How Important Is the Visual Aspect of Online Marketing?

BY Peg McDermott on Aug 28, 2012 / IN marketing strategy

The early days of the web were mostly about exchanging text, but as computers and download speeds got faster, adding images and even video to web content gradually became more and more common. Over the past couple of years, there has been an explosion of image sharing as mobile apps have made it simple for anyone to take a photo wherever they are and send it all over the world with a single push of a button.


In addition, newer social media networks like Pinterest and Instagram have actually built their entire platforms around the idea that photo sharing has power. Why explain in a blog post what your vacation destination is like when you can just take a photo or a video and show everyone?


What this has meant for businesses is that those who can get their point across quickly with an image have an advantage over those who don’t. Of course, this is not a new idea – any company that has ever taken out an ad in a glossy magazine can tell you how important it is to be able to visually express the value of your product or service. This means that not only do you have to show your product in a positive and enticing way, you also have to show it in the context of the lifestyle benefits that it affords your potential customers.


This idea of lifestyle fantasy is one of the main ideas that makes Pinterest so popular. People design their dream weddings, their dream vacations, their dream homes, and their dream lives over this most visual of social networks. The fact that this is so virally popular should be a big clue for marketers that the more readily you can show how your product or service will contribute to your audience’s dream lifestyle, the more likely you are to be able to turn those viewers into customers.


In other words, images and video are more important than ever in the online marketing game, and not only is this not going to go away, it’s likely to accelerate over the next few years. Look for even more visually-based social networks to pop up, and as Facebook has just acquired Instagram, the world’s largest social network is now set to integrate images even more readily than before. So don’t ignore the visual aspect of your marketing efforts – give your images at least as much attention as your words.