10 Reasons Why Visuals Still Matter, Even in a Voice-Activated World

person holding black and green portable speaker

As we move into a more voice-activated world, it’s important to remember that visuals still matter. A lot. In fact, studies have shown that visual content is processed 60,000 times faster than text.

And it’s not just about pretty pictures. Effective visual content can actually help to develop prospect journeys more effectively, by providing a more immersive and engaging experience. In a world where we’re bombarded with information from every direction, visual content can help cut through the noise and connect with audiences on a more emotional level.

So if you’re thinking about ditching visuals in favor of readable content, think again. Visuals are more important than ever in today’s landscape.

As voice activation continues to grow in popularity, we’re seeing a shift in how and when people interact with brands. Voice-activated technology like Alexa, Siri, and Google Home are enabling users to access information by simply speaking to their devices. People are no longer searching for websites or apps – instead they’re asking questions directly to their devices. Brands that have adopted voice activation have found it improves user experience and reduces friction when interacting with their brand. However, the rise of voice activation isn’t just changing how we interact with brands, but also how brands communicate with customers. Visuals remain critical to any marketing strategy because they convey meaning faster than words alone. Everyone knows what a photo is; fewer people know what an emoji is. Here are 10 reasons why visuals still matter even in a voice-activated world:

  • Voice activation is a change in behaviour, not a change in communication behaviour. One of the biggest misconceptions about voice activation is that it changes the way people communicate. While voice activation may be changing the way people “push a button” to interact with brands, it is not changing their communication behaviour.
  • Words and visuals are still the most common form of communication and how we process information. Words and visuals are more effective at communicating together. The best marketing campaigns are the ones that closely relate to the consumer. For example, let’s say you’re a coffee brand and you want to create a marketing campaign that will resonate with your target audience. You could create a campaign that focuses on the health benefits of coffee, or you could create a campaign that focuses on the daily activities of your customers. The campaign that focuses on your customer’s daily activities should be more effective because it closely relates to their daily habits and struggles. The more closely you relate your marketing to your customer’s needs, the more effective your marketing efforts will be. Words and visuals are a more effective communication tool because they convey meaning at the same time. Research suggests that visuals work better when paired with words because they help the brain process information faster.
  • People are visual learners. Humans are visual learners. We see 90% of what we process and only 10% comes from reading or hearing. The human brain processes visual information faster than information presented in text form, which makes visuals the optimal form of communication. Visuals are much quicker to grasp, visual information is retained longer, and visuals make it easier for people to understand new concepts.
  • Visuals continue to be the best form of content marketing. The term “content marketing” refers to marketing strategies that create and distribute relevant, useful, and/or valuable content to attract and retain customers. Content marketing typically involves publishing articles, creating videos, and/or creating infographics as a way to engage people and earn trust. Visuals are the most shared form of content marketing, suggesting that people are more likely to share photos or graphics than they are to read and share a long article.
  • Even with voice activation, people are still using their eyes while they listen. While voice activation may be changing the way people interact with brands, it’s not changing their reading and listening habits. People still like to skim content, even while they’re listening to it. Researchers found that eye-tracking software revealed that people spend 60% of their time on a visual search reading and 30% listening to audio and 10% looking for more information. This suggests that even when people are listening to brands, they’re still looking for visuals and want to be able to skim content at the same time.
  • Millennials and Gen Z care about visuals above all else when making purchasing decisions. Millennials and Gen Z are two of the most visual generations ever. They grew up with a world of technology and are hardwired to visually process information. These generations are used to having access to information 24/7 and are extremely reliant on visuals when it comes to making purchasing decisions. In fact, a study found that 78% of Millennials rely on visuals to make purchasing decisions. Millennials and Gen Z are not only used to seeing visuals online, but they also expect to see imagery before making a purchase.
  • Consumers trust visuals, even more than branded ads or paid endorsements. Marketers have a lot of control when it comes to branded ads and paid endorsements. They can write the copy they want to share and they have control over which celebrities they want to endorse their products. Consumers know that these ads are created by brands and may be sceptical about them. However, consumers trust visual content even more than branded ads or paid endorsements. Visuals are a trusted source of information because consumers know that visuals are not created by brands and don’t have an agenda. People are overwhelmed with information; visuals help sift through what’s most important. When consumers are bombarded with advertisements, they are more likely to ignore them. However, when consumers are given visuals and are able to skim and process information quickly, they are more likely to retain the information and act on it.
  • People like to see what they’re buying before committing to a purchase. Visuals provide customers with a better idea of what they’re purchasing. They also help them better understand the quality of the product they’re buying. When customers can see what they’re buying, it makes them feel more connected to the product and are less likely to return it.
  • Consumers don’t have time to read long blocks of text; visuals break up large blocks of text and make them scannable. For many people, reading long blocks of text is difficult because they have limited attention spans. With voice activation and voice assistants, consumers are already being given shorter communication blocks. However, visuals can help break up long blocks of text even more. A photo, graphic, or infographic is easier to digest in a short amount of time than a long block of text.
  • Bottom line: Regardless of how consumers want to interact with brands, visuals will always matter because humans are hardwired to visually process information first and foremost!


As we continue to evolve, it’s important to note that our communication habits and preferences may change. However, visuals remain critical to any marketing strategy because they convey meaning faster than words alone. Visuals are a key component in any marketing strategy. They make marketing content more appealing, increase engagement rates, and drive sales. While there are many benefits to visuals, marketers must be careful not to go overboard with them. Visuals should be used to supplement, not replace, the written content. Communicating with visuals is a great way to engage customers and drive sales.

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