Welcome To The New Visual Web

At MONSTERS, we manage social media for a number of businesses, organizations and brands. One aspect of that role is going through a brand’s Facebook stream and “liking” or commenting on posts. Recently while doing just that, I noticed something surprising: every update I liked was a photo, graphic or other image. Scanning through posts, it’s so much easier to be struck by an image than text.

And it’s not just on Facebook. Visual dominance is beginning to take root across the Web. The Internet is no longer a text-focused world; it’s a much more visually focused one. The Web has become faster allowing for quicker visual loading, and software has made it easier to add images to a slew of sites in an instant. You might argue that visuals have played a key role on the Web for decades. You’d be right. But the role of visuals on the Web is both changing and expanding.

Spotlighting the visual world of the Web

Today, visual elements on the Web are not just supporting players – they’re the star of the show. With so much content peppering the Web at every turn, more visual, scannable content has become the key to standing out. This philosophy has even slithered into social media where images are becoming THE way to communicate – especially for organizations. Still not convinced? Let’s take a look at some recent evidence from across the Web.

Facebook
The switch over to the Facebook timeline format a few months back was all about putting visuals in the forefront. Facebook pages now paint a larger picture, piecing together your posts to create a mosaic of who you are.

Instagram
Purchased by Facebook for a boatload of dollar bills, this fairly simple and increasingly popular site uses images and filters to enable individuals not only to share photos but also involve themselves in the creative process.

LinkedIn & Google+
Like Facebook, these two popular social media sites both incorporate an image-based structure that encourages more visual posting. Even links you post to these sites now include a thumbnail image.

Pinterest
The latest craze in the world of social media is the one that helped propel the visual trend into the stratosphere. Pinterest is without qualms a visual-based site, designed for quick scanning and sharing.

Websites
It’s been happening for years, business and organization websites have been reducing the text and amping up the visuals. It’s not uncommon these days to encounter sites that are 5:1 visual to text – something almost unheard of a decade ago.

Infographics
With the Internet now flooded with stats of all shapes and sizes, marketers have turned to graphics to make stats easier to digest. Infographics sum up paragraphs of text in an engaging, visual format.

3 tips for making your online presence more visual

So you’re looking around the Web and starting to see it – images galore. Now the question arises: What are you going to do about it? Let us help you out a little bit in that department. Here are some tips for acclimating your organization to the new visual world of the Web.

Always use an image

If you’re publishing a blog post, add an image. If you’re posting on your Facebook page, add an image. Make sure almost everything you do on the Web has an image associated with it. Even if it’s just a simple image to support the text, add it. This will make your content more engaging and increase the likelihood that others will post a link to that page. For example, when I’m posting on brand Facebook pages I won’t post a link if it doesn’t have an image. The reason is simple: without an image, people are far less likely to click on it.

Think more about your visuals

This means you may have to spend a little more time and care adding images to your website and other organizational pages. But as the Web becomes more and more about scanning and visual attraction, having eye-catching images that truly support and enhance your content is now more important than ever. Your images matter, and they very well may determine whether someone chooses to dig into your content or move on. Select your images carefully. Make an effort to find or develop images/graphics that convey your message in the blink of an eye.

Embrace the infographic

We mentioned the infographic above. There’s a reason this visual means of transferring information is becoming so popular: it’s easy. You see an infographic and immediately know you don’t have to do too much work to get to the information you need. It’s all right there. If text is a whole onion with different layers of pertinent information for you to peel away as you please, an infographic is chopped onion – everything you need is right there in front of you. Again, it takes a little bit of work and design to put together infographics, but they are more engaging and enticing to read. And they will get you more views and results.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. As the Web continues to evolve as a primarily visual medium, and people become more adept at instantaneously parsing through information, your visual content will more important. Take action today to put your organization in the visual ball game. Make sure your Web presence is visually appealing, and you’ll see better results with your online marketing efforts.