Did you know that 90% of the information transmitted to the brain is visual? When thinking about your content marketing, this should be the primary focus.

Text-based content is always going to be an integral part of marketing, but to really set yourself apart, visual content needs to play a pivotal role in all of your efforts.

When it comes to social media in particular, images and visuals rule. It is no secret that posts with images gets more engagement. More likes, shares, clicks, retweets, +1’s or any other metric you can tie to engagement.

This increase in engagement leads to the social media channels extending the reach of your content to not only a larger share of your audience but to people beyond your audience as well.

Exact numbers will vary of course, but no matter how you look at it, images rule when it comes to social media.

Images tell a story. With compelling images included in your posts, people are more inclined to finish reading what you have written and more often likely to click through to a link you provide. Posts without images have been proven to be most often overlooked; regardless of how well written the post is.

Images however, are not the only visual worth mentioning. Videos, Infographics, Memes, and even screenshots can play an integral role in your social media content strategy.

We all know the value videos bring to the social engagement party but where do Infographics come in? Consider this, they are a great way to grab peoples attention and display data at the same time. infographics are up to 50 times more likely to be read than plain text.

When it comes to formatting your images, choose wisely. JPEG images are most popular when it comes to pictures because they can be resized to work with whatever format or channel you are working on. Infographics are a little different in that they generally cannot be resized without losing image quality. For these, PNG files are the best bet.

In the case of social media images, size does matter. Images for Facebook don’t always match the recommended image dimensions for Instagram for example. Knowing the image sizes for posts for the social media channels you are working with is important. Be aware though, many of the social media channels will change their formatting sizes as they continue to revise their platforms. An image size on Instagram today may not be the same size in a month from now. That’s the reason it is important to stay on top the appropriate channels.

Adding images is a great way to attract attention, tell stories, and get better exposure for your brand, and if you’re serious about engaging your audience, you have to incorporate visuals into your social media updates.

Remember though, bland or badly designed content will end up doing more harm than good – always consider the needs of your audience and don’t put out any content for the sake of sticking to a schedule. While substance counts, style is always better!