Great visuals are known to increase audience engagement across almost all communication channels. The right photo or video can be the difference between a post that goes viral and one that only a few see.

For nonprofit fundraisers, visual content and art design in emails, on landing pages, and in direct mail packages have a direct impact on the performance of your campaigns. But the most important thing to understand is that the art must support your fundraising copy — not distract from the copy.

If your fundraising campaign is all about the art design, your message won’t break through, and your campaign performance will be abysmal.

A new report from content companies Contently and Libris, Engaging Your Audience with Visual Content, shows the growth of visual-based content use is only increasing, especially for video. 73 percent of the more than 1,000 marketing and creative professionals surveyed said that their need for videography has increased since last year, and 63 percent say the same about photography.

Interestingly, although the demand for good video content is increasing dramatically, only 17 percent of these professionals reported that they considered their company’s video content to be “very good.”

But even with the demand for video increasing, the consensus of the marketers surveyed in the report was that photography is still number one in terms of driving engagement:

Photography is not only the visual content that drives the most engagement, but as we learned earlier, teams can produce it faster than other formats. This brings up a crucial insight: While video content is on the rise, photography continues to offer high return on investment. As marketers shift the focus to video, they must not lose sight of photography.

The right photograph in a direct mail package or email can make all the difference in terms of producing the emotional response you’re looking for to motivate donations to your cause.

A compelling video package can also be highly effective in terms of motivating giving. But again, it has to support the fundraising message.

Creating high-quality videos can be very expensive, and nonprofits don’t have unlimited budgets. Yet, nonprofits definitely have a story to tell.

There are many ways to tell stories that engage your audience and yield solid revenue growth. Finding your niche is key — not copying someone else’s model, but seeing what works, what is available, and finding the best fit for your organization’s budget and your fundraising and communication goals.

Visual storytelling done well can be an extremely effective way to bolster support for your nonprofit’s cause — as long as it’s used to support, not overwhelm, your fundraising message.

For help with developing your next fundraising campaign, contact LDMI today.