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Why organisations need to rely less on words and more on images
New global research reveals that marketers are planning to shift their budgets towards producing more visual content as three quarters report a positive ROI from their visual content marketing campaigns.

The YouGov poll found that businesses are changing their marketing strategy towards content marketing and reveals that 43% say their 2021 content marketing budgets are higher than last year, with two-thirds (66%) expecting a further increase in content marketing spend in the year ahead. In fact, data published by the Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs shows that budgets will increase by as much as 10%.

And when it comes to the type of content, it’s all in the eye of the beholder as more and more B2B marketeers embrace visual content, particularly videos.

The findings reveal that video content looks set to take up most of the marketing budget particularly for events – whether that’s digital, in-person, hybrid – and published to owned media assets or within paid media campaigns.

With Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat commanding social media the power of the video has never been more evident and it is now vital within SEO and content marketing as text alone will not get the rankings companies want or need.

The KPIs used to assess its effectiveness in terms of brand awareness include number of views, likes, unique views as well as click-through rates and the key reasons why marketing decision makers want to produce more visual content are higher levels of engagement, or to evoke emotions as part of their brand story telling process.

And as 65% of people are visual learners, it’s perhaps no surprise that this content is getting the recognition it deserves, whether it’s a YouTube tutorial to showcase your product to a virtual exhibition stand, or simply demonstrating how your products and services work in a series of animated slides published on your website.

Google it
A perfect example of how this can work is the Google ‘Top 8 Web things to know from Google’. Created by Google Chrome developers just last month, it has had over 6 million views to date.
It’s a straight-forward explanation of what’s new, in lay terms and works to update consumers in a pragmatic, visual tutorial that’s a lesson in how to produce a video.

Another great visual campaign is Aldi’s counter claims that rivals have price matched their products. As so often, they use humour and visuals, for example comparing a rock with ‘googly’ eyes to Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson. The takeaway being that this is not a match in any sense of the word and one that gets across the message in a humorous way.

More budget, more work, more empathy
The new mantra is to spend more on content, to do more content and to do it with visual impact.

It’s perhaps not surprising then to read that 48 % of content published online now contains visuals, with 40% of marketeers saying that original visuals rather than stock images is what helped them achieve their goals.

The majority use this form of content on their company’s blog followed by social media, split primarily between Instagram and Facebook.

The report adds it’s not all virtual though, as many B2B marketeers also expect to see an increase ‘in-person’ events in the next two years with over half (52%) saying they predict an increase and nearly 40% anticipating a rise in hybrid events.

Apple held its ‘California Streaming’ event in September. A visual feast that saw it unveil a host of new iPhones, watches and Pro Max’s, watched across the globe virtually as well as in person.

Apple used a visual gimmick of sending invites to those watching virtually that could be turned into a stunning screen wallpaper of the highest resolution. The perfect merger of event, image and invitation to promote itself!

Further Reading:
B2B Content Marketing Insights for 2022: More Budget, More Work, More Empathy [Research] Content Marketing Institute
B2B companies set to up investment into content marketing budgets YouGov
How powerful is visual content in a marketing strategy? Smart Insights
15 Visual Content Marketing Statistics to Know for 2021 [Infographic] Venngage
Top 8 web things to know from Google I/O 2021 YouTube