Good marketers know that a photo or video can make a fast and lasting impression. These tips will help you find the right visuals.
There’s no arguing that visual content is important. Everywhere you turn, you’ll find marketing images — on social media, billboards, websites and print advertising. The right image conveys a message that words cannot and grabs a viewer’s attention faster than text ever could.
Neuroscientists discovered that the human brain processes images in about 13 milliseconds. That means your brain sees images 30 times faster than you blink!
Good marketers are aware of the power of using the right image. About 74% of those marketing on social media cited visual assets as more important than blogs and videos. You can use images in a number of ways to make a large impact for your brand. Here are a few.
1. Choose Sharable Images
One thing you need to focus on is choosing images that are sharable. But what exactly does that mean?
Put yourself in the shoes of someone browsing on social media. What are the elements of the images you’d be likely to share? The image is usually crisp and high-quality. It conveys a moment or some emotion to the user. It ties into the brand in a highly personal way.
Take a look at some of the images the coffee giant Starbucks has on their Facebook wall. A picture of friends enjoying Starbucks drinks together is one that ties into the emotions of meeting up with friends. Other images include close-ups of various drinks. If you’re thirsty and you see these photos, you might just stop in at your local Starbucks and grab a drink. The images are varied, but all are high-quality and hit on a need or emotion.
2. Implement Videos
While planning out your visual content, don’t overlook the power of images through videos. On YouTube alone, about 500 million hours of video are watched every day. This number doesn’t include the number of videos watched on other sites, such as Facebook.
There’s a reason marketers turn to videos, and you should think about where you can implement them on your site as well. Of course, don’t just add a video to add one. If it can explain a complicated concept quickly and easily, it is the perfect addition to your content.
3. Provide Before and After Images
Before and after pictures can work particularly well to trigger a response because they show the results of a product or service. When you think about before and after photos, weight loss products likely come to mind. However, before and after images can be used by a wide variety of businesses to show how a product or service improves lives, homes and businesses. These photos provide proof that your product works.
Take a look at the photos featured on the Clopay website. The images highlight the way the company’s garage doors add curb appeal to the outside of a home. By presenting the images side by side, you see a seamless transition between what the garage looked like both before and after the addition of new doors. This image allows the consumer to picture the impact such a change would have on their own home.
4. Use Custom Images
When possible, use custom images specific to your brand. About 78% of consumers respond to custom content better than generic content, because they see the company as more trustworthy.
Cameras aren’t nearly as expensive as they once were, and many smartphones have the capability to take excellent-quality photographs. Even if you’re a small business without the resources to hire a professional photographer, you can take relevant images of your product in action and include them with other content.
5. Choose a Relevant Image
A photo of a cute puppy might get a lot of social media shares, but if it doesn’t tie into your brand, then it’s wasted effort. Choosing a relevant image means finding one that enhances your content or summarizes it at a glance. Content that includes a relevant image is viewed about 94% more often than content without an image. Adding images enhances your words.
In a news release on their website, Volkswagen shows that they understand the importance of including relevant images with content. Note that when talking about automated vehicles, they use an image that shows what such a vehicle might look like from behind the wheel. This strategy allows the user to process the basics of the content quickly, even if they are simply skimming through the post.
6. Provide Brand Awareness
Your brand has a message, and everything you put out there should work toward keeping its momentum going. If your company has a young, fun vibe, the last thing you want to do is add a bunch of serious images meant to create deep thinking. Those pictures would be fine for a company that already projects such an image, but if your focus is on millennials and you’ve always presented a fun side, putting out something else can be confusing to the consumer.
7. Offer Visual Guides
Some concepts are a bit complex, and breaking them down into visual form can make them more digestible. Infographics work well for this type of presentation, but you can also offer standard text content and then add in images that highlight important points for those who are scanning your page for ideas.
Marketing guru Neil Patel brings a beginners guide about online marketing to life by summarizing the core concept from chapters of the guide and adding images that highlight what the chapter is about. This work allows the reader to quickly locate the items they are most interested in.
The Right Image Makes a Fast Impression
The images you choose are processed more quickly by the human brain than any other content you put out there. It’s vital that you select images carefully and that each one has a specific purpose. Even if an image is just to give the reader a break from blocks of text, you should still have a use for it beyond that.
Images can have a big impact on how the user perceives your brand and on how often your content is shared, so follow these tips and make sure it’s the impact you want!