Guest Blogger – Tasneem Jariwala (A Cauldron of Thoughts)
When it comes to marketing, content is key. Giving the right information to the right audience in the right form is an effective strategy to stand out from the competition. The Internet is home to an abundance of content created daily, so businesses have to work hard to grab their target market’s attention. With so many websites/blogs/social media accounts competing for a slice of the readership/viewership pie, marketers need to strategize well. But in this dense market churning out content, visual vs text content: What works best?
Content comes in various forms. You can provide information via text, images, video, or a combination. But what is the best way to present content?
Because about 65% of people are visual learners, a quick answer would be to go visual and use lots of images. It’s certainly a logical thing to do, knowing from our experience that images and infographics convey information well.
However, visual content is not the ultimate content form. Here we break down the comparative advantages and disadvantages of both visual and text content.
Our brains process visual information better. Up to 60,000 times better, it seems. It is generally easier to understand visuals than to read entire blocks of text. In fact, a whopping 90% of the information that the brain receives is non-verbal. Our brain is wired to understand visuals better than text. Because of this, people remember up to 80% of what they see, compared to only about 20% of what they read. So, when it comes to memorability, visuals are key to your content creation.
You can almost double the number of views that your webpage gets if you include visuals. Videos are one type of visual content that gets a lot of favorable feedback. Digital experts even estimate that by 2020, videos will comprise 80% of global Internet traffic.
While most people still use multiple platforms to access online content, mobile usage has continued to increase. Mobile devices are handy and allow you to access the internet anytime and anywhere. If you only have ten seconds to spare, visuals will help you digest information quickly.
There is a caveat to this advantage, though, which is the next thing on our list.
If speed is your concern, then the text is the way to go. Pages that have several high-quality images will take longer to load. This can decrease the number of visitors to your site. Studies have shown that the longer it takes for a page to load, the more users abandon the site. So, while images and video are essential for content creation, saturating your pages with visuals can also backfire.
Search engine optimization uses keywords to determine what results to show. If your website is purely visual, then you lose the chance to optimize your content for search engines. So, when people search for a particular keyword, your website might not be included even if it has the word embedded in an image.
In summary, visuals and text must work together.
In many aspects, visuals do trump text. However, images and videos still have their limitations. Visuals allow people to remember more details. Words can provide context for the visuals.