Brands' social content will be even more engaging when it contains pictures and videos, according to a recent Adobe study.

Two-thirds of marketers use social media to spread brand messages and connect with target audiences, according to Exact Target’s 2013 Audience Growth Survey results. To improve the performance of those social media marketing campaigns, brands should evaluate what they share and confirm there’s a healthy mix of visual and video content.

Social posts that feature images and video earn the highest engagement rates, according to The Adobe Digital Index Social Intelligence Report. However, marketers may not fully be capitalizing on opportunities to drive results because they were creating 40 percent fewer video posts year-over year (compared with data collected during the same period last year). At the same time, image-based content was up only 8 percent.

Adobe’s data suggests marketers are actually producing more text-based social posts that generally don’t garner as much engagement as other approaches, such as including links or visual components. As such, there is great opportunity for brands to stand out among competitors and increase awareness if they build out strategies with these eye-catching content formats.

Social posts with videos and visuals are being produced less often.

Brafton noted similar findings in “Looks Matter: Attracting Customers with Infographic marketing,” including:

– Engagement increases 47 percent when web content contains visuals
– Internet users’ willingness to read jumps 80 percent when text information is paired with images

It’s not surprising that brands experience greater success when they share visuals on social sites. If the rise of sites like Instagram, Vine, Pinterest and Snapchat are any indicator of consumers’ content cravings, marketers will need to put greater emphasis on images and video in the future. Marketers looking to generate stronger ROI and gain exposure as industry leaders are smart to get in on this trend while the potential is still relatively unrealized.

Lauren Kaye is a Marketing Editor at Brafton Inc. She studied creative and technical writing at Virginia Tech before pursuing the digital frontier and finding content marketing was the best place to put her passions to work. Lauren also writes creative short fiction, hikes in New England and appreciates a good book recommendation.