Cloudinary has released its annual "State of Visual Media Report", an in-depth study providing insights into how top global brands are utilising visual content in their digital marketing efforts.
The fifth annual State of Visual Media report is in-depth look into how the world's most engaging brands are harnessing the power of visual content to connect with their customers.
Since the inaugural report, the world has faced a global health crisis, unprecedented weather events, and seismic shifts in demographics and social attitudes — all of which significantly impact consumer and market behaviour.
The report focuses on the increasing role of AI, the dominance of mobile-first engagement, and the role of optimised visual content in enhancing sustainability.One of the major revelations in this year's report is the significant role AI is playing in streamifying visual content management. Through AI, brands have reportedly saved an average of 34 working days per month. The report suggests that AI is not only addressing the labour shortage of web developers but also freeing tech teams to engage in more strategic and productive work.
Furthermore, the report indicates that retail and consumer goods (75.3%), food and beverage (73.1%), and financial services (63.5%) are leading the shift towards mobile-first consumer engagement. However, geographical differences are also considerable - as evidenced by the 76% of media requests in Mexico originating from mobile, contrasted with 41% in Japan. Gen Z consumers, aged between 11 and 26, primarily use smartphones for online shopping and are most likely to use a brand’s app (26%).
Finally, sustainable practices are increasingly significant, with optimised visual content playing a crucial role in reducing a brand's digital carbon footprint. By optimising their visual media, brands can make substantial savings in CO2 emissions. Interestingly, based on a single month of sample data from the report, optimisation resulted in each customer saving an average of 5,342 kg of CO2 - equivalent to the emissions of approximately 5 long-haul flights.
Genevieve Haldeman, vice president of corporate marketing at Cloudinary, commented on the results of the study: "From retail to publishing, travel to entertainment, one consistent thread remains. When it comes to successfully engaging today's consumer, images and video no longer play leading roles in the story. They are the story. What was once considered a leg up is now table stakes and something brands must get right."
The 'State of Visual Media 2023' report represents an analysis of 8.5 trillion visual asset transactions across 439 global brands and was compiled by analysing the visual content engagement patterns from August 2022 through August 2023.