The Rise of Visual Content

The longer it takes someone to do something, the less likely they are to do it. This is a very big generalisation, but in the world of online and consuming content, it rings pretty close to true. People want to know key information and they want to know it quickly. We’ve seen newspaper sales and magazine readership declining for years and this is because of this fast-paced, evolving world we live. People would much rather check their Twitter or Facebook feeds and get the same headlines in a fraction of the time.

But the need to know things quickly or do things more efficiently is happening in every aspect of our lives. You probably already skimmed your eyes over the key points in this article before investing your time into actually reading it. It was a wise move you decided to commit. Because what this need for efficiency means for marketers, is that visuals are the new words.

People’s attention spans are constantly decreasing with the average person’s attention lasting 8 seconds. This is down from 12 seconds fifteen years ago. How you communicate your message effectively and efficiently is more important than ever. If a lengthy Facebook post can be just as easily done in an interesting video, it’s more likely that people will find it engaging. And don’t just take my word for it. Mark Zuckerberg recently announced that Facebook is generating 8 billion video views per day. PER DAY.

The brain processes videos 60,000 times faster than text. This could be one of the reasons why video platforms have seen such an increase in usage. Video platforms like Facebook live, periscope, snapchat and youtube are among the many platforms that have active, engaged audiences that are continuing to grow.

The rise of visual doesn’t end with video. People also retain more information when it is given to them in the form of an image. Images make a brand more recognisable and more memorable. They say a picture says a thousand words and it’s the fact that you can read those thousand words in 3 seconds that makes an image so effective.

Instagram now has over 500 million users and this in itself explains the extent of people’s interest in images. Attention spans may be declining but it is much easier to gain someone’s attention through an image or a video and even easier to keep their attention if your content is interesting.

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