Visual Content Has Power Beyond Belief

For casual surfers, internet junkies, and everyone in between, visual content is big news. And that’s because pictures don’t just make stories light up — as it turns out, they literally electrify our brains.

More than any other sense, humans rely on sight to interpret the world around them — and if you need proof, all you have to do is take a look in the mirror. From the two big eyes featured front-and-center on our faces to the wiring of our brains, we’re designed to process the world in an entirely visual way. It should come as no surprise, then, that high-quality images and videos are the secret to telling stories that wield tremendous, lasting power over readers. The truth is that today’s biggest headlines never come without a gripping visual component.

Wired for Sight

You may have read the statistic that30% of our brainsare devoted to processing visual information (while hearing and touch only take up 3% and 8%, respectively). That’s all true, but it also understates the degree to which our brains are wired for sight.

Brain Pie Chart-01

Your retina, the light-sensitive organ in our eyes that enables sight, is actuallypart of your brain. While the retina separates from our craniums during early development, its 150 million photoreactive cells remain directly connected to the visual cortex via a mass of bundled fibers called the optic nerve, as aHarvard medical publicationnotes. Our eyes aren’t just connected to our brains — the visuals that they receive literally comprise our thoughts.

A Lasting Impact

That may be why visual content, more than any other type of content, tends to stick. For instance, when an individual is told information aurally, they’re likely to only recall 10% of it three days later. If a relevant image is included with that information, however, they’ll retain about 65%. Seeing isn’t just believing — it’s also remembering.

Of course, each one of us can visualize a specific movie scene and its actors with crystal clarity, but can’t quite remember every line. Still, the story is not lost on us, because it’s the visual drama that’s most important. That’s the visual brain in action.

Visual Content Performs Better

The point, of course, is that visual content is not only great for providing interesting facts and details; it also has a measurable impact on the stories that we share. Which brings us to this interesting tidbit: articles with relevant images attached receive an astounding 94% more views than those without.

In fact, images have a direct, causal relationship to the success of your content. Research from the Visual Social Media Lab demonstrates that impactful stories are almost always “image-led.” In other words, stories spread globally because of the captivating or iconic photographs that headline them. As they note, visuals can even create a humanizing “seismic shock” among viewers, turning vocal critics into empathic supporters.

And while not all photographs are iconic (we’d have to invent a new word if that were the case), authentic images nonetheless build lasting trust and credibility with your audience.

For the reporter, editor, or news organization with a story to tell, Scopio is the one-stop shop for powerful visuals that make your narrative pop. Featuring real-time, trending images and videos, beautiful original photography, and the ability to license instantly, Scopio is efficient way to turn your juicy narrative into global news.

But what’s the point in telling you anything more? You need to see it to believe it.

Scopio is the industry’s premier search and licensing platform for images and videos on social media. We help brands, nonprofits, companies and media outlets and others find and use visuals that matter to their audience and build custom integrations. Want to learn more about visual content in marketing? Request a demo with the button below or email Let’s talk strategy! Featured photo courtesy of Mary Ruge, or @marymccoy_/Instagram.

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