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More Results, Less Content: Harness the “Visual Multiplier Effect”


I’m happy to feature this guest post from Kelly Kingman. –Pamela Wilson

Let me guess, did “less content” get your attention?

As busy entrepreneurs, most of us are barely carving out enough time to keep up with our current writing needs. We pour pearls of wisdom into our blog and newsletter, but some months it seems like no one has time to click, read or share that link to our insightful and well-crafted written content.

Wouldn’t it be amazing if there was a way that you could take those ideas that you’ve spent precious hours turning into articles and posts, and give them the digital equivalent of a megaphone?

That’s where the Visual Multiplier Effect comes in. Your ideas are the spark, the words are the kindling. Then, when you add a layer of visual communication to your marketing messages — that’s the gasoline.

The Visual Multiplier Effect, simply stated, dramatically increases the effectiveness of your marketing by increasing these four factors:

  • attention
  • retention
  • persuasion
  • proliferation

Let’s look at each and why visual information is so powerful.

Visual Multiplier Effect #1: Attention

Visual information grabs our attention faster than any other kind of content

There’s a recent study that found that it takes humans no longer than 13 milliseconds for our minds to recognize an image — down from an earlier estimate of 100 milliseconds. It’s possible that it takes us even less time, but 13 milliseconds was the shortest duration the monitors used in the study could support!

Our eyes have evolved to recognize and prioritize relevant information instantly — in fact, most of our neural matter is devoted to doing that, making us a visual information processing powerhouse. That powerhouse can work long after other areas of our brain have tired out. For example, have you ever found yourself scrolling through your Facebook feed after a long day, hopping from photo to photo?

Visual Multiplier Effect #2: Retention

Visual information effectively glues information to our brain

This is the result of something called the “picture superiority effect,” (yeah, I know, two “effects” in one post!). A very, very simplified explanation is that it’s easier for us to recall what we learn when it’s accompanied by an image.

John Medina sums it up in this way his amazing book, Brain Rules: “if information is presented orally, people remember about 10 percent, tested 72 hours after exposure. That figure goes up to 65 percent if you add a picture.”

That’s an incredible boost you can give your words, just by adding a layer of visual information. Medina adds: “because visual information takes less effort to comprehend, it is a more efficient way to ‘glue information to a neuron’.”

Visual Multiplier Effect #3: Persuasion

O.K., so let’s say we’ve managed to translate our words into visual modes of communication, stopping our prospects in their proverbial tracks and gluing our ideas to their brain. Now, we want them to act. Well good news — images help with that, too.

Images boost “truthiness”

As it turns out, us humans are more likely to believe a claim just because it’s accompanied by a photo — even if that photo does nothing to prove the claim one way or another. For example, if you show a photo of a giraffe when making the statement “giraffes are the world’s tallest animals,” your audience is much more likely to believe it. Fortunately, in this instance it would be true.

Visual Multiplier Effect #4: Proliferation

Using visual information to communicate your marketing messages allows them to spread farther, faster

The final benefit of the Visual Multiplier Effect is just how far and wide your ideas and marketing messages can travel when you buckle them into a visual vehicle.

From visual social media platforms like Instagram, to slides and video presentations — the Internet loves, loves loves visual content. One Harvard Business School study estimates that 70% of all activities on Facebook revolve around [images]. Another study, this one from ROI Research, estimates that using images increases engagement with social media by 44%.

By the way, Pamela’s favorite image editing tool is PicMonkey.

Do more with less

Creating meaningful, relevant visual content around your core marketing messages will allow you to harness the Visual Multiplier Effect. This doesn’t mean reinventing the wheel — it simply means translating your ideas into different formats and media.

To successfully harness the Visual Multiplier Effect:

  • Select 2-3 channels or platforms that are right for your audience. Your blog, a newsletter, Instagram — it all depends on who you want to reach.
  • Master a couple of simple techniques for creating visual media to feed those channels.
  • When you create your written content, translate some of the key ideas into visual media — photos, slides, infographics and more — to maximize the reach and impact of your messages.


Kelly Kingman

Pamela Wilson coaches people in midlife to build profitable online businesses
I’m Pamela Wilson

In 2010, at the age of 45, I started this site and grew it into a business that offers freedom, flexibility — and consistent revenue.


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