How Effective Visuals Can Boost Your Digital Marketing Strategy

How Effective Visuals Can Boost Your Digital Marketing Strategy

Visuals are a must in any digital marketing strategy, and yet they are often sidelined in favor of other forms of content. This underestimation of their impact can be turned to the advantage of any marketer who’s savvy enough to step up to the plate.

Your audience's attention is immensely valuable, but the challenge to capture it can seem insurmountable if you’re starting from scratch. That said, quality visuals in your digital marketing strategy will attract eyes and significantly amplify engagement, eventually ending up leaving you with conversion rates that will make competitors green with envy.

To give you a leaping off point that should make each of your subsequent campaigns that bit more impactful, here’s a look at what aesthetically alluring and overarchingly consistent visual content can do to take your promotional activities to the next level. 

It should serve you well whether you’re looking to kick start a digital marketing campaign, or tweak an existing one.

Why Visuals Make a Difference

There’s no need to just believe our claims about the relevance and reliability of visual content for digital marketing, as there’s a whole heap of evidence to back it up - spread across all sorts of contexts and platforms.

For instance, extensive data collected in a Venngage survey found that around half of marketers attach visuals to 91% of the content they create for various campaigns - and this applies across all sorts of contexts, from social media to blog posts and beyond.

But that’s just the start of what’s so significant about visuals. 

Here are some other benefits to get excited about:

  • Retention Resonance: Customers retain 65% of information three days later when it's paired with relevant imagery, compared to 10% retention with text alone - and 40% of us are more attuned to images than blocks of writing. That’s why posts coupled with infographics earn 12% more traffic on average than those without them.
  • Immediate Impressions: The brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text - with MIT researchers finding this takes place in 13 milliseconds. That swift mental processing is key for first impressions in an age where attention is fragmented and fleeting.
  • Emotional Connectivity: Colors and images evoke emotional responses that resonate on a personal level - building brand affinity that translates into loyalty.

So while stats like these aren’t necessarily useful for helping you with an overarching visual marketing strategy, they do at least illustrate why it’s worth pursuing one in the first place.

Free From below of delighted multiracial group of friends hugging and looking at screen of cellphone while spending time on street against historic building Stock Photo

Image Source: Pexels

How Templates Help

Lots of businesses lack the resources to achieve the kind of visual impact and consistency with their digital marketing content - or at least, that’s the assumption they have. Thankfully, design templates offer up a way of providing efficiency and ensuring cohesion in each piece of promotional material you put out into the world.

Here’s what templates bring to your strategy:

  • Brand Unity: Maintaining a consistent brand image across all platforms can increase revenue by up to 23%. Templates help preserve uniformity in your visuals, reinforcing brand recognition at every customer touchpoint.
  • Speedy Deployment: Many marketers are strapped for time, and so templates expedite content creation, allowing for rapid response to market trends or social conversations.
  • Inclusive Creativity: Not everyone has an art degree - but everyone can fetch free templates. These tools democratize design, letting you produce top-tier visuals without extensive graphic design skills.

In short, incorporating templates can streamline workflows and also open doors to creative experimentation within a framework that doesn’t sacrifice or spoil brand identity. And the more room you have for mixing things up with digital marketing efforts, the greater the chance you’ll stumble across something truly special.

Free Thoughtful female in casual sweater working on netbook and drawing on graphic tablet in light room Stock Photo

Image Source: Pexels

Visuals as Performance Indicators

There’s an endless amount of data out there, so measuring the performance of your visual content is part of understanding how these assets contribute to your overall marketing objectives. You need to be savvy about scrutinizing the metrics that matter, as that way your visuals can inform future marketing decisions.

Here are key performance indicators that visuals greatly impact:

  • Click-Through Rates (CTRs): Promotions with strong visual appeal can see a significant increase in CTR compared to text-based equivalents. So for instance, landing pages with quality images have a 47% greater CTR compared with those that lack them.
  • Social Shares: A picture is worth a thousand shares - and images significantly boost social engagement, which in turn extends your brand's reach organically. Estimates vary, but the uptick can be as much as 94%
  • Conversion Lift: Landing pages featuring compelling imagery have been shown to improve conversion rates by as much as 86%. As such it’s no surprise that a Hubspot study found that over a third of marketers see video in particular as the most conversion-centric aspect of landing pages.

All of this underscores the importance of incorporating visuals into your digital marketing campaigns and also attentively monitoring their effect on audience behavior. 

Interpreting these vital signs - shares, clicks, conversions - lets you refine tactics and sharpen your message, allowing for richer engagement and more effective campaign outcomes.

Visuals as Storytellers

Every brand has a story, and visuals are your bard, roaming around to introduce more people to the tale behind the business you’ve built. It’s all about providing context and color to the foundations of who you are and what you stand for.

Here’s a look at how this can play out in your favor:

  • Identity Illustration: Consumers who have an emotional connection with a brand have a 52% higher lifetime value. Imagery can encapsulate the ethos of your company, conjuring those sought-after strong bonds with your audience.
  • Product Journey Visualization: Displaying products in action through images and videos both illustrates their benefits and also places them within the aspirational lives of your customers.
  • Testimonial Portrayal: You can highlight customer satisfaction with authentic visuals - since real faces and stories lend credibility and allow prospects to picture themselves after making the purchase.

It’s important to note that storytelling with visuals doesn’t mean you have to make every digital marketing campaign some kind of Spielbergian epic - and it comes back to the point that images are actually the most efficient way of getting your point across. 

So don’t be put off by this - but instead take the chance to speak to your audience in a terse yet evocative way.

Visual A/B Testing for Optimal End Results

In the quest for visual supremacy, you have to use suitable testing rather than guesswork to gauge whether you’re going in the right direction with your output. The established A/B method and the right tools strip away assumptions, revealing which images, formats, and compositions truly resonate with your audience.

Here’s why visual it should be an integral part of your strategy:

  • Engagement Enhancement: Changing one image can lead to significant increases in engagement - and implementing a fresh form of visual content can push this even further.
  • Message Refinement: Test different versions of visuals to see which better communicate your messaging and value propositions, refining your brand communication.
  • Design Optimization: Learn which styles and aesthetics prompt user action - be it minimalist or complex designs - and tailor accordingly.

A/B testing visuals allows you to make data-backed decisions that refine your visual strategy with laser precision. And moreover this tactic can be applied universally, whether to your social posts or your product landing pages, in order to shape what steps you take for here on out.

Investigating Share-Worthy Visuals

Virality is another aspect of modern digital marketing which has a major link with visual content. The right image or video could not only earn shares that boost your brand’s recognition, but bring customers flooding in - all without you needing to spend a penny more on ad space.

Here are tactics to engineer visuals that resonate and encourage sharing:

  • Memorable Impact: We’ve already mentioned that you can create content that sticks in the memory more readily if it’s distributed visually - so for instance if you’ve paid for a study that’s relevant to your niche, make sure to convert the insights into a shareable infographic, rather than just posting what you’ve discovered as plain text.
  • Emotionally Charged Creativity: Tap into emotions with visuals - laughter, awe, or warm sentiment can turn viewers into sharers. Just be sure not to take this too far, as it’s certainly possible for savvy web users to sniff out especially manipulative content of this kind, particularly if it doesn’t have much to do with your industry or company ethos.
  • Meme Magic: Align your brand with current trends through memes or culturally relevant imagery, making your content timely and relatable. This is another area where mistakes and gaffs can be made - so don’t jump in at the deep end, but look into how other brands do it before going all-in on memeing, and always consider if your audience will appreciate what you’re offering in this arena.

The basic idea is that share-worthy visuals will make sure your brand is seen, remembered and passed along. Even if most of the people who are exposed to the content don’t immediately convert into customers, knowing that you’re earning organic momentum will be a reward in its own right.

Final Thoughts

Arguably you should already have been aware that effective visuals are a boon for digital marketing before you began reading - since any web user knows how many images and videos are encountered online today. However, the point was to give you the spark of inspiration and enthusiasm to actually go out and start creating compelling, consistently designed visual content - so that’s your next step!

Sam Makad is a business consultant. He helps small & medium enterprises to grow their businesses and overall ROI. You can follow Sam on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.

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