I was asked recently about the use of images in blogs and social media. The thing is, people have been talking about the importance of including images in content for years, so let’s just jump to the stats to back it up.
If you want to learn about the importance of imagery then this is the place to start. Before getting into the statistics for any specific social network or platform, lets look at the psychology.
Showing is more effective than explaining
Researchers have found that 65% of the population are classified as “visual learners”, meaning they learn best from seeing rather than hearing or reading. Your content can be much more easily absorbed by your readers if you include dynamic and clear imagery.
One reason why infographics have boomed in recent years is that communicating information graphically is six times more effective for retaining information than using text alone.
In 2013, SocialBaker did a study that showed that of the Facebook page posts with the highest engagement, 93% of them had images attached. People prefer to interact with photos more than with any other type of post, proven by Facebook changing their layout to focus on enhancing photos and supporting visual content.
“We found that pictures are not just worth a thousand words but also millions of Likes, Comments, and Shares on Facebook.”
Of course this doesn’t just go for Facebook, there are stats to show that visual content is the preferred medium across many social networks.
Tweets with images bump up engagement massively
On average in 2014, tweeting an quality image would acrue you up to 18% more clicks, 89% more favourites and a whopping 150% more retweets. This is compared to tweeting text alone.
In the official Twitter apps (on iOS, Android and OSX), images are automatically displayed in the feed, as opposed to other content that just includes a URL. The combination of tweeting an image along with the link to your blog post or website can get your content seen by many more people.
Below you can see one of State Library Victoria’s awesome tweets on Star Wars Day (May the 4th).
Load up your emails
Of course there are pros and cons of having images in your emails. You need to be careful of size and be accomodating of users that have images blocked, but don’t let this put you off.
“Going image free may be tempting, but it will lead to soulless, unappealing emails that can hurt your brand and click through rate.”
Fortunately, HubSpot has done research that revealed 65% of email marketing recipients prefer emails that contain mostly images, compared with just 35% who prefer mostly text.
There are so many stats out there about using images in blog posts and on websites. For example, research from Skyword tells us that you can average 94% more views if you are including compelling images in your content, compared with other less engaging websites.
Skyword’s research also found that articles that contained at least one image saw an average of 70% more views than articles that didn’t contain an image.
So those are the stats. If you need further proof let me know, because there are even more statistics out there that cry out the need for imagery. In the future I hope you make sure your posts have at least a quality feature image, if not more images within the post. Especially now that you know what benefit that can have to your post, and the flow on effects when it comes to sharing across social networks.
This makes me happy, because you doing that is the first step to a great looking Internet 🙂