Visual Content opens up your eyes

Is adding your own photography, animation or video to your content overly expensive and unnecessary? Figures show that content containing images receives 94% more views than plain written content. Simply using the word ‘video’ in your subject line already leads to a 19% higher email open rate and a 65% higher click-through. Since this ‘trend’ in content is scientifically supported, this particular trend is definitely here to stay.

A feast for the eyes
When people hear information, they will only be able to reproduce 10% of that information three days later. However, back this information up with some relevant images and that percentage shoots up to 65%. It all has to do with the fact that almost half of your brain is dedicated to visually processing information. The advantage of processing images is that it gives us an associated feeling or emotion within one-tenth of a second. “Do I understand this information?”; “do I want to continue reading/watching?” When you read, it takes much longer to answer these questions and you often first have to finish the paragraph before you can. So by adding this scientific ‘proof’ to today’s fast-paced society, we are able to scan the content more quickly based on the image material.

After all, visuals are easier to understand, evoke emotion and are therefore more easily shared with others. And, as a retailer, you can make pretty good use of that last feature.

Cookie or Cream?
Visual content is not only needed to back up your message. Visual content can also be a goal almost entirely in itself. Take Oreo for instance; world famous for its black cookie, white cream in between and blue packaging. This product recognition virtually commands to have a campaign focused entirely on visuals. During the 2013 Super Bowl, Oreo started the ‘Cookie vs. Cream debate’, a six-week campaign in which consumers were asked which part of the Oreo cookie they loved most. They could send in their favourite photos – of their pet or of an object they thought looked beautiful – and could then indicate how they wanted to see them: as Cookie or Cream. Oreo selected some of the best images, after which so-called ‘cookie artists’ got creative and turned them into either the cookie or the cream. The results were true masterpieces of artistry and were enthusiastically shared by the Oreo fans. In a matter of days, Oreo’s Instagram account swelled from 2,200 to more than 56,000 followers.

It was a very clever move by Oreo not to expect fans to create their own artist impressions. This would only raise the threshold of wanting to enter. But the input from the fans still felt quite substantial. After all, they were the ones who selected the images they most wanted to be immortalised. And this was reason enough to share the artistry with the world. The visual content of Oreo was the ‘talk of the town’.

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