I was recently reviewing a design of an e-book I'd written when the content jumped out at me. It wasn't the words I'd crafted, but rather the stunning images that had been selected by the graphic designer that made the package sparkle. The experience also served as a reminder, as Rod Stewart and Ron Wood penned back in 1971, that every picture tells a story and how important the use of images and design are to content marketing.A few weeks ago, I was speaking with Victor Wong, CEO of Thunder, a programmatic creative company, about the top challenges faced by the company's marketing clients. He said that many of its clients don't have the right talent to execute on their marketing aspirations. This includes a shortage of graphic specialists who are adept at content design.
"When I look at the numbers, I think everyone gets it that programmatic is an important and fundamental opportunity for advertising," says Wong. "But if 90 percent of brands are delivering bland creative, there's a huge opportunity for improvement."
Wong raises a good point. At a time when marketers are scrambling to engage customers across the digital touchpoints they use, it's critical to leverage every tool in the digital marketing arsenal that's available to capture customers' interest. According to Kissmetrics, 92.6 percent of people say the visual dimension is the number one influencing factor that affects their purchase decision.
Years ago, when I worked at another publication, our editorial team attended a seminar given by a faculty member of The Poynter Institute. The presenter spoke at length about the importance of writing in pictures to gain the reader's attention through graphic storytelling and rich, visual narrative. It was great advice that my colleagues and I held onto. But as many writers and marketers have also come to learn, the effective use of images can bring a magical quality to content marketing.