In the new wild west that is the internet, content creators are constantly asking themselves one question — “How can I increase clicks on my content?” The answer may be easier than it seems. A recent survey conducted by Arkadium, a provider of visual and interactive content tools for more than 450 of the world’s leading publishers, suggests that one of the easiest ways to attract an audience is with visuals.
When asked about reading news online, 78% of those surveyed said they would be likely to click an article if a headline was accompanied by visuals (e.g., graph, photos, etc.) or a video. Nearly 40%(38%) said they would be unlikely to click a link if it didn’t contain visuals.
According to the study, not only do visuals attract more people to content, but they keep them there. 78% of those surveyed said they are likely to keep reading if visuals are incorporated in an article, while 18% said that they were unlikely to do so. And 71% said they would be more likely to return to a news site that “regularly” incorporated visuals in their editorial.
Probably one of the scarier statistics to come out of the study was that nearly 60% (59%) of those surveyed said they were more likely to trust a news story if it included some sort of visual component. Only 27% said “it made no difference.” The numbers varied by age, however. Seventy-one percent of millennials said ‘true’ and only 19% said ‘it made no difference,’ whereas 54% of those 35-and-up said ‘true’ and 31% said ‘it made no difference.’
“Visual media even influences a reader’s trust component, according to our data,” said Jessica Rovello, CEO & Co-Founder, Arkadium. “Readers are more likely to find news stories credible if they include images or video.
If these stats hold true across all Americans, then — at least in the case of news articles — creators can effectively increase traffic to their content by utilizing visuals in their work. But — and probably more importantly — a portion of these stats suggest that society has a serious issue with how they judge news content. Recently, Facebook and YouTube have been in the spotlight for being the avenue which “fake news” used to infiltrate the 2016 presidential election, but rather than blaming these companies and having them rework their policies, society should also consider reworking its judgement process.