Without knowing it, we contribute to the visual web every day by uploading photos to our Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. With the incredible variety of image-centric data available online and updated daily, marketers are planning to fully utilize the power of images in their marketing efforts in the months and years ahead.
So What is the Visual Web?
Visual web is used to describe everything from the rise of social platforms like Instagram and Twitter, to visual search on Google, video sharing via Snapchat and visual dating apps like Tinder. The term was first popularized in 2013, when photo-centric trends emerged: Facebook acquired Instagram, Pinterest received a multi-billion-dollar valuation, and selfies and memes gained in popularity.
Yet, despite a general familiarity of the term, until now no one has attempted to define the visual web, or to better understand its role in modern-day consumer marketing. We have made it our mission to do both of those things, by providing an overview of the visual web, and assessing the impact an image-centric culture on marketing and advertising.
What We Did
In partnership with Brand Innovators, we went directly to brands to see how they view the visual web (no pun intended), its impact on consumers, and the ways in which they expect it to transform the way they market, both today and in the years ahead. We surveyed 213 active members of the Brand Innovators community. Here are some of our findings:
- More than half of those surveyed (51%) said they were somewhat familiar or very familiar with the term “visual web”.
- 92% of them agreed that visual elements were somewhat important or very important to their delivering their consumer marketing initiatives.
- 84% of marketers said further advancements in image recognition technology are needed to unlock the full marketing potential of the visual web.
- When asked how spending on specific tactics pertaining to the visual web will change in the coming year, the highest anticipated increase will be in visual storytelling (54%) and social platforms (53%).
- When we asked about the importance of the visual web for the future of digital marketing, nearly everyone surveyed (96%) said it would be either somewhat important or very important.
We put all of our findings in a report called, “The Rise of the Visual Web. And How It’s Changing Everything (Again) for Marketers“. We invite you to download it here.