A recent study published by in-image advertising company GumGum and  brand resource company Brand Innovators reveals that brand marketers are just about to pour millions of dollars into the  existing channels of visual web while as well as experiment with new solutions. It is not a surprise since all the elements of a perfect storm seem to be converging.

The good old days of volume-based programmatic  advertising  faces the double threat of declining engagements (now at 0.06% CTR for banners) and the rise of ad blockers, along with growing suspicion of massive click fraud. While maybe cheap and easy, they are quickly losing the attention of brands and marketers. Instead,  apps like Instagram (4.3% engagement rate) or Pinterest (2 to 5%) with their extremely healthy results, are reminding marketers of  visual content’s  effectiveness.  As shown in the study,  of the 5 senses, marketers consider sight (at 88%) as the most important sense to influence audience behavior. And what better support to do so than photos or videos.

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Furthermore, visuals are perfectly fitted for the exploding mobile world. Full frame and much easier to consume than any text, photos, and video can reach consumers decision centers much faster and stronger. And tend to be retained and shared more often. No wonder they are becoming marketers favorite playing ground. In fact, according to the same study, more than 71% plan to spend over $100,000  a year creating visual content. Some 35% plan to spend over half a million a year.

Where those visuals  might end up is not so clear. Earned, owned and paid media seem to be equally distributed in marketers intent, but the means to achieve these goalHow much does your company spends annually to distribute visual contents are not so well-defined.  What could bring a partial answer is when asked which of the existing image-oriented platforms are most representative of the visual web, an overwhelming majority named Instagram (92%) and Pinterest (82%). Facebook (58%), Vine (56%) and Snapchat (47%) rounded out the top visual platforms selected. However, it does not address other potential usages, such as blogs, white papers, native or even banner ads. In fact, this could be a good question for the next study.

Needless to say, this report confirms that the visual web is the new hunting ground for marketers and that anyone in the space , including researchers ( 84% of marketers said further advancements in image-recognition technology are needed to unlock the full marketing potential of the visual web), has the potential to benefit from a massive influx of fresh cash. While Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat might benefit from the first waves, there is certainly room for anyone with the right concept to be part of the party.

You can download the full report here

Photo by lolololori

Author: Paul Melcher

Paul Melcher is the founder of Kaptur and Managing Director of Melcher System, a consultancy for visual technology firms. He is an entrepreneur, advisor, and consultant with a rich background in visual tech, content licensing, business strategy, and technology with more than 20 years experience in developing world-renowned photo-based companies with already two successful exits.


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