Crucial Digital Marketing Role of Visual Images In Creating Website Visitor Engagement
Crucial Digital Marketing Role of Selecting The Right Images For Your Website
“Website visitors “read” images faster than copy. Then the brain make a split second decision whether or not this website holds the promise to meet a need. If so, a desire to know more is passed along to the conscious mind for further action toward investigation and action.” Lonn Dugan, BIG Marketing Solutions LLC
Does your digital marketing effort on your website and in social media efforts use images to illustrate how you can meet needs of visitors and prospects? What problem do you solve? What desire do you satisfy? Do you offer an immediate and clear decision tree so the prospect knows what to click on next, and what path to follow to get the solution they seek? Does the visitor come to increase general awareness, gather information for later purchase, or want to buy a solution today?
Images and content must work together in harmony to address each stage in the buying cycle of a website visitor. Website design that takes this science and psychology into account will produce more engagement, lower bounce rates, more leads for your list of prospects you can reach out and nurture until they are ready to buy… and more conversions!
There is a formula in marketing for prospect engagement and conversion. The Buy Cycle is made up of several stages described as Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action (AIDA). The brain decides quickly, and mostly unconsciously, whether or not the conscious mind will pay attention to a visual cue. Until you capture attention and create interest (AI) you cannot fan the flames of Desire & Action (DA).
Only once you have accomplished engagement can you appeal to Desire and Action. Do you offer an immediate and clear decision tree so the prospect knows what to click on next, and what path to follow to get the solution they seek? Does the visitor come to increase general awareness, gather information for later purchase, or want to buy a solution today? Images and content must work together in harmony to address each stage in the buying cycle of a website visitor. Website design that takes this science and psychology into account will produce more engagement, lower bounce rates, more leads for your list of prospects you can reach out and nurture until they are ready to buy… and more conversions!
OK, so that is my simple theory of cognitive engagement in Digital Marketing. For another detailed opinion, consider this white paper and infographic from Wordstream…
Why are images so important?
Humans respond to and process visual data better than any other type of data. In fact, the human brain processes images 60,000 times faster than text, which means the first thing your prospects see on a landing page is the image and the colors you use. 90% of information transmitted to our brain is visual, with the remaining 10% divided between the rest of our senses. Our eyes are our primary way of consuming and understanding information.
How the brain processes visual information, via ernestoolivares
In his study “Imagery and verbal processes,” Allan Paivio states that our ability to remember words depends on our ability to visualize their referents. Paivio is most known for his dual-coding theory, one of the most influential theories of cognition in the 20th century, explaining the practical use of imagery as a memory aid.
Why do we remember images better?
Simply put, images evoke different memories and experiences than do written words. As this study shows, we have a remarkable ability to remember more than 2000 images with at least 90% accuracy over a period of 7 days—even when images are only presented for a short duration of time.
In addition, it takes only 150 milliseconds for us to process an image, and another 100 milliseconds to attach any meaning to it. (FIAS)
These stats are what make image-driven social platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Snapchat so successful. The use of images and videos on these platforms capture most of our attentive mind and pull us in time and time again.
Over the years, many studies have been conducted on the subject of visual processing and the importance of imagery in marketing. The studies consistently find that images are the best way to help convey feelings that drive conversions.
Images are more than just placeholders to make a page look nice; they have a significant role in persuading prospects and customers to take the next step. As MIT Professor Mary Potter explains:
“The job of the eyes is not only to get the information into the brain, but to allow the brain to think about it rapidly enough to know what you should look at next.״
Capitalize on placement by using your hero image to direct the prospect’s attention towards the action you want them to take. The most famous representations of this are the heat maps shown below. As you can see, when the baby is looking at the reader, most of the clicks and attention are paid towards the baby.
Most visual attention is focused on the baby’s face
However, when the baby faces the text on the right and looks straight at it, the prospect’s gaze and attention is also directed toward the text:
Visual heatmaps show that an image can guide the viewer’s gaze
More articles on engagement and the Buy Cycle… coming soon!