The Role of Visuals in Digital Marketing

Out of 5,000 digital materials, including websites, articles, and media posts, the results showed that visuals are used in a wide variety of digital platforms, and that they are essential assets to communicate information and engage audiences.

According to Venggage, over 50% of marketers used visuals based on 2021 survey. They used visuals in over 91% of their online content to boost the digital marketing strategy. Those visuals comprise of 36% graphics and 34% stock photos.

This year, MITSloan reported that 70% of digital marketers have increased the use of visual content because the posts with visuals were getting 94% more website visits.

Including visuals in your content not only boosts its quality but also makes your content marketing more successful. As revealed in a recent Demand Gen Report study, 86% of buyers have shown interest in interactive visual content. For example, tweets with images get 18% more clicks and 150% more retweets.  Photo posts on Facebook generate 87% of all interactions on brand pages. 

Marketers’ visual templates. Get them here.

These statistics are backed by science. The journey of visual perception is a fascinating and intricate process that involves multiple stages of neural activity and cognitive interpretation. Let’s delve into the hidden workings of the brain as it decodes the visual world around you.

Understanding the Science of Visuals

Why does the brain prefer visuals? What are the different ways visuals can be used to improve retention from digital marketing communications?

Reception marks the beginning of this remarkable journey as light waves carrying visual information pass through the cornea and lens of your eyes, landing on the delicate canvas of the retina. Here, light-sensitive cells known as rods and cones work tirelessly to transduce these light signals into electrical impulses, kickstarting the neural transmission of visual data.

As these electrical signals travel along the optic nerve, they embark on a journey to the visual cortex nestled in the recesses of your occipital lobe.

Our brains are wired to process visual information more efficiently than other types of information. This is because the visual cortex, the part of our brain that is responsible for processing visual information, is much larger than other cortical areas.

In fact, the visual cortex takes up about 30% of the brain’s total cortical area, even though our eyes only account for about 2% of our body’s surface area. This shows just how important vision is to our brains.

When we see something, our eyes send signals to the visual cortex, which then decodes the information and creates a mental representation of the object. This representation is then used to identify the object, understand its meaning, and react to it appropriately.

The visual cortex is also involved in memory and learning. When we see something, the visual cortex creates a memory trace of the object. This memory trace can then be used to recall the object later on.

In addition, the visual cortex is involved in attention and decision-making. When we see something, the visual cortex helps us to focus on the object and make decisions about how to interact with it.

How Visuals Can Improve Learning and Communication

Given the important role that visuals play in our brains, it’s no surprise that they can be so effective in improving learning and communication.

Visuals can help us to learn new information more effectively by making it easier to remember and understand. They can also help us to retain information for longer periods of time.

For example, a study by the University of Missouri found that students who were presented with visual information during a lecture were more likely to remember the information later on than students who were not presented with visual information.

Visuals clarify our messages. See how to use them effectively:

  • Use visuals to illustrate key points.
  • Use visuals to break up text and make it more readable.
  • Use visuals to create interest and engage your audience.
  • Use visuals to help people remember information.
  • Use visuals to connect with your audience and build rapport.

See Erin McCoy’s video below for a beginner’s step-by-step tutorial.

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