Marketing budgets are increasingly favoring visual content, with graphic designs and videos among the most popular investments. This is one of the main conclusions from a research study of marketing decision makers, led by LEWIS, the global communications agency.
LEWIS interviewed 422 marketing decision makers from the US, South America, Europe and APAC. Some 73 percent of respondents noted that total marketing budgets this year have increased from 2015. In addition, two thirds (66 percent) intend to spend more on visual content this year. Just three percent plan to spend less while the remaining 31 percent plan to maintain spending at current levels.
Visual content is such a popular investment as it provides demonstrable ROI. Over four-fifths (81 percent) of marketing leaders surveyed feel they can measure the ROI of their visual content. The most frequently used KPIs are number of views (69 percent), likes (50 percent) and unique viewers (49 percent). Surprisingly, click-through rates (CTR) are only used by 15 percent.
When asked what makes visual content successful, respondents listed great production quality (66 percent), compelling image (42 percent) and interesting storyline (39 percent) as key criteria.
Marketers create a wide variety of visual content. Graphic designs (79 percent) and videos (70 percent) are the most popular forms. The majority of marketers questioned (71 percent) rely on internal resources to produce this content. More than half also use external agencies.
“image-rich content gets a staggering 94 percent more views than content without relevant images.”
Key reasons why marketing decision makers produce visual content include higher levels of engagement (67 percent), to support social channels such as YouTube and Instagram (50 percent) and to ‘evoke emotions’ (47 percent).
The top three brands most admired for their visual communications strategy were: Apple, YouTube and Coca Cola.
“We are not surprised to see that visual content is extremely popular amongst marketers worldwide,” said Stephen Corsi, Senior Vice President Global, LEWIS Pulse. “This confirms the rise we have seen globally for video, graphics, photography and design capabilities. We also manage a lot of our clients’ social channels and have found that image-rich content gets a staggering 94 percent more views than content without relevant images. We believe that any successful company needs to rely less on words and more on images.”
For the full research findings, and more reading on the topic of visual communications enter your details below.