Creating visual content is essential if you’re going to successfully market a business – whether it is your own, or a business that you’re marketing on behalf of. As the old adage goes, a picture speaks a thousand words, and when we take video into account as a form of visual marketing, there are quite literally millions of words that can be conveyed. While we will be blogging for some time to come, there are so many reasons to use visual content in your marketing efforts, and not least because a load of text can be tedious to get through! Visual assets are essential for keeping page visitors on the page – since 80% of readers purely skim read online content – and of the 20% of people who do read content, they only actually read about 28% of content before leaving the page. Using images, and video on landing pages helps to increase the time spent on the page – but let’s find out more about why you should be using visual marketing.
Visual content marketing statistics from marketers
Kicking off with some statistics from professionals already working in the field – and right away, it is pretty clear that marketing professionals see visual content marketing as an essential part of their work. 69% of marketers say visual content is either very important, or absolutely necessary in their marketing strategies, and 86% of businesses predicted that visuals would be an important part of their 2020-2021 marketing strategy.
62% of content marketers say that they publish visual content at least twice a week, and 50% of marketers report that their original content performs the best, both on desktop and mobile websites – which explains why 65% of businesses are spending at least 10% of their budget on creating visual content. 32% of marketers say visual images are the most important form of content for their business, with blogging in second at 27%.
55% of marketers create more social media graphics than other visual content, with the majority of time spent creating assets for Facebook and their own company website. Unfortunately though, creating visual content consistently is a challenge – with 35% of marketers saying that it is their biggest struggle. That probably goes a long way to explainig why 42% of businesses state that stock photography is their most often used visual content.
Infographics are exactly what they sound like – a graphic that contains information, and they have been a popular way to share information since the 1700s! The simplicity of presenting information in visual form combined with words started with cavemen and ancient Egyptians though, and the effectiveness of infographics means that they are used extensively by marketing professionals. 65% of brands use infographics as part of their content marketing strategy, and in both B2B and B2C marketing they’re almost equally as popular – with 65% of B2B marketers using infographics, and 59% of B2C marketers using them.
Although they are a popular and engaging way to share information, just 49% of marketing professionals create their own infographics – they rely on sharing existing infographics. But 37% say they prefer to use original graphics in their content, and 56% of marketers use a visual or an infographic in almost all their published content.
Posting infographics on a website can boost traffic by around 12% – and that number could be much higher if you allow the infographic to be embedded on other websites and on social media! If you’re looking to boost SEO, adding infographics can be a valuable way to do so – articles that include infographics got 178% more links than those that are purely text-based, and they get 72% more views.
It isn’t just the information that you share that is important on infographics. 55% of people prefer to read messages in colour, and use of colour in infographics increases attention span by 82%. Furthermore, messages in colour are 39% more likely to be remembered than those that are in black and white – proving that spending time doing design work is not wasted!
Although infographics are a pretty successful form of visual content, 37% of content creators would like to be able to automate transforming infographics into other forms of content. Reduce, reuse and repurpose isn’t just an approach for sustainability – it is a strategy widely used by marketing professionals to squeeze the most value from their endeavours!
While infographics are popular, we think many marketers are likely to encounter the same issues with creating original infographics that all original content has. And we’re not far off the mark either. On a scale of 1-10, 44% of marketers rank creating infographics at a 7 or higher in terms of difficulty – which probably explains why around 50% of marketers use an online graphic design tool (such as Canva – one of our favourites!) to create their visual content.
Email marketing statistics
2019 saw an average of 293.6 billion emails sent each day, with around 44% of people checking their personal emails between 1 and 3 times each day. Of course, most of us check our work email much more often – it is estimated that professionals check their emails 15 times a day – which is every 37 minutes on average. That’s a lot of potential time to get your email in front of your customers! More than 59% of marketers report email provides their best ROI, and on top of that, 78% of marketers have seen an increase in engagement via email over the last 12 months.
Over 59% of marketers say that email provides their best ROI, while 78% of marketers have seen an increase in engagement via email over the last 12 months. For every $1 that is spent on email marketing, there’s an average return of $42 – which is a pretty impressive return on investment.
Interactive emails have been shown to improve click rates by around 300%, which means it is well worth taking the time to create and send this type of email – but only as long as they are suitable for viewing on mobile devices. 49% of all emails are opened on mobile devices, but 42% of people who receive an email that isn’t optimised for mobile just delete it.
The first ten days of the month generally show the best overall performance for email campaigns, but what is really interesting is that the best day of the month to send a marketing email is the 29th (except February, unless it is a leap year!) This could be because pay day is almost upon us, but we’re not sure.
Personalising email is always a good idea too. 74% of marketers say targeted personalisation increases customer engagement, while emails with personalised subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened, and personalised emails deliver 6 times higher transaction rates.
Social media statistics
Despite the difficulty in creating original visual content, social media posts that have visual content – either images, video or infographics – has been shown to have up to 94% more views. That means it is well worth the effort to both create it, and to post it for followers to like and share, which increases the reach of the brand further.
After YouTube (which we will get to in the next section) adding video content to your social media channels is most successful on social media channels. Whether you embed video directly to your feeds, you record Story videos or do Live streaming (or – most successfully – a combination of all of these strategies) there is plenty of opportunity to get your customers to engage with your video on social media. The numbers don’t lie either, since social media posts that have videos in them boost views by 48% – so if you’re creating video content anyway, make the most of it!
Facebook is the most popular social media channel, and has more than 2.6 billion active monthly users, with more than 1.69 billion users logging in daily and more than 500,000 new users signing up for Facebook each day. The fastest growing group of people signing up for Facebook were people aged 75 and over – which means that there is huge potential to reach that demographic on the channel.
Facebook Stories have 500 million active users daily, and there are more than 4 billion video views taking place on Facebook every single day. Of those video views, 65% come from mobile users. Perhaps because they are being watched covertly (in class, or in work?) 85% of Facebook videos are watched with the sound off. With that in mind, it should come as no surprise that 80% of Facebook users react negatively if a video in their feed starts playing loudly. (well if they’re watching video somewhere they shouldn’t be…!) Perhaps that isn’t too much of an issue for marketers to be worried about though, considering that people only remember around 10% of what they hear, and they remember 65% of information they see?
Marketers don’t have much time to engage viewers of their videos. 47% of the total campaign value of a Facebook video ad is created in less than three seconds, and the average video watch time on Facebook is just 10 seconds. Video ads that go on for more than 15 seconds have much higher abandon rates than those with shorter ones.
When it comes to posting, it is well worth knowing that videos that are uploaded directly to Facebook get 478% more shares than videos posted from elsewhere, and viewers spend up to five times longer looking at video content than any other type of content on Facebook. That’s a massive increase in potential shares, so don’t simply share your videos from YouTube – post them directly to Facebook and you’ll see the best results.
In 2019, Twitter had 386 million users and more than 145 million were monetizable daily users. Around 1/3 of Twitter users are in the 25-34 age bracket, and the platform is pretty heavily dominated by male users – with just 39% of Twitter users worldwide being female.
While people think of Twitter as being all about the words (and that is how it started, of course) video is growing on the platform too – 67% year on year, in fact. There are about two billion video views on Twitter every day, and tweets that include video get ten times the amount of engagement than those without. And although photos on tweets can be valuable (they get 150% more retweets than those without images), videos in tweets are retweeted six times more than photos – so when you’re thinking about your visuals for Twitter, using both video and images is essential.
Similar to other platforms, the majority of video views on Twitter are happening on mobile devices – with 90% of Twitter video views happening on mobile – so be sure to test your visual assets on a mobile before posting them.
Photo sharing platform Instagram was bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion in stock and cash, and since then, Instagram has grown to be the sixth most popular social network. If we discount the three messaging platforms of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Weixin/WeChat, then Instagram comes up as the third most used social media website with just over 1 billion accounts worldwide monthly active users.
Instagram is around half as popular as their owners Facebook, but Instagram users spend a pretty similar amount of time on Instagram as they do on Facebook. Users spend an average of 53 minutes on Instagram each day, compared with 58 minutes on Facebook.
71% of the monthly active users on Instagram are under the age of 35, and 66% of Instagram users in the age 18-24 bracket access their feeds several times every single day. It isn’t just a platform for youngsters though – in the 35-44 age bracket, more than half the are using it more than once per day, while 31% of the age 55+ group access their Instagram account multiple times daily.
Users can follow up to 7500 accounts on one account – which gives businesses massive amounts of scope for interacting with their followers. The most liked photo on Instagram was set up with the intention of breaking the world record, and is just a photo of an egg – which as we write this post, has had 54.9 million likes since January 2019. For marketing professionals, that means you’re unlikely to break that number.
To date, there have been over 50 billion photos shared on Instagram, with 89.5% of Instagram photos are posted normally with no Instagram filter having been added. A few random useful stats for marketers to boost their engagement:
- Photos that feature faces get 38% more likes.
- Posts that have at least one hashtag get around 12.6% more engagement
- Using a location marker on your post will increase engagement by 79%
- Around 70% of hashtags on Instagram are branded
Instagram created business profiles in 2016, and more than 90% of accounts follow a business on Instagram. Not only that, 78% of Instagram users see brands on Instagram as popular, 77% as entertaining and 72% as committed to building community. Further to that, a third of the most viewed Stories are from businesses.
While advertising is often seen as negative on other platforms, there are five types of ads that businesses can use on Instagram: photo ads, video ads, carousel ads, Story ads and ads in Explore. In just the first quarter of 2019, there were almost 25,000 Instagram accounts that published posts with the #ad hashtag – which shows just how popular advertising is on the platform.
Instagram was launched with the aim of sharing photos, but since the platform launched in 2010 there have been a number of ways that video has been built in. As we write the post, there are four different types of videos on Instagram:
- Feed videos can be up to 60 seconds and 91% of these are watched
- Instagram Live videos can be up to 60 minutes
- Stories can be up to 15 seconds (multiple Stories can be recorded) and 83% are watched
- IGTV (uploaded from the separate IGTV app) can be up to 60 minutes, with 44% are watched
Video sharing on posts was added to Instagram in 2013, and it was quickly adopted by the users with over five million videos being shared in the first 24 hours.
It is estimated that 69% of time that users spend on Instagram is watching videos, with most Instagram videos being viewed between 8pm and 11pm – around 33% are watched at this time. Unlike Facebook though, around 60% of Instagram Stories are watched with sound on – which tells us that viewers are watching more intentionally. Video on Instagram is well worth doing too – since 31% of users have made a purchase directly after watching a video ad on Instagram.
Instagram video posts get twice the engagement than photo posts, and the additional likes, comments and shares add up to increased reach. The most popular Instagram video content is how-to guides, followed by behind the scenes posts, interviews and news coverage.
Designed to share pictures for just a short amount of time, Snapchat now has 293 million monthly active users, and 210 million of Snapchat users are active daily. Although it has a smaller user base than other social media networks, Snapchat is projected to exceed 365 million global users by 2023. Of those current users, 90% are 13-24 years old, and 61% of users are female.
Over 3 billion snaps are created every day, which works out at a massive 2.1 million snaps every single minute of the day. Half of Snapchat’s daily Discover viewers watch Discover every single day – which gives businesses plenty of opportunities to reach customers, in addition to the 40% of Snapchat users that say they discover brands thanks to Snapchat influencers.
Despite that, just 12% of video marketers say they have used Snapchat as a marketing channel – with half saying that it worked well for them. Just 10% said they intended to continue to use Snapchat as a marketing channel. If you’re looking for a marketing channel with less competition, Snapchat could just be it.
TikTok is pretty new to the world of social media, having only been launched in the current iteration in 2018. The aim of the app? To help users share short-form video content that lasts between 3 and 60 seconds. It is a successful platform too, with 800 million monthly active users, using TikTok for an average of 45 minutes every day. There is huge potential for increasing brand awareness as well as marketing on the platform. Influencer fees are much lower than on other social media channels – on TikTok, influencers with over 2.5 million followers or more charge just $600 to $1000 per post, rather than the rate of $100 to $200 for every 10,000 to 20,000 followers on Instagram.
Since then, there has been 800 million installs of the app – but although that is a massive number, the company has far more users than that, since it operates as Douyin in the Chinese market. At the moment, TikTok don’t share active user information, but considering that TikTok was the 7th most downloaded mobile app of the decade, from 2010 to 2019 (despite only having been launched in 2018 remember?) it is likely to be pretty high, especially if we consider the Chinese population is a bit under 1.4 billion people.
TikTok users spend an average 52 minutes per day on the app, which is much longer than Facebook and Instagram – so there is much more potential for marketing activity to be seen by target audiences.
While some discount Pinterest as a social media channel, and even Pinterest’s CEO describing it as a ‘catalogue of ideas’, there is absolutely no question that there is a huge potential for marketing on the platform. The inherently visual way in which users browse the platform – scrolling through images, GIFs and videos – means that there is a huge opportunity to reach customers, increase brand awareness and market products.
At the last report (prior to the global pandemic!) there were over 300 million users of Pinterest that logged in every month. 70% of those users are women – although that figure is likely to be a little more balanced in the near future, as around 50% of new Pinterest signups are men.
Pinterest knows that there are different ways that people want to interact with pins, and have created ‘Rich Pins’ – product pins that can link users directly to listings for items, recipe pins (that do what it says on the tin), article pins and app pins – all designed to reach customers more effectively.
It is also possible to increase the reach of your content by adding infographics and video to pins, and carousel pins (which act a bit like Instagram posts with multiple photos). And if you turn any type of pin into a promoted pin – well, that is definitely worth doing, since more than half of users (that’s over 145 million people!) have made a purchase after seeing a Promoted Pin.
Pinterest is a fantastic channel for marketing professionals to use however, since it is possible to pin up to 200,000 pins on up to 2,000 boards and for content to be shared potentially indefinitely. If used with the right type of hashtags and keywords, pins can still be found years from now.
LinkedIn has over 675 million users, with just under half (310 million) being active monthly. However, LinkedIn users access the platform for an average of just 17 minutes per month – which means getting a message across quickly is absolutely essential. Sharing images, infographics and videos on the platform are an absolutely essential way to get those messages across quickly, and to get them liked and shared.
For marketing, LinkedIn tends to be heavily skewed towards B2B. Businesses report that 80% of B2B leads come from LinkedIn, as opposed to just 13% on Twitter and a mere 7% on Facebook. Although B2B is at the forefront of LinkedIn activity, 43% of marketers also say they have found customers via LinkedIn.
Although LinkedIn is more focused on professional connections, there is a lot of possibility for success when posting video, especially when it comes to B2B marketing. Indeed, the success of the platform meant that around two thirds of marketing professionals were planning to post video on LinkedIn in 2020, (whether that came to fruition or not, considering COVID-19 lockdowns and so on – we will see!). Further to that, 87% of marketers that have already posted video on the platform state that it has been an effective channel to meet their goals. It is well worth posting video though – since where content was found in both video and written format, 59% of executives said they would choose to consume it via video.
The majority of engagement with LinkedIn happens on mobile (57% in fact), and that figure is likely to continue to increase – especially since LinkedIn Stories was launched this year. This gives businesses the opportunity to add short videos (up to 20 seconds) much like Story posts on other platforms.
Video marketing statistics
When you’re creating something visual, you want it to have a huge impact. To create even more impact than an image, marketing professionals turn to video. And when we say video has more of an impact than images, we have evidence to back up that statement! The claim that a picture speaks a thousand words is generally acknowledged to be true, and if video is moving images – well, then it is worth many more words, surely! A researcher did the maths for us – and they concluded that video is estimated to be worth a massive 1.8 million words per minute. This is how they did the calculations:
1 picture = 1,000 words
Video shoots at 30 frames per second (or 24fps, but when the final number is over 1.8 million, who’s counting?)
Therefore, 1 second of video = 30,000 words
30,000 words x 60 seconds = 1.8 million
Video isn’t just effective because of the way that it gets a message across though. Video on a page is effective because it is eye-catching – and people look at video for up to five times longer than static content, which means they stay wherever the video is for longer. Website users spend up to 88% more time on websites with video than they do on websites without video, and embedding videos on landing pages can increase conversion rates by up to 80%.
Even using video in email can provide excellent returns – it has been found that customers are 19% more likely to open an email with the word video in the subject line, while embedding video in your marketing emails can increase click-through rates by a massive 300%.
All this means that we need to be adding video everywhere, from social media posts, to landing pages, in blog content and in emails. Video provides excellent return on investment – at least 89% of marketers say so, and more than half of customers want more video content from their favourite brands.
Customers want to find video content from the brands they like, where they find it convenient – and generally that means YouTube and the social media channels that they engage with those brands. Cisco estimated that in 2020 there would be close to one million minutes of video crossing the internet every second. With the pandemic, it wouldn’t be surprising if that that figure was well and truly smashed! They also suggest that by 2022, online video would encompass more than 82% of consumer internet traffic, while 79% of global mobile data traffic will be video by 2022.
YouTube is the first place that most of us think of when anyone talks about online video. And many viewers feel the same, since more than a billion hours of video are watched on YouTube every single day – although we suspect that figure will be massively different when Google reports the figures for 2020. Although that much is being viewed every day, there will always be something new to watch, since there are more than 500 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute each day. To watch a single minute of uploads, you’d need to watch continuously for more than 20 days with no food, sleep or comfort stops. Even with our mobile devices, we don’t think we’ll be getting involved in that kind of challenge!
YouTube reaches more viewers in the 18-49 age bracket than all the cable TV networks put together – which is a pretty impressive amount of people. That figure is only going to increase over the coming years as internet access is grown further too. It isn’t surprising though, when you consider that 70% of YouTube video views are from mobile devices, and over 250 million hours of YouTube watch time per day are on TV screens – people are simply watching video on YouTube wherever they are. Not only do they watch everywhere they are, but they also don’t stop watching when they start either. Take a break reminders were implemented in 2018, and since then YouTube has delivered more than one billion of these alerts.
For marketing professionals, that means there is a lot to be gained from posting to YouTube, and making use of the different advertising options that are available on the platform.
While Vimeo has a much smaller section of the market with just 170 million monthly active users, the platform is growing by more than 80% year on year. The main reason that users of Vimeo choose it over YouTube? It is much easier to create niche communities, and that Vimeo is ad-free leads to video on the platform getting more than 715 million monthly views. Over 45% of that traffic is from Facebook, and interestingly, just under 30% of visits are from YouTube. People don’t tend to hang around on Vimeo though – with the average visit duration lasting just over three minutes, and people spending time on an average of three pages during each visit.
Twitch video streaming statistics
Video marketing doesn’t always mean YouTube and social media. Twitch was launched in 2011 as a video game streaming platform, and by October 2013 it was getting 45 million unique visitors. With that much success it wasn’t surprising when Amazon decided to snap it up for just under $1 billion. Since the platform has been integrated with Amazon Prime, it was getting an average 1.4 million concurrent viewers in Q1 in 2020.
In February 2020 there were 3.8 million unique broadcasters, and streamers can monetise their activity by using in-stream links that allows viewers to purchase the games being played. Twitch is being used as a platform that advertisers can reach young men, who are traditionally difficult to reach, since many no longer view traditional television and use ad-blockers when they’re browsing online.
The future of video marketing
We expect massive things to happen in video marketing in the near future – just posting video won’t cut it.
- Facebook is already showing us just how valuable 360° videos are, providing much more detail for viewers.
- Video on social media platforms will become more and more popular. TikTok and Snapchat are likely to become more essential as they increase their user bases, so start using them sooner rather than later. Don’t miss out on connecting with customers because you don’t think it is relevant.
- LinkedIn Stories is guaranteed to show some interesting data once it has been running for a while – will it revolutionise B2B marketing?
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) is going to become much more mainstream. Remember when Pokémon Go launched and kids (young and old) walked around catching invisible Pokémon characters? That was just the start, and we expect there to be much more demand for this kind of technology from consumers.
The global AR and VR market is expected to exceed $209.2 billion by 2022, and the number of VR/AR devices sold worldwide is expected to increase to 68.6 million units in 2023 – with headsets expected to sell more than 30 million units in that time.
Gaming and entertainment might be driving the VR and AR, but it isn’t surprising that VR and AR are getting more popular with marketers either – adding VR can increase conversions for eCommerce businesses by 17%.
About 20% of US consumers were predicted to use VR in 2020 (although that prediction was made pre-pandemic!) and the forecast is for there to be a massive 79%year on year increase in the size of the market.
User experience is a major obstacle for VR to be adopted. Bulky hardware and technical problems, as well as poor content being produced (19% of users reported this as a concern) are all considerations – but that might be seen as an advantage by businesses that are prepared to create the sort of content that consumers want. The countries that are putting the biggest amounts of investment into VR are China and the US. They are expected to spend $5.8 billion and $5.1 billion on the technology respectively in 2020.
It is tending to be larger companies that are investing in the technology right now – Sony, Samsung Electronics, Google, Microsoft and HTC, while Apple is reported to be launching a headset in 2022, and glasses the following year.
While there might be relatively few smaller businesses that are investing in VR and AR right now, the technology is getting ever closer, and businesses shouldn’t discount it as a fad. It is expected that by 2030, more than 23 million jobs will use AR and VR in some way.
While we – and most other marketers – are likely to never give up blogs and other text-based assets, the use of visual marketing will remain essential to our strategies. From adding video to YouTube, to using images and video on social media, as well as on infographics and in email marketing – none of them are perfect in their own right, but they all add up to help our strategies become ever more successful.
None of us know what the future will bring for marketing as a whole, but what we do know is coming is VR and AR technologies, and even more reliance on social media networks to interact with customers – be that in real time, such as in live streams, or through traditional posts.
Last Updated on February 18, 2021
Aires Loutsaris is a content marketing specialist working with some of the world’s biggest VC funded startups and eCommerce companies. He has 15 years of experience in organic search optimisation and content writing with over 2500 students enrolled in his Udemy SEO course. An ex-head of two award-winning agencies, he has lectured at the University of the Arts, London College of Fashion on content marketing and has consulted for all three of the Universities he studied at: The Open University, The University of Hull and Kings College University of London. Feel free to connect with Aires on LinkedIn or Facebook.