The Move to Visuals (And Why You Should Care)

AuthorHeather Gray-Grant
DateJuly 26, 2016

Social Media Camp is the national conference on social media that attracts international speakers and attendees. At this year’s event, virtually all presenters agreed that images and video are taking over the internet. What do they mean by this? Consider the following:

  • YouTube is now the second largest search engine – just behind Google – and may soon surpass it. (Don’t feel badly for Google as they own YouTube).
  • Google is now building four-story data centre buildings to house the servers required to support increased data space needed on the cloud for things like images and video. These guys plan ahead. Drastic infrastructure changes from this industry mean something for the future.

Cisco has predicted that by 2017, 69% of all internet traffic will be video. Syndacast has put that number at 74%. Most law firm websites have at last some images – but how effectively do you use them and how many of you have videos on your site?

What’s the Magic of Visuals?

It’s actually more science than magic. Essentially, visuals are an easy pathway for us. Over 60% of our brain is focussed on processing visual information. So it should be no surprise that the majority of us (64%) are visual learners.

Whether you are a visual learner or otherwise, visuals help us to connect to subject matter in two important ways:

  1. Cognitively: images have been proven to improve information comprehension, recollection and retention. And visuals go into our long-term memory. So if you are forcing a sale during a presentation, like a time-share sales pitch, then it’s less important that you are memorable. But if your intent is to have the information recipient contact you down the road when they are in need of your services, then being memorable is pretty important.
  2. Emotionally: images tap into our emotions, attitudes and value systems. They can also move us into the creative, problem solving area of our brain by taking us into our imagination. This assists with comprehension, increases the likelihood that clients will envision what it might be like to work with you, and ultimately increases your chance of being short-listed when they need your services.

How effective is this magic? Various Hubspot articles cite the benefits of visuals as follows:

  • 10% of information heard in a presentation is likely to remembered 3 days later v. 65% of information that included visuals.
  • Content with (relevant) images gets 94% more views than content without images.
  • Presentations with visuals are 43%...

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