Visual content is a trend that is catching fire and has the PR industry buzzing. Client Larry Kim, founder and CTO at WordStream, shared some “eye-popping” statistics on the topic of visual content marketing in his recent Inc. article, arguing that the time is now to embrace this trend. If you are one that needs some convincing, Kim's article references a WedDAM infographic that states compelling data, including 81 percent of people only skim the content they read online and 85 percent are more likely to buy a product after viewing a product video. How’s that for stats?
Kim wrote, “As a marketer, you must adapt your content marketing strategy to remain relevant.” I couldn’t agree more with his assessment. Since PR is constantly changing, it’s our job to stay ahead of what’s to come by learning new ways of storytelling, and visual content will play a big part in that strategy.
So how is visual content so impactful? I asked two of our in-house design and video experts to weigh in: Lauren McAuliffe, senior graphic designer at InkHouse, and Rob Maloof, director of InkHouse Films.
“Visuals are taking over as consumers prefer more of a show-and-tell approach to storytelling than just text,” said McAuliffe. “Rather than just a complement to the overall story, visuals need to be a driving force in PR to properly leverage how consumers absorb information in a Web-based world full of visual stimulation.”
"Seeing is believing," said Maloof. "Pictures are worth 1000 words, and video is worth at least 24 pictures per second. Video content controls the imagination of the audience." He explained that, while a consumer can read a story and develop his or her own interpretation, video content allows the storyteller to control audience perception.
Lauren and Rob make two very valid points. As PR professionals, we must assure the stories we tell can be absorbed and understood in the many way consumers want and enjoy. While thought leadership content in both print and online is still alive and well, it’s clear that visual content delivers a different type of storytelling that’s just as engaging, compelling and meaningful. Whether it’s video, photography, data visualization, GIFs or infographics, visual content is a must for 2016.
After all, content is king, and visuals will only add to its domination.