One marketing trend that's impossible to ignore is the growing power and value of visual content. Just look at four of the fastest-growing social networks: Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr.

The way people--especially younger people--are consuming content is radically changing. If what people consume in just one minute online is any indicator, consumers are connecting to, searching for, watching, creating, downloading, and shopping for content more than ever.  As a marketer, you must adapt your content marketing strategy to remain relevant.

Visual content increases message association, brand awareness, and engagement--and enhances the overall design of your website, as detailed in this Inc. article.

Photos, infographics, memes, illustrations, and videos are just a few forms of visual content that are having a huge impact on the way people consume information. All of these visual assets will only continue to grow in importance over the next few years.

Just look at these 11 eye-popping statistics on how content and technology are changing humans (as compiled in an infographic from WebDAM, below):

  • The average person gets distracted in eight seconds, though a mere 2.8 seconds is enough to distract some people.
  • 81 percent of people only skim the content they read online. (Usability expert Jakob Nielsen has written that the average user reads at most 20 to 28 percent of words during an average visit.)
  • People form a first impression in a mere 50 milliseconds.
  • An estimated 84 percent of communications will be visual by 2018.
  • An estimated 79 percent of internet traffic will be video content by 2018.
  • Posts that include images produce 650 percent higher engagement than text-only posts.
  • People are 85 percent more likely to buy a product after viewing a product video.
  • Posts with videos attract 3X more links than text-only posts.
  • Tumblr's active user base has grown by 120 percent.
  • Pinterest's active user base has grown by 111 percent.
  • Instagram's active user base has grown by 64 percent.

Here's the full infographic for your visual consumption.

But that's only the tip of the visual content iceberg. Here are five bonus eye-opening statistics on visual content marketing for Facebook and Twitter you need to know:

  • The number of videos appearing in Facebook's news feed has increased 3.6X, Facebook reported.
  • Facebook posts from brands that included images earned 87 percent of all engagements, eMarketer reported.
  • Tweets with images earned up to 18 percent more clicks, 89 percent more favorites, and 150 percent more retweets, Buffer reported.

Bottom line: Visuals are memorable and effective, because they help people process, understand, and retain more information more quickly.

Are you creating stunning visuals or including videos on your website and in your advertising?