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Visual Content Can Improve Sales

Appearances can be deceiving, but numbers don’t lie! 

Carefully selected visual content can add real value to your brand’s sales and marketing process. Research validates that out, and not your traditional type either. Experts who study brain scans correlated with tracking eye movements indicate these patterns can speak volumes about consumer preferences.

Part physiology and part art, the reasons for this reality are varied. What it means is that no matter where you market your products or services, from tiny gadgets to in-person events to subscription packages, visuals should be at the core of how you plan your communications strategy.

Consider this as your opportunity to take an honest look your brand’s image and touch it up for a public appearance. After all, when was the last time you headed to a business meeting or into the office without taking a look at the person staring back at you?

We’ll explore a few principles driven by statistics that help us understand why visuals are such a big deal for sales and content marketing.

Photos and videos appeal to our brains

Let’s get technical for a moment and acknowledge the fact that we’re built to process visual cues far better than text-based ones. Quoting from a Nieman Reports interview with Marcel Just, director of the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging at Carnegie Mellon University:
“Processing print isn’t something the human brain was built for. The printed word is a human artifact. It’s very convenient and it’s worked very well for us for 5,000 years, but it’s an invention of human beings. By contrast Mother Nature has built into our brain our ability to see the visual world and interpret it. Even the spoken language is much more a given biologically than reading written language.”
That reality means photos, videos and related tech gadgets play well with human audiences overall—not just humans in a specific demographic.

Another good example is this somewhat dated yet valuable roundup of research pointing to the power of the human face in images to generate empathy and improve conversion rates among viewers. The roundup identifies one successful example of such a pairing in Wistia, a video hosting and marketing firm— mouse over any of these photos to watch a series of still frames strung together to spotlight zany dancing and even a disappearing head.

Fun visuals can indeed generate powerful engagement.

Social media helps prepare buyers to purchase

No duh, you say? Social media may seem an obvious delivery platform for visual-driven sales, and for good reason: Data bear out those assumptions.

For example:

  • 93 percent of Pinterest users use the platform to plan purchases [Shopify]
Ad recall, brand awareness and purchase consideration experience lift within the first second of a Facebook video ad playing [Facebook]
Consumers view native ads such as those on social media 52 percent more than banner ads [Right Mix Technologies]

Sites such as Social Media Impact explain how you can capitalize on Pinterest visuals and visuals on other platforms to drive sales. Even developers can tap Pinterest for a buck as Bloomberg reports via

Visuals boost pre-sales credibility

Content marketers can support their sales by emphasizing credibility through visuals. Consider Stanford Web Credibility Research, which has compiled a list of the 10 most critical factors affecting perceived credibility of websites.

No. 6 on the list should catch your eye. That’s the line item noting the value of a professional-looking presentation.

“We find that people quickly evaluate a site by visual design alone,” the researchers note. “When designing your site, pay attention to layout, typography, images, consistency issues and more. Of course, not all sites gain credibility by looking like The visual design should match the site’s purpose.”

Be sure to check out MediaPost report on home-buying and consumer spending points out. If your brand happens to produce sports apparel, what athletics trends might impact your next marketing campaign? How might you generate revenue based on activity in similar-but-different industries?

In similar fashion, a small shift on the visual marketing front can unleash a tidal wave of engagement and, ideally, consumer spending. A major component of the infographic and other visual media is to grab viewers’ attention so you have more time to build your case, points out on its blog.

Journey into the frenetic online world, the 500 million-tweets-per-day fray and snag eyeballs with photos and video.

And don’t forget to love a little. It might just boost your sales close to 13,600 percent.


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