Patient advocacy groups are on a constant quest to capture the attention of the people they seek to serve – but key messages risk getting lost in an information overload.
Utilizing visuals is the secret to patient engagement on social media, says Kara Rayburn, Director of Digital Communications and Engagement at the Patient Empowerment Network.
“Visuals are much more appealing to people than copy or text,” she adds. “Quite simply, our eyes are drawn to images as has been shown in numerous eye-tracking studies.”
The human brain processes pictures up to 60,000 times faster than it does text, Kara points out, and we are more likely to remember information presented to us as images than words.
What kind of visuals?
The kind of visuals you use will depend on the content you are sharing.
Infographics, for example, can make data and numbers much more engaging and easier to digest. Photographs can help people relate to personal stories, and visual quotes can highlight key messages.
Visuals also help overcome issues surrounding health literacy, whereby information may be presented in a complex way that may prevent people from processing and digesting the detail they need to make important decisions about their health.
How to create visuals
There are so many easy-to-use and freely available tools to choose from, allowing you to create a range of visually engaging content – from infographics to Twitter posts, Facebook headers and quote cards, Kara observes.
“Content is gold,” she adds. “You don’t just use it once and then put it under a basket. Figure out how to make the most of what you have and identify multiple ways of visually presenting that information and multiple platforms to ensure it’s seen by your target audience.”
“It’s what people have come to expect in how they digest information,” Kara finishes. “Our aim is to make information understandable, digestible, easy to consume and, most importantly, act upon.”