I love the website VisualCapitalist.com. Based in Vancouver, the company was founded five years ago on the belief that "art, data and storytelling can be combined in a manner that makes complex issues and process more digestible". As well as producing amazing infographics of its own, it also curates the best of the rest on the web, with a focus on business and investing.
Visual Capitalist recently produced a brilliant infographic which illustrates and explains the huge popularity of visually stimulating content.
Since 1990 there has been an increase in the use of infographics in books of 400%. Since 2007, on the internet, the figure is a staggering 9,900%.
The obvious question, then, is why people like infographics so much. There are, apparently, three main reasons:
Almost 50% of the human brain is involved in visual processing, and 70% of all our sensory receptors are in our eyes. It takes just 150 milliseconds to process a symbol, and 100 milliseconds to attach a meaning to it.
The amount of information out there has increased five-fold since 2014, which helps to explain why, on average, just 28% of words on a web page are actually read on an average visit. Colour graphics not only increase our willingness to read by 80%, but they also reduce the amount of time it takes for us to process and understand something.
A US study found that if 50% of the audience of an audience is persuaded by purely verbal presentation, 67% are persuaded of the presentation is accompanied by visuals. Also, people remember about 80% of what they see and do, in comparison to 10% of what they hear, or 20% of what they read.
The lesson for content marketers is clear: blogs and audio podcasts both have their place, but there really is no substitute for visually appealing videos and graphics. Those in your target audience are not only more likely to consume visual content; they're also more likely to understand, remember and act on it.
Here's the full infographic. Enjoy!