Your brain is amazing. In the few seconds you spent processing the image above you identified content, colors, shapes, and context with ease. That is because our brains process visual information 60,000 times faster than text, and with 65% of the population categorising as visual learners it is time we embraced the visual web.

With an ever evolving digital world there is more content available online than we could ever read. Images are more important than ever. Just look at the growth in popularity of image based software like Pinterest and Instagram. Pinterest overtook email to become the third most popular sharing platform in the latter part of 2013. Not surprising given the power of images to humanize content. They are the universal language that anyone can understand.

Our world is visually stimulating. Access to images has never been easier with cameras in hand on smart phones, iPads, and the forthcoming Google Glass. As a result we have an image explosion: an average 55 million photos are posted on Instagram alone daily. Images are no longer the realm of professionals. Instant photos posted on social media seek to engage at a more personal level. Brands have followed this pattern and are investing more time in social media outlets.

Engaging followers on Instagram is something Guess does well. Their Instagram allows followers to experience a more personal side to the brand’s image with pictures that range from lunch snaps, what employees are wearing, and backstage fashion show snaps. Visually involving the viewer in the lifestyle of the magazine endorses a feel good vibe and helps build customer trust and loyalty. A few Instagram pictures showing the lifestyle surrounding Guess:

Model selfie          Guess Rocks

Coffee break with Guess          Shooting Guess Denim Diaries

But what does this all mean?

Research has shown articles using images get 94% more total views than those without. Images provide context and convey emotion instantly. Presenting your idea or product with visual context allows viewers to mentally place the product or idea in their own life. Detail of the image is more important to 67% of consumers than the actual product description and information in online sales. Etsy provides their sellers with photo tips to boost sales and provide a sense of trust in the product. Airbnb understand the importance of photography generating successful sales and offer free professional photography shoots for hosts. Clothing retailer Forever 21 recognises the power of images to reach their 8.9 million Facebook followers. Images ranging from celebrity styles, memes, and product updates are posted several times daily on their page. Research shows these type of posts engage 37% more than text only posts on Facebook. An engaging image from Forever 21’s Facebook page:

Forever 21 Lorde's Inspiration

Billions of images are added to the visual web daily. Choosing an image that rises above the vast white noise of modern marketing is what good marketers aim for. Choosing the wrong image can generate some publicity but maybe not the kind you want. Here at Taggs we realise the importance of images that maximize engagement. Follow us on our journey as we provide insight into the visual web.