Ever found yourself sat slumped on your seat aimlessly scrolling through the internet liking image after image for no other reason than pure impulse? Yep, me too. Pictures on the internet are helping to develop the phenomenon of quick-click culture. Let's break down the reaction to image sharing and take a look at why it’s becoming such an effective form of content marketing.
The picture superiority effect
This theory is based on the notion that the human brain responds better to images than words. Although the theory’s still debated as critics argue that images take longer than words to understand, pictures are still considered to be more impactful; accompanying text will usually appear with online images to offer description and context (this’ll be explained in a little bit more detail below). So next time you want to create content for inbound marketing, think about the picture superiority effect and make sure you have enough pictures floating about your networks.
Words and images
Pictures are better remembered than words, if recognition tests are anything to go by. Add words with images and you’ll be increasing the chance of your audience remembering what you have to say by 55%, according to the Journal of Experimental Psychology.
One of the reasons why the online culture of image sharing is so popular is because pictures can communicate with minimal effort. They’re easy to share and easy to like. It’s essential for these images to be accompanied by words, either with typography over the graphic, or text in the description, as it gives users a better understanding of the image’s intention as well as the sharer’s personality, which can be reflective of the company as a whole. This form of inbound content can be extremely effective in establishing a relationship with your audience.Memes
Memes are comedic representations of real-life events or people. A product of viral culture, a unit of cultural transmission, a style, a behaviour: memes represent society’s voice in the online world. Memes have spread through the internet like wildfire – users love them. Yes, they’re more entertaining than informative, but implementing memes in a brand-appropriate way in your content marketing shows that your company has a sense of humour and is a part of the online community. Memes help to create a channel of communication between your company and potential consumers.
Impulse, impulse, impulse. People don’t have time to read through a big bulk of text. In an online world of viral content and constant new trends, many prefer to click click click away, engaging with a quantity of content as opposed to quality, due to fear of missing out (FOMO). If 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual and visuals are processed thousands of times faster in the brain than text, it’s no wonder that image-based content is proving so effective in generating those leads!
Infographics are a pretty cool way of giving your audience a more digestible form of information. Companies are now able to compress entire white papers into bite-sized, brightly coloured pictures, perfect for busy clients who can view and share them with ease. They’re also good for demonstrating a company’s knowledge and expertise. Infographics are another great example of how effective images can be in attracting new business.
Now you know why images work so well, you can focus more on creating brilliantly visual content that's really sticky – good luck!