The Science of Attention in Visual Content

The Science of Attention in Visual Content

If a picture paints a thousand words, why not use it in digital marketing! Visual content reigns in social media when compared to text posts. These include GIFs, photos, and videos. They help marketers reap high conversion and returns. Below, let us learn the science of attention in visual content.

Here’s a simile from a digital marketing speaker Hong Kong. People shop with their eyes. That is why marketers use visual content to influence our buying experience. Social science research showed that 65% of online users learned through visuals. It is how they discover brands, products, and services. 


A social media agency Hong Kong highlights the importance of visual content. Social media ads without images and videos have lower engagement and reach. Visual content boosts such metrics by catching the attention of target audiences. 

Visual Content Boosts Brand Awareness and Visibility

According to a video marketing agency Hong Kong, 85% of modern consumers share videos with family and friends. It means that a video ad with great imagery can sell a dream, fantasy, or vision. More shares mean a larger reach. A larger reach means an increase in brand awareness and visibility. Visual content also received 150% more retweets than text tweets.

Visual Content Drives Website Traffic

Cisco predicted that by 2022, videos will cover 82% of consumer traffic. Posting video ads can, therefore, drive traffic to company websites and eCommerce sites. It can instantly boost brand recall and SEO. As visual content drives website traffic, brands and business have better chances of getting a sale.

Visual Content Enables Brand Recall

A consistent brand theme among visual content enables better brand recall. Embedding a brand or business logo in photos and videos makes the audience easily recognize them. Positively, it also enables audiences to remember a brand or business first when they are searching for products and services.


The science of visual attention involves the study of people’s brain activity to make visually interesting creatives. For marketing, it involves knowing the attention score of visual content through clarity and cognitive demand. The attention score rates how a piece of visual content gets clicks, conversions, and engagements.

Clarity is the calculation of how visible the key elements of visual content are. It holds the clue to the attention score. The key elements of clarity are ad copy, call-to-action (CTA), and product image or video. High clarity means easily finding the key elements of visual content. Low clarity means difficulty in finding the key elements of visual content. 

Cognitive Demand refers to how hard a person understands visual content. A low cognitive demand score equates to people easily understanding the message of visual content. A high cognitive demand score equates to people having difficulty understanding the message of visual content. If the cognitive demand for a visual has a high score, people tend to spend more time trying to understand the content if they are really interested. But in most cases, the viewers ignore the content and abandon them. 

Thus, a good Attention Score is a mix of high clarity and lower cognitive demand rating. These are pieces of visual content that get clicks, conversions, and engagements.


Here are some tips to get higher attention scores and more eye on your visual content. 

Focus on the Fovea of an Image

A fovea is the focal point of an image. For example, you have taken a selfie using your mobile point. Your image is the fovea on the said visual. The background is just a collection of blurred elements that people will not focus on. In photo or video ads, you should more focus on your product as the fovea. Stimulate attention by adding more light or unique touches on the fovea to get a higher attention score. 

Keep Visual Content Clean

If the brain sees a huge amount of data, as in cognitive demand, it automatically resists looking further on the content. Most people browse online for ideas and inspiration. Making it simple to the brain allows them to put attention on visually-clean content. Focus more on the message instead of creatives. Simplicity is beauty. In digital marketing, simplicity has a higher attention score. 

Use Faces in Your Content

People evolve to look at faces. As social beings, they are more attracted to other humans. Putting human faces in photos and videos can immediately draw attention among viewers. Such a human touch makes a photo or video more appealing and authentic. 


The science of visual content means aiming for a high attention score among your target audience. By focusing on your offerings as the fovea keeping it clean, and using faces in your visual content, you can get more clicks, conversions, and engagements.


Related Post