The Imperative of Visual Communication

There is a simple reason that visual communication is so much more powerful—our brains are biased toward visual processing, with vision being the most active of our five senses.

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The Imperative of Visual Communication

The Imperative of Visual Communication

It is known through the discovery of early cave paintings that humans have long communicated using pictures. The adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” speaks to the broad understanding that visual communication is easier to recognize, process, and recall than the written word.

There is a simple reason that visual communication is so much more powerful—our brains are biased toward visual processing, with vision being the most active of our five senses. We are built to react to bright colors and bold images.

Leveraging the Visual in Your Communications

Finance is an industry prone to underutilizing visual representations. Our industry is left-brain dominant; we deal in data and rules, and the people attracted to those things tend to be much more analytical and methodical. As a consequence, we learn toward words to communicate.

In some scenarios, that could be a mistake. Like any industry, the decisions of consumers are frequently based more on emotions than facts. Visual representations are more likely to evoke emotions, which can facilitate a quicker and better connection to an advisor and the facts he or she is communicating.

When consumed visually, the message is more impactful on the reader and lasts longer. Science backs this up. An individual who hears information is likely to remember about 10 percent of the message for up to three days later.  By adding a visual, individuals’ memory retention of the information communicated jumps to about 65 percent.1

Visual representations also raise audience engagement levels. In one study, photos on Facebook represented 87 percent of shared posts versus just 4 percent for a link or 2 percent for a written status update. On Twitter, posts with photos experienced a 35 percent increase in retweets.2

Let’s face it, visuals tend to be more interesting than words, and advisors’ communications are at a disadvantage when they fail to fully leverage them. “Seeing is believing,” so consider backing up your statements with videos and images. It’s one thing to write about community involvement and another thing to post pictures from your volunteer event.

Finally, you shouldn’t make the mistake that the power of visuals exists only with younger generations brought up on Snapchat or Instagram. Some studies have shown that the power of pictures actually increases with age.

So, next time you think about communicating with clients or prospects, take a moment to think about how a visual can support your message and add some punch to it!

Sources:

  1. http://www.brainrules.net/vision
  2. https://www.socialmediaexaminer.com/photos-generate-engagement-research/

Please reference disclosures: http://blog.americanportfolios.com/disclosures/ 

About The Author

Carol Erdmann

 

Marketing Communications Specialist 
631.439.4600, ext. 121 

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