Content marketing is now one of the most important strategies for any marketer, but how many marketers include visual in their content strategy, and can the ROI of visual content really be measured?

“Between 2014 and 2015 the proportion of the average marketing budget spent on creating, publishing and producing visual content increased from 26% to 30.5%, and it is predicted to increase further to 33.5% in 2016.”

[With visual-based social platforms such as Pinterest growing their user base by 111% and Instagram by 64% it’s no surprise that 55% of content creators have prioritized visual content for 2016.

But why is visual content so important?

Visual content drives 40 times more shares on social
Source: Betahaus Academy

90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual
Source: Betahaus Academy

Content with relevant images gets 94% more views
Source: Hubspot Blog

54% of all internet users have posted original video
Source: Adweek

Tweets with images get 150% more retweets
Source: Betahaus Academy

Visitors spend 100% more time on pages that have a video on them
Source: Virteuts Blog

63% of all social media is made up of images
Source: Betahaus Academy

Although visual content is fast becoming one of the most important elements for any brand marketer, it must be customized and tailored to the specific audience.

Nike’s recent Unlimited campaign is a perfect example of using visual content to inspire positive conversations about your brand, and to have a real impact on how your brand is portrayed.

The Unlimited campaign builds on the already well-known tagline “Just Do It”, and it shows how ordinary people living everyday lives can be incredibly inspirational.

Nike Unlimited campaign

Bud Light is another clever example of visual content being used to tell a story, and to evoke emotional connections from people who associate those emotions with the product. Bud Light encourages its customers to share their Bud Light moments on social media.

This user-generated content shows products being enjoyed in real scenarios and by real people. This has positive effects and increases brand affinity.[Millennial consumers say they trust information from user-generated content 50% more than information from mainstream media sources.

When we listen to what is being said in the images and videos that are captured and shared on social media by millions of people every day, we can start to truly understand our customers, their lives and what is important to them. From these images we can create products and services that are truly customer-centric and that will engage and excite our audience.

Visual content can tell a story about our brands without the need for any words. Whether it is through brand-created or organic, user generated-content, those stories can be key to creating a long-lasting relationship with consumers.