Nine out of ten marketers now use visual content in more than half of the blog posts, news and infographics that they publish, and a third use stock images and photos to supplement written content, according to a new study by online editing enterprise Venngage.
Over 300 marketers were surveyed to see how exactly visual content will be used in their content strategies during the next 12 months. While video content is being lauded as the one of the most effective ways to drive engagement on social platforms, only 15.2 per cent of respondents said that they use curated clips and presentations more than other content types.
Visual content is growing in popularity though, as there was a 130 per cent increase in the use of images, videos and other visual aids in 2016. When asked what kind of content they are producing the most, 35 per cent of marketers mentioned stock photos, which are often used as headers for high-quality written pieces.
Stock images topped the charts ahead of original graphics such as infographics (30.4 per cent), videos and presentations (15.2 per cent), charts and data visualisations (14 per cent) and GIFs and memes (5.4 per cent). Stock photos were among the most engaging, but infographics came out on top in this instance, with 41.5 per cent of marketers claiming that the latter recorded the highest levels of engagement.
Creating visual content that resonates with audiences is a difficult process for marketers, as more than a third admitted that they struggle to produce quality content consistently. Just over 29 per cent have trouble with producing well-designed visuals, while a quarter said that reaching a wide audience was a problem. Just over ten per cent would like to find more reliable and interesting data.
Visual content is a top priority for the majority of marketers in 2017, as just 2.6 per cent said that it was either somewhat important or not important at all to integrate it into their strategies for the year ahead. More than 90 per cent said that it was either very important or absolutely necessary to publish visual content, while 35.5 per cent are set to allocate more than a third of their budget on it.