Modern consumers rely on visuals, whether they’re buying into a product or service, or choosing the latest artists to listen to, movies to watch, and video games to play. Indeed, now, more than ever, the importance of visual media within the entertainment sector is becoming apparent, with the worlds of music, gaming, movies, and television dominated by the likes of viral videos, posters, photographs, social media apps, and online visual content. These days it’s incredibly hard to get ahead without the kinds of interest and engagement created by visual media, and companies are buying into the concept in their droves.
So, why is visual media so important, and how can it help the entertainment world to get ahead?
Visual media has the power to grab, and hold onto, the attention of consumers, and to turn their passivity into activity. It can make important points using very few words, and still have the scope to entertain, engage, and enhance the experiences of those accessing such content. The modern consumer is always on the go, and seldom does he or she have the chance to sit down and read about the latest movie releases, the track listing of a new album, or the specifics of a vide game they may be interested in. Big announcements risk becoming lost in a sea of words, while industry news is indiscernible from yesterday’s news.
Visual media, then, is the entertainment world’s greatest link to its public, displayable on almost any device, perhaps even by accident, visual media can be taken wherever the consumer goes and viewed at their leisure. The entertainment world has never before been so accessible to its audience, and it’s fully embracing each new prospect…
The importance of visual content
Visual content, whether that’s photographs, videos, illustrations, or animation, is vital when it comes to attracting attention, enchanting readers, and encouraging them to embrace a particular message. Websites created by those operating within the entertainment world thrive on this method of engagement, which can generate immense publicity with very few words at all. Indeed, data collected by MDG Advertising within the last few years confirmed that websites containing engaging visual content attracted 94% more views than those without.
When the product or service, such as a movie, television show, or video game, is offering a highly visual, or even sensory experience to begin with, such web content can only heighten a potential consumer’s engagement with what’s being offered. In addition visual content, including images sourced from Dreamstime’s stock photos, can be used to create an incredibly personal experience for viewers, and to draw them in to almost any scenario.
Those accessing the websites of their favorite musician, a new movie, or an upcoming video game are now able to do so much more than read about the types of things they can expect. Using visual content, the entertainment world can show trailers and snippets of the action, publicize a song alongside a music video, or even demonstrate seconds of gameplay. Suddenly that audience member is passive no longer, and has had their eyes opened to a world of possibilities connected to the media they’re viewing.
The benefits of social media
Social media is, by nature, incredibly visual, enabling consumers to navigate its expansive waters using photographs, thumbnails, and video links that drag them further into whatever world they’re exploring; research estimates an increased engagement of some 37% when posts are accompanied by an image. The entertainment world has come to recognize the powers of such means of advertising, and almost every stage of the process now has a connection to social media, whether that’s a Facebook page, a Twitter feed, an Instagram account, a YouTube channel, or a presence on Tumblr.
Social media allows those within the entertainment world to advertise new releases and artists, promote the work of existing franchises and labels, engage with new and existing consumers in a fun, often accidental, way, and increase the numbers of people able to view content being created at any one time. According to a study performed by Penn Schoen Berland for industry leader the Hollywood Reporter in 2013, some 88% of consumers use social media to supplement their experiences of social media, which can only have risen in the three years since.
Social media is a breeding ground for viral videos and campaigns, enabling them to be shared quickly and with ease. Videos such as these, as well as teaser trailers, behind the scenes images, and live feeds produced during conventions, or on set, are a fantastic way for the entertainment world to reach new audiences, and to keep existing consumers hooked from the word, ‘go’. In an era when almost everyone has a social media account, the entertainment world knows how to make the most of the resources available.
The rise of mobile phone apps
Apple’s trademark phrase, “There’s an app for that”, has never been truer for the entertainment industry than it is today. No longer are mobile phone apps a novelty or a luxury. These days apps allow consumers to control, organize, and engage with every aspect of their life, and they’re currently busy revolutionizing, and even redefining the entertainment world and its hold over the world.
Google Play analysts have recently calculated there are some 150,000 developers responsible for more than 800,000 apps, and that 48-billion apps have been downloaded via their own platform alone; that’s an incredible feat for any developer, or company, hoping to garner advertising via the app. Indeed, Apple’s App Store can boast in excess of 60-billion downloads worldwide, proving that there really should be an app for that if there isn’t already.
Mobile phone apps, and their popularity, are integral to the entertainment world, allowing them to target new audience members while keeping current consumers engaged and entertained for longer. Apps can advertise a studio’s releases, tell consumers when and where they can see a new movie, provide trivia and treats pertaining to a favorite television series, and even enhance gamers’ experiences with additional content that syncs with whatever they’re playing. They play music, create playlists, send reminders of upcoming albums, and connect audiences and artists like never before. In short, mobile apps enable consumers to become a massive part of the entertainment world without leaving home.
It’s said that seeing is believing, and that has certainly never been truer for the entertainment industry than it is today. Consumers no longer want to hear about the latest releases, on-set gossip, or in-game features; they want to see them, and to experience them for themselves, and to find out about their favorite franchises without needing to read seemingly endless paragraphs of text. The entertainment world has always been one that has lent itself to the powers of visual media, but it now relies on developing technology more than ever. Visual media is accessible, it’s engaging, and it’s more than capable of holding its own as the technology around it changes incomprehensibly.