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What exactly is visual literacy?
Visual literacy is the ability to see, to understand, and ultimately to think, create, and communicate graphically.
Visual literacy is more than a skill, it’s a form of critical thinking that enhances your intellectual capacity. Brian Kennedy TEDx talk.
Here are three reasons why anyone in marketing or PR should improve their visual literacy skills.
The Demand for Visual Content
We are very visual creatures – our brains transmit 90% of visual information and we process visual material 60,000 times faster than text. (See Infographic)
A large proportion of the communication we receive every day is visual. Until recently the Internet has been very text-heavy due to a lack of bandwidth. Ten years ago downloading an image took forever. Now that the vast majority of Americans (83%) have access to broadband there has been an explosion in the demand for visual content.
Visuals Get More Engagement
Social media sites are reporting a remarkable increase in engagement with visual content. Tweets with images receive 18% more clicks, 89% more favorites and 150% more retweets. A Facebook post with a good images doubles the chance of getting comments. The engagement rate of Facebook photo albums is 180% higher than any other form of post. Including a good original image in a blog post or article can boost your visits and views by as much as 94%. (Tech.co)
Brand marketers and PR pros know they have to monitor social and online conversations about the brand, products, keywords and competitors. However, most of this monitoring is done via text. As the volume of visual content grows, the need for visual literacy and the ability to add analysis of the images and videos to the text conversations is going to become invaluable.
If you want to stay ahead of the pack, with skills most other marketing and PR folk haven’t thought of yet, add visual literacy to the list of things you need to learn in the next year. Start with this free email course.