it’s great to use images, it’s important to ensure they are of a high quality and are actually relevant to your content and your overall brand image – or it could have a negative effect. Furthermore, ensuring images are of the correct format, size and that they have been compressed – nobody wants a sluggish loading bit of content!

Videos

Using videos is obviously one of the most visual and engaging ways to enhance your content; a study showed that including a video on a landing page increased conversions by 86% – need we say more? Whilst videos do require more effort, time and can incur a higher cost, the benefits they can bring speak for themselves. Even using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19% and clickthrough rates by 65%  showing it’s something you should really start to think about when it comes to your marketing efforts in 2018.

Depending on the nature of your business, and your target market – it will highly depend on the type of videos you put out. You may want to explain some aspects of the services you offer in greater detail, provide users with demonstrations, do a video based on hint or tricks or perhaps taking more of a Q&A type approach. It simply depends. But the great thing about video is that it’s not restricted, and can be highly rewarding for a range of different businesses.

GIFs & Memes

Using GIFs and memes as part of your visual content is a great way to stay on trend, portray a little bit of your brand personality and just add a little bit of humour into the content you’re putting out. You can look to tap into what’s popular and already out there to keep your brand relevant. Alternatively, you may decide to create your own GIFs and memes, which are directly in line with your brand image – this can really help you to remain original and stand out amongst your competitors. They’re also a great tool for prompting engagement, so are key if you’re looking to create a bit of conversation with your target audience.

Again, using this type of visual content is greatly dependent on the nature of your business, how you operate, your brand image and your target market. But this is the case across all visual content – it’s ultimately down to the message you’re putting out and who that message is going out too.

Infographics & Data Driven Visuals

Infographics are “liked” and shared on social media three times more than other any other type of content, which shows that they really should be a part of any marketing strategy. They allow you to display data and statistics is a visual and compelling way that really resonates with your target audience. It’s a great opportunity to create ‘shareable’ content, that really helps to build your brand awareness and encourage engagement. With the right design, you can really make something truly compelling for the user.Infographics feed into driving more traffic back to your website, building your backlink profile and building on your social media presence – not simply creating a little bit of engagement. Don’t miss out on this key bit visual content!

There are of course other sources of visual content you can choose to include within your marketing strategy – but the main point is to use them! Focus on what works best in your business, is in line with your brand and best resonates with your target audience so that you can reap the benefits from it. Embrace the visual age!