No matter what your business, you surely want your brand and products to look great and appealing. Your audience probably live and breathe Instagram and YouTube. They scan the web for inspiration or maybe study product shots and video reviews before buying something. Fact is, today, online communication is massively visual. You can learn a lot there about your brand, your rivals and your consumers. But who has time to look through petabytes of pics at work, right? Luckily, DeepBrand, a visual content analytics tool, makes things a lot faster and simpler. In this first-ever blog post, let us guide you through a few reasons why analysing images matters.
We Are Wired to Process Visuals Better
People have always communicated with images. We use them to tell stories, discuss and comment. To share an opinion and to call others for action. Even to express our current mood. Everyday, we publish and scroll through an infinite number of pictures. Each day, we consume and spontaneously create videos. We spend hours on websites and apps that were made just for sharing pictures. Why do we do all that?
Most of what human brain receives is visual information. Many web sources quote that 90% of data we receive is visual. In fact, there seems to be no legitimate research to back this statistic. What we do know, however, is that 50% neural tissue is related to vision. Also, when we have our eyes open, 2/3 of all brain activity is related to vision. We also process images way faster than text – a few years ago researchers from MIT found it takes a brain only 13 milliseconds to understand what the eyes see. Think of any particular moment in your life when you just saw a magnificent, beautiful view for your own eyes. Now think how much more it would take if someone tried to describe this exact view to you. That is why communicating using images has always been more efficient.
We Live in The Economy of Attention
In social media, brands constantly use visuals. It would be really difficult to find a blog or a Facebook post that has no picture at all. Platforms such as Facebook have played an important part in transitioning direct brand communication towards visual. As image-rich content earns more social interactions, newsfeed algorithms promote images and video over text. Today media, news and social networks have widely adopted visual content, while the global community fell into a well of infinite scrolling pleasure.
It is a popular presumption is that the attention span has shrunk immensely. Considering many of us lead lives over-stimulated with an endless stream of online content, the problem does seem real. In fact, there is proof that human kind has already passed the attention span of a goldfish. While it is true that each second, the amount of content being put online goes bigger, generalizing the goldfish argument may seem, well, a little fishy.
As Prezi’s recent research highlights, it is not that we generally focus less. It is rather that the visual tsunami made us become far more selective in what we choose to focus on. Maybe that’s the reason why some of us cannot stand a thirty-minute presentation and enjoy a binge-watching spree on Netflix. So, how do content-makers and brands make a difference with what they show to their audiences? The difference lies, of course, in the story. Or, to be precise, in a compelling story garnished with effective attention grabbers, such as visuals and dialogue.
Behind Every Image, There Is a Story
Every time we send or publish an image, an emoji, a meme – we are telling someone a story. So, how does a single picture tell a story? According to David Campbell of World Press Photo Foundation, the meaning of an image lies in the context:
No matter how complete or comprehensive a narrative appears it will always be the product of including some elements and excluding others.
Think of a photo of an old, devastated house. How might the meaning change, if there were a child standing at the door, holding a worn out teddy bear?
Everything we put (or not) in the picture brings more context and creates a certain narrative. The narrative can be built with objects, people, colours, patterns, even sounds – creating the essence of the brand’s story.
Truth is, grasping how author’s intentions influenced the story behind the image just by looking at it may be difficult. Conversely, understanding context as a product of certain objects captured within the picture frame is definitely easier to tackle. Even more so if we intend to hand the job to a machine.
Automating Visual Content Analysis
We have created DeepBrand so that brands could get an additional data layer over visual content. We believe in the power of data-driven intelligence helping companies make their marketing more effective and meaningful. Is your focus to monitor a specific logo or to understand some general trends happening in content? Or maybe you wish to find out more about your competitors’ brand exposure? We have made sure it is just a few taps away. Marketers that used to do content research manually (which, tbh, is never fully comprehensive and unbiased) will find DeepBrand a real time-saver. Our algorithms process vast numbers of images posted online and crunch the data into understandable metrics and marketing insights. This results in a massive pool of new knowledge that can open your marketing to some entirely new areas.
Visual content analytics can give the best results only through combined work of algorithms with deep human insight. Machines are great at sifting through and organizing large amounts of data, whereas an experienced professional is able to give it the right meaning. At DeepBrand, the expertise of our data science team is infused with the collective innovation delivered by our unique community.
If you want to know more about our work or wish to try DeepBrand, click here.