Why images matter in your content
By Kirsty and Jenny Pearse.
Imagery in our marketing has become more invaluable than ever; today we are constantly stimulated with visual information. If attention is the currency of marketing, then images play a bigger role then ever in conveying the simplest to the most complex messages in marketing today.
But where to begin, it can feel overwhelming for the creatively challenged when putting your content together on what works and what doesn’t.
Here are some essential aspects to consider, to assist you in successfully marketing your message through images.
Ask yourself when you find the right image, what role will the image play and what is it’s level of importance to the marketing campaign. How does the image best represent the brand and does it sufficiently broadcast your message. Does this image say what I want to say? Does is it have relevance? A beautiful image can be wasted if people are confused by its message. AND… vice versa, good content can be wasted on a terrible image.
If an image has significance in your business or a specific event, make it the “hero”. This assists with getting the message across and emphasising its importance to you and your business.
Understand that there are key aspects of your image that will resonate with your audience; specifically colour, symbols and words. Do your research when putting together image based content to ensure it is styled to suit the audience you want to engage with.
Many successful businesses use specific taglines, hashtags or keywords in their images to capture and engage with their audience. Similarly, organisations have used symbols within their images to uplift a brand or broadcast a key message to build engagement and increase brand awareness. For instance, consider how Apple uses the apple icon in their imagery to convey their brand message and engage their audience.
The purpose and mission of why you do what you do is at the basis of every aspect of your business – this includes the images you use.
Being open with your audience creates a more personal bond between you and your community. You’ll appear more approachable, give authenticity to what you do, and allow people to see you for who you are.
A fun team selfie snapped at an event which may not be of the best quality, can get you more organic reach than a stock image of unfamiliar faces. People connect with people and the reality of that shared experience is allowing your audience to build a relationship with you. It’s important to take people on the journey with you so using images of yourself, your team and community is a great way to create a shared experience.
Give the creative process time. If an image is not up to standard or appropriate, allow the time needed to create what you need. People can tell when something is a rushed and this will provide a negative experience to your audience.
Be prepared to invest time in creating your image based content because it is the first impression people will have of you. Take the time to find the right image, gather the appropriate content, to create the perfect image for your audience.
Check the resolution of your images, ensuring the image can be resized to fit specific dimensions for different platforms. With some stock websites you can choose to download the image in high, medium or low resolution. If you want to have continuity between platforms and publications with content, having a good quality image which can be resized is essential.
Do not compromise on quality!
It can be easy to fall into the trap of only posting stock images, which is why it’s important to keep a balance. Pay attention to the images you’re sharing across from month to month; if you images are over used or bland your audience can become bored of your content. Keep a balance with a variety of different images to help maintain engagement and interaction with your audience.
Always allow for inspiration. 70% of our sensory perception is in our eyes and through our eyes we determine what we feel and think – trust. Use your images to help your audience to emotionally engage with you. Whether we are inspiring our audience, championing a cause or showing empathy it is all about having an impact that is worth investing in and creates a call to action.
Finally, have a source that you are comfortable with!
If your content is a little lacklustre and you are stuck in finding the right image, there are many stock image sites available. There are greater options available with paid and free image library sites.
The most well-known and recommended is Shutterstock. Creating an account with Shutterstock is a treasure trove for sourcing images. The probability of finding the image you are searching for is high on a site that has over 300 million royalty free images. Just remember that if you love that image there is a high probability that someone else will be using it as well. https://www.shutterstock.com/
Other stock websites include:
- Pexels (free) – https://www.pexels.com/
- iStock (paid) – https://www.istockphoto.com/au
- Deposit Photos (trial plus paid plans) – https://depositphotos.com/
- Unsplash (free) – https://unsplash.com/
- Pixabay (free) – https://pixabay.com/
- StockSnap (free) – https://stocksnap.io/
If a picture tells a 1000 words, then images play a significant role in your content marketing plan. Keep your images aligned to who you are, creates a sense of authenticity and security that your clientele can trust. Maintain alignment with each of your social platforms so that you’re images provide a consistent message and experience wherever your audience engages with you.
Keep your audience connected to you and use images to do some of the talking!
Kirsty and Jenny Pearse