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Images, video, and other types of multimedia can increase user engagement across channels and devices.

Whether you’re increasing engagement on a website, in social media, or in an app, these tips can help you grab and hold users’ attention.

How Images Increase User Engagement

In social media marketing circles, it is well-known that images significantly boost post visibility.

In an informal study by Buffer, posts with images received:

  • 18% more clicks
  • 89% more favorites
  • 150% more retweets

In-house data from the marketing agency theEword found similar boosts to engagement.

Facebook posts received:

  • 293% more impressions per post
  • 732% more likes
  • 1421% more shares

Common sense will tell you the same thing. In your experience, which posts seem more clickable – those with images, or those without?

Our eyes naturally gravitate towards images, which is why Pinterest, Instagram, and other social networks are relying so heavily on images to communicate.

Though these studies focus on social media, the same is true for websites, apps, and any other user interface.

Here are a few tips for using images successfully to increase user engagement:

  • Eyetracking studies by the Nielsen-Norman Group revealed that not all images help engagement. Their research found that users paid close attention to images that were relevant, such as product photos or images of real people. On the other hand, users ignored stock photos or images that were irrelevant. So when you use images, make them as real and relevant as possible.
  • Whenever possible, include images in your social media updates, blog posts, emails, and other digital communications. Use images that are relevant and can be tied into the content of the post, and always ensure they are free for commercial use. Free photo websites, such as Pixabay, offer up plenty of high quality imagery that can be used in commercial projects.
  • Tag your images with descriptions. Since images are indexed by search engines, they help your website stand out in image searches and can help Google classify and categorize your site’s content. Most content management systems make this step simple, so it won’t take much extra time.

Video Takes Images to the Next Level

Video is huge and video marketing may very well be the future of advertising and content marketing:

  • 70% of marketers report that video converts better than any other medium.
  • Videos used on landing pages can increase conversions by 80%.
  • By 2017, almost 75% of internet traffic will be video.
  • Real estate listings that include video receive over 400% more inquiries than those without.

Videos, like images, are clearly a great way to increase user engagement, regardless of your platform. A quick look at the social networks demonstrates how valuable video has become to social media and its users. Native video has become an integral part of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and so forth.

To take advantage of video marketing, follow some basic guidelines:

  • Stick with the tried-and-true practices of marketing and business. Always make your videos relevant and valuable to your audience. Avoid stock imagery or irrelevant video clips, favoring real, down-to-earth videography.
  • Post videos across your omnichannel network, from social media platforms to websites.
  • Create a variety of video lengths and formats. Most people tend to get bored after one minute, so consumer-oriented videos should stay superficial and short. Longer videos have their place, however. B2B services and complex or expensive products with lots of features can often only be completely covered in longer videos.
  • Don’t let budget hinder you. All it takes is a smartphone with a video camera. Scripts and polished productions aren’t always necessary. Some of YouTube’s most successful personalities skyrocket their growth simply by recording short clips on an iPhone.
  • Also, don’t be afraid to make videos if you’re screen shy or don’t have actors available. Videos can consist of everything from PowerPoint presentations to animations. These can be just as effective at conveying information to customers, sometimes more so.

Infographics and User Engagement

Infographics, like images and video, earn more clicks, retweets, shares, and views than text alone. These data-driven storyboards are easily digestible. And, like videos, they can convey lots of information, making them particularly useful to B2B marketers.

In terms of sharing and engagement, infographics share similar increased numbers as images. According to some data, infographics are shared and liked 3 times as much as other content.

Here are a few tips for successfully using infographics:

  • Ensure your infographics contain real, actionable information. An infographic without data or information is like an irrelevant image. It won’t serve a purpose and people won’t be left with a great impression.
  • Design is key. Creating a great infographic can be costly, but they can take your engagement through the roof. Make sure you hire a professional to create a design that looks great – the better it looks, the more it will be shared.
  • Create with a purpose. Infographics should be designed with a specific purpose that fulfill a definite function within your marketing strategy and funnel. Many infographics aren’t hard-sales pieces, but you should certainly label them with your brand.

 

As the internet becomes more visual, it’s a good idea to make your content more visual. Doing so will help you stay visible and stand out in an internet that is still driven by text and blogs.