Visual Content is Yet to Be Leveraged Fully by Marketers

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Infographics, videos and other visuals can provide a differentiated way to communicate with customers, but is not yet used as much as it could be.

Creating a diverse range of content to increase brand awareness and enhance the customer experience, is a common marketing strategy nowadays, yet despite a majority of 65 per cent of senior marketing executives understanding the value of visual assets in communication, new research has found that just 27 per cent have the ability to aggregate, organise and manage these assets across marketing and non-marketing teams - including those outside of the organisation.

This figure is particularly surprising considering that video in particular is a great way to leverage value from visuals nowadays, with YouTube alone comprising over one billion users and hundreds of millions of hours of videos are watched on the platform each day.

And the study from the Chief Marketing Officer Council - entitled "From Content to Creativity: The Role of Visual Media in Impactful Brand Storytelling" - reveals that 79 per cent of the senior marketers questioned believe that video will most dramatically increase in importance in the near future. Infographics (60 per cent), photographs (50 per cent) and illustrations (41 per cent) are also expected to increase in usage.

Conducted in partnership with Libris, the study reveals that internal silos, disconnected content development strategies and a vast list of other marketing priorities have prevented visual assets from being fully leveraged across the organisation.

Liz Miller, Senior Vice President of Marketing for the CMO Council, explained: "Marketers have been remiss in approaching the visual asset dialogue as part of the strategic customer experience and engagement dialogue.

"Perhaps because visual assets have long been the domain of creative or agency resources, the conversation around maximising value across the organisation has fallen off of the priority list.

"But as customers continue to react in meaningful ways to visual media, marketing cannot afford to stand idly by and not include visuals in the content ROI agenda."

Research from Zabisco also confirms that 40 per cent of customers will respond better to visual information than plain text.

Marketers have, in turn, shifted content production to include vast quantities of graphics, videos, photography and illustrations. And Zabisco estimates that infographic production increases by 1 per cent every day.

Yet according to the marketing executives surveyed by the CMO Council in the second quarter of 2015, current investments in centralisation of these assets do not reflect this level of priority.

The audit, conducted through the CMO Council’s Content ROI Center, tapped into the insights of 177 senior marketers, with 52 per cent from B2B organisations, 18 per cent from B2C companies and 30 per cent from hybrid organisations selling to B2B2C. A quarter of respondents hail from organisations with more than $1 billion in annual revenue, and 41 per cent hold chief marketing officer, head of marketing or senior vice president of marketing titles.

The clear conclusion from the report is that marketers can do more with visual content to engage with customers and increase brand awareness. How is the split between text and visual in your business? Are you making the most use of the different types of content available to you?