Every marketer should seek to create engagement between the brand and customers, potential and current. Engagement, one way or another, is how you get your brand out into the world and in front of potential customers. If you’re not on their minds, they won’t seek out to learn what you have to offer, and your services will go unused. For that reason, businesses alike have pursued new formats of marketing as they appear. Currently, the best option is to use images and graphics, particularly in online avenues.

For what feels like forever, people have relied on the written word. For the longest time, if someone wanted to reach an audience they could not physically speak to, they used the written word. Now, we can advertise with images and graphics just about everywhere. And marketing made this change not only because of how easy technology made it but because businesses far and wide saw greater success through image and video. People truly engage more with video and images than anything, and there are clear reasons why.

How Fast Your Content Engages With Your Audience

A person only needs 3 seconds to decide if they want to click on your photo, and 10 to look at your video. With the written word, it’s less than that. Most people decide if they want to read more or view an ad based on the title alone. On the surface, this may seem like a good thing in favor of the written word, but consider how long it takes you to read a sentence. For many, that’s longer than the amount of time people are willing to read for.

This means that the format of the written word is in a far weaker position in the digital age. You have to be able to immediately grab people’s attention, which means the title has to draw people in. It’s a daunting task to capture someone’s attention in a few words, but the same cannot be said for images and videos. They have a clear message that can be absorbed instantly, and the human attention span allots an image or video more time so they have that advantage.

How Video and Images Engage With Your Audience

Images and videos appeal to the most important of our senses, sight. People retain information and events related to things they’ve witnessed or been exposed to. You can’t see, hear, or smell whatever a written word is telling you, leading to why images and videos are so good at imparting information.

A quality image, whether it be a simple photo or a well-crafted graphic, can tell you everything you need to know at a glance. It can show you a food item you want to eat, a car you want to test drive, or a new marketing platform you want to try out, all in a matter of seconds. We’re not saying that an image tells a person everything they could know, but everything they need to know to get them to click on the image.

Quality videos work even better. They have the ability to inform someone about your product/service as well as an image, while also imparting extra information like the written word. Videos offer the best of both worlds.

Why It’s Difficult to Engage With Words

The truth is that most people who click on this article are not going to make it to this section of the blog. Reading across the United States is down; marketing is not the only industry where imagery and video have replaced the written word.

Rather than newspapers and long articles in magazines, we focus our marketing budget and time on online ads. Ad sites like:

  • Google
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn

These sites and platforms are where we put our marketing dollars down, places where we can put our brands’ names and products inside a person’s head in seconds, rather than minutes.

Reading requires a stronger sense of concentration than images and videos. When you have images and videos that you look at all the time, people’s sense of concentration is lower. Research has even indicated that the human attention span has decreased by 4 seconds over the years, from 12 seconds 15 years ago, to 8.25 today. Marketing has to evolve to keep up with this trend.

The Written Word Isn’t Useless

Videos and images have become the best way to sell something, especially over the internet. But that doesn’t change the fact that they still need to have someplace to send their clicks. Landing pages or web pages that specialize in capturing the clicks image and video ads bring in, use a mix of visuals and text to inform someone of your complete service, to sign-up for your email, or simply gain a new sale. This is where you still need your prized skills in marketing writing. Once an image or a video has their attention, you write what you can to keep it.

Not all gloom and doom, several of the most popular and long-lasting social media platforms are text-based. On Twitter and Facebook, visuals serve as supplementary to text. It’s not time to throw away your writing skills, but expand what you can do in a visual medium. Understand what is giving physical ads an edge over plain old text, and understand where each ones’ strengths lie to create a marketing plan that will increase your audience and your revenue. Or you can have ENX2 Marketing do it for you.