We are delighted to welcome Dan Chapman to the M2 Bespoke team as our graphic designer.

We’ve been working with Dan for a few years now, on a freelance arrangement, but we thought it was about time we secured his services on a full-time basis – before somebody else made him an offer, quite frankly.

Just to be sure we were making the right move in offering Dan a contract, we gave Alan Partridge a quick call, who assured us: “Dan’s a fantastic man. He really is.” He then went on to tell me an anecdote about the time he made Dan laugh so hard he had Kenco coming out of his nose, but I was pushed for time, so had to cut him short.

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Seriously, we couldn’t be happier to have Dan on board, having long been admirers of his eye for a visual.

That eye is the result of 10 years’ experience in graphic design, and it has produced many exciting, creative and inspiring pieces of work. Dan’s design work includes infographics, animated video, interactive graphics, web design and more.

Why now?

We’ve noticed a spike in the number of clients realising the true value of visual content to supplement and stand alone of the written word, and we only see that demand increasing further.

Content marketing prophets have long been calling visual content ‘the future’ as far as content and social media marketing is concerned, and in the last year or so we’ve seen real evidence of this coming to pass.

While many of our clients have always wanted a visual element to their content, they are now asking for unique visuals, be it infographics, GIFs, videos etc.

So, acquiring a resident designer was something of a no-brainer – especially one of Dan’s esteem.

Why is visual content proving so popular?

For many people, content is more palatable in a visual format. Xerox researchers recently found that coloured visuals increase people’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80%. With that in mind, brands would be daft to only create written content.

The written word will always have its place when trying to educate people, of course, but studies – like the one conducted by printing specialists Xerox – are making it imperative that brands give equal weight to visual content.

Here are some of the most convincing stats we’ve seen on visual content recently:

  • Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%, according to the ‘Brain Rules’ by John Medina.
  • Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images, revealed Kissmetrics.
  • When questioned by Adobe, 51.9% of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best ROI.
  • Simply using the word “video” in an email subject line boosts open rates by 19%, click-through rates by 65% and reduces unsubscribes by 26%, according to Brainshark.com.
  • Infographics are ‘Liked’ and shared on social media 3X more than other any other type of content, social scheduling app Mass Planner found.
  • Articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the number of social shares than articles with fewer images, BuzzSumo revealed.

If you want further evidence of visual content’s rise, you just need to look at Instagram. Three years ago, the visual-centric platform had 130 million monthly active users. Now it has roughly 500 million.

Web users can’t get enough of visual content. It might have something to do with our ever-decreasing attention span – now just eight seconds, according to Microsoft – or it might just be that our brains are programmed to find visual content an appealing proposition. That’s what the research and experts seems to suggest. Who are we to argue with that hard evidence?