Trend: visual communication, discipline: content marketing
Visual communication is noted as one of JWT’s top 10 trends for 2014, with the renowned marketing communications firm noting that photos, emojis, video snippets and other imagery will see brands increasingly employ images to meet a rise consumer preference for a visual vocabulary (JWT, 2013). This is of acute interest to content marketers, whose aim is to create and share media and publishing content in order to acquire customers.
Content marketers have long relied upon text-based solutions to disseminate their message and create lasting connections with the right customers to create passionate subscribers to their brand. Content marketing has a long history that stretches to 1895 with the launch of The Furrow from farming equipment corporation John Deere, a customer magazine that focussed on educating its readership on how they could use technology to make their work easier and run their business better (Moon, G 2014). Contemporary examples of text-based content marketing solutions can include e-newsletters, blog posts, status updates or tweets. Brands around the world are spending (on average) over 25% of their total marketing budget on content marketing. (Rose, R., Pulizzi, J. 2011)
However, text-based content is unable to meet the contemporary public’s appetite for easily-digested information: a 2013 study found the average attention spans has dropped to 8 seconds, down from 12 seconds as recently as 2000. (In comparison, goldfish enjoy an attention span of 9 seconds.) (Weatherhead, R. 2014)
This is due to an increase in external stimuli: we now receive five times as much information every day as we did in 1986 – the equivalent of 174 newspapers a day (Alleyne, R. 2011). Faced with such a deluge of text, the average person only reads about 28% of the words on a regular web page (Merieb, E. N. & Hoehn, K. 2007). Visual data, however, does not suffer from this rut, as the brain processes...