WAYS TO COMBINE VISUAL AND WRITTEN CONTENT FOR BETTER ENGAGEMENT

When it comes to enticing your potential customers, it seems that merging visual media and text is among the most effective combinations. Businesses all over the world are now looking to find a surefire combination of images, videos, and text that will ensure stellar engagement both on their blogs and social media.

In this article, we’ve combined a list of ways you can increase your conversions, lead generation efficiency, and overall time spent on-page by finding the right balance between visual and written content. Let’s take a look, shall we?

Why Is Visual Content Important in the First Place?

Generating high-quality images is a hassle. It takes a significant investment in terms of time and effort, in order to end up with a share-worthy piece of visual content. The same can be said about videos. And while this may seem like a costly affair, the research suggests that people are much more prone to interacting with posts that contain a combination of pictures and text.

The central reason is that humans are visual learners. Our inherent cognitive mechanisms are designed to acquire visual data at a rate that is in orders of magnitude faster than written or even spoken word.

In fact, around 90 percent of the data that the brain interprets is visual. Our brains are designed to gather information from many sources at the same time, for instance when we look through a landscape and get a broader understanding of its properties from a wide spectrum of factors. Whereas when it comes to text, we “consume” one word at a time. And probably the main reason for this colossal discrepancy lies in the rate at which we absorb visual data, which is nearly 60.000 quicker than we gather information from text.

What Does the Research Suggest?

A paper published by the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab that has interviewed nearly 2500 people suggests that 46% of the respondents consider the visual components of a website to be the most important factor when establishing its credibility.

Furthermore, not only do visuals define the attitude a user will have towards your product, they need a fraction of a second to do so.

Bring Your Team to the Front

People are attracted to faces, especially smiling ones. Human cognition is built so that it recognizes emotions in fellow humans. Emotions draw our attention immediately. Furthermore, emotions are a social cue that modulates our behavior.

Let’s imagine you’re trying to complement your site’s About Us section. If you’re planning just to paste a well-written text there, you’re missing out on a lot of potentials. Use photos of your team, the wider the smile, the better. This will send a clue to the viewer’s brain that he’s in safety and there’s nothing to be wary or suspicious about. Marketers have been tapping into this evolutionary mechanism for quite a while.

Furthermore, you shouldn’t just use smiling faces in your site’s About Us section. Your landing page is a perfect place for a picture of your team. In effect, this will increase the rates at which users engage with your site’s contents, and as a result, will have a significant impact on the lead generation rates and other essential metrics too.

Insert Travod Landing

Here’s an example of how a company has used its employee’s picture to greet the people that have just arrived on their landing page.

Ways to Combine Visual and Written Content for Better Engagement

Combining Video and Text Stimulates Sales

It’s indisputable that writing a strong product description is absolutely central to sales. Write a poor text and you spectacular, life-saving device/product/service won’t sell. However, there’s a valuable addition you can make to a persuasive copy — a well-executed video.

Part of the magic of video content is the facts that we’ve brought up previously — we just like visuals more that we like to read. A colorful video won’t only provide your potential customers with the information that they need to persuade them to purchase the product, it can also give them a quick demo.

Think of it this way, you’re looking to purchase a coffee grinder. You read the description, you’re pretty much happy, but you’re not exactly certain how well it will integrate with your kitchen, you can see its size inches, but that’s still somewhat vague. You also read that it’s not very loud, but that too is sort of vague.

Now imagine that the text is complemented with a short 45-second video on how to use and clean this grinder. You get a much better understanding of how big the thing is since you can see it in rapport to some other kitchenware and you get a much better idea of how loud it is.

And this isn’t just plain theorizing. There is plenty of research that has confirmed that integrating a video in your product description or on your landing page will considerably increase sales, conversions, and user engagement.

Ever Tried Info-graphics?

One of the most successful blends of visual and text data are infographics. While they were considered dull and outdated for quite a long time, they are now among the types of content with the most engagement on the internet.

One crucial reason why infographics have made such an impressive return lies in the fact that people process visual information much, much quicker than they process text.

However, more importantly, infographics are insanely informative (duh). Imagine the amount of research a person would have to do on their own, in order to acquire the same amount of data. But then there’s another important question — how are infographics useful to businesses?

First off, infographics increase the time users spend on a certain website, and given that the infographic is posted within a larger article it helps relieve the visual pressure off the reader (we’ll touch on breaking up text in a while). The reader can take a break from reading and can relax by studying the data provided in the image.

Similarly, a very clever strategy is to create small infographics that you distribute via email marketing channels. This allows recipients to engage with the contents of the email and entices them to visit the sender’s website once again.

Here’s a brilliant example of how Nest, a company that among other products and services offers thermostats, leverages infographics within their email marketing efforts. Here’s an example of the personalized emails they send out to their customers, along with some interesting statistics regarding their use of the thermostat.

Insert Nest Email

Another impressive benefit that infographics offer is an SEO advantage. Every time a business decides to repost your infographic, they’re expected to cite its source, which will provide you with a considerable boost in links that refer to your site.

Ways to Combine Visual and Written Content for Better Engagement

Reading Flow

In the age of visual culture, our attention span has become considerably shorter than we would like it to be. This has defined the necessity to use images in our written content not only as informational support but also as a crutch for our declining focus. 

There’s also been a lot of research made in establishing whether using images helps people take in more information than they otherwise would, so that it has not become an industry imperative.

So in order to ensure that your content will be able to engage your audience, you need to ensure that it will be read in the first place.

According to a recently published article, blog entries that feature images typically have 94% more views the ones that don’t. Similarly, it seems that even social media posts that feature pictures do get a much larger number of likes and shares. Human eyes are drawn to colorful images, that’s just how humans work.

Besides that, when you’re faced with a wall of thick text, which isn’t broken down into smaller increments by images, it looks much more intimidating and often dissuades users from reading it.

Generating high-quality text is as important as creating top-quality visuals. If you’re not sure about the quality of the articles your company is putting out, make sure you delegate your content creation to professionals. If you’re a niche business, you can seek for specialized writers on sites that host online editing services reviews.

Conclusion

It’s safe to argue that visual content isn’t just good engagement, it’s almost essential to any piece of written content. In order to get a greater kick out of your product descriptions — don’t hesitate to include a how-to video that will guide your customer’s senses and will provide important visual information about the product.

Use photos of your smiling colleagues and employees along with your website copy, in order to considerably increase conversions and sales.

And last but not least, make sure you add visual support to your articles, to make them much more enticing to the readers. This, in effect, will ensure that they’ll engage with your content much more.

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