Words are wonderful. But ask any great designer and they will tell you that visuals are extremely valuable when it comes to marketing strategies.

Images are immediate, powerful tools that emotionally connect and engage consumers. They can tell stories quickly and with impact, whether it’s a brand campaign, print advertising, website or television spot.

None of that is new. What has changed is the kind of photos that draw us. We no longer want the posed or perfect. Why? In a time when user generated content (UGC) populates and dominates the web, consumers aren’t as quick to respond to the set shot. They want it real.

NewsCred and Getty Images put together a slideshow of how consumer see things different today. The main point: visual content that feels authentic drives engagement.

Consumers are experiencing a new kind of heightened digital intimacy as more and more people engage in social media. The smart marketing campaigns are populating social media with videos, infographics, and blogs with the kind of visual content people respond to.

We have an opportunity to connect with consumers through YouTube, Vine, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook and SnapChat, and we can connect anytime, anywhere through apps and WiFi as mobile devices become the preferred way we communicate and get our information.

Today’s marketers need to be sophisticated visual thinkers. Visual content is a necessary part of any marketing strategy.

So, here are some facts and figures to think about when you start assessing your marketing strategy. And, of course, we’ll do it with an infographic.

After all, you need to start thinking visually.

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