The Trend Toward Visual Engagement

1. The growth of visual networks

Pinterest has been a major feature of the growing trend towards visual media on social networks.  Along with the growth in Instagram (1100% in last 6 months) we are producing, sharing and using more images than ever before.

Much of the news surrounding Pinterest has focused on the growth of the network over the last year, rising from less than 2M June 2011 to over 20M by June 2012. But it is the referral traffic that has caught the imagination of many particularly those in visual industries like fashion and food. Sharaholic reported that Pinterest beat Twitter, StumbleUpon and Yahoo.

2. The growth of visual engagement

The deeper trend though across social media is towards visual engagement:

  • Based on an analysis of 10,000 social marketing campaigns, Wildfire found 6 core practices that helped produce superfans on Facebook. The use of images as one of the six ways to improve engagement.
  • Dan Zarella likewise reports that posts with photos gets more likes, comments and shares.
  • Similar figures are reported by an infographic from mBooth; but they also highlight that 42% of all Tumblr posts are photos.

3. The growth of visual content marketing

More recent surveys amongst BtoB marketers support the growing use of content to attract customer, develop leads and provide opportunities for conversion. According to IDG’s recently released survey results , infographics are the fastest-growing content type on the web: over 21% using infographics as part of their content marketing (a 1.5-fold rise over the previous year.

Growing Amount of Content For Our Attention

We now have more content and more screens (see Google report) vying for our attention than ever before. Along with this the speeds with which we can now access information has changed how we consume media. Video streaming is now a regular feature of the internet and is transforming our consumption of normal TV (time shifting and on demand).

We now are at a stage where to compete and stand out from the crowd marketers, small businesses and bloggers alike have to focus on adjusting their content to these new dynamic.

Key Actions For Marketers

Blogs will change as a result of these trends. Blogs will transform into more magazine style layouts. Short features and more visual elements (photos, graphics and video).

Some ways to make your blog more visually engaging:

  • Change the layout to include more pictures
  • Use pin marklet next to pictures and tweet this
  • Create your own infographics
  • Reduce the copy and build in more video/slides