Do you Always use Images?
The use of visual content in posts and social media has exploded, partly because it’s so easy to create and share images and video with a smartphone, and partly because images are more persuasive than just text content.
Here are some very important reasons why you should always include images . . .
- Blog posts with visuals drive up to 180% more engagement than those without. This means that a visual image can allow people to digest your content, then decide if they want to continue to read the article.
- 60% of consumers are more likely to consider or contact a business whose images appear in local search results.
- 67% of consumers consider clear, detailed images to be very important and carry even more weight than the product information, full description, and customer ratings.
- Photos are liked twice as much as text updates on Facebook.
- 37% increase in engagement is experienced when Facebook posts include photographs.
... AND - when you add keywords to the alt text of images you use on your website, you create another opportunity for people to find your site and for Google to index it.
What Types of Images Should You Use?
There are photos and there are photos. What draws you in? What makes you take a little extra time looking at an image, and what feelings does it evoke?
Your image should either be the story, or enhance the story.
Here’s a few ideas for images to add to blogposts and social media posts.
1. Product images
If you’re going to feature a product image – make it an interesting one. Show it being used, zoom in on an interesting feature, create a funny caption.
To make it more interesting and build engagement, why not dream up new ways it can be used. I came across this clever post – 13 Unusual Uses for a Hair Dryer, which puts a new spin on marketing hair dryers and would no doubt get a lot of traffic if a hairdryer manufacturer had the creativity to take this fun approach to their marketing. Imagine the videos you could make . . . the engagement you could get on Facebook asking people for their suggestions for your product!
2. Your Big Moments
You’re proud of your accomplishments and you should be. So why not show your big moments? The award, the handshake. It’s very compelling.
Here’s a wonderful photo opportunity that was missed – the 2013 Sunshine Coast Apprentice of the Year Lachlan Kenman is employed by the 2013 Sunshine Coast Apprentice Employer of the Year. That’s two great Awards for the one company - which presents two wonderful photo opportunities to showcase accomplishments and build credibility.
I googled this builder’s website and sadly it’s very sparse – 3 pages of not much. No blog and no images or details of these awards. Not even a presence on Facebook or LinkedIn either!
3. Your Customer Reviews
Positive reviews can go a long way. Why not take a screenshot of a review and save it as an image to include on your blog or social media posts? Other people’s reviews of your business are social proof that you are doing things properly.
Not only that – many people these days won’t visit a restaurant or hire a tradie until they’ve checked out reviews first on the popular review sites. By publishing your reviews on your blog, on Facebook, on Google Plus, Twitter and LinkedIn, you’re sharing the love with a much bigger audience – and this all helps with building your business!
This is a great review received by one of our clients. (And yes, we’ve shared it!)
4. Your Company’s Story
As a marketer (yes – every company owner is a marketer) don’t just focus on a specific product or service you have, think how you can market your brand, the why and the people behind the brand.
It’s about telling the story of who you are, and not just about your latest product or service.
You can start with how your company was created, the key messaging and what initiatives you push. For example, the environment, local kids, communities, etc.
Share “behind the scenes” stories.
About 3 years ago Intel used a behind-the-scenes photo on their Facebook page, and it has remained one of the highest commented on and shared posts of all time.
5. Use Quotes – They’re Highly Shareable
The sharing of quotes on social sites has increased substantially in the past year. They’re also a great idea to use to make a point in a blogpost.
To make this quote, I used Quote with Quizio on my browser’s toolbar, pasted the text I wanted to use and then was presented with choices for fonts, background color and attribution.
Quotes have a way of generating a sense of authority and make readers take notice of a statement that could easily get lost.
6. Use Relevant Free or Low Cost Photos
This doesn’t mean doing a Google search and using any old photo you find. Photos are subject to copyright.
However, there are sites where you can get images for free or very cheaply. Look for images that have a Creative Commons license – and in particular provide permission to use the image commercially. Make sure you read the conditions of the license.
Read over the rules so you know exactly what the usage restrictions are and what type of attribution is required. If you’re not sure – contact the photographer and seek permission. Believe me – you do not want to receive a copyright lawsuit!
In the next post we’ll look at tools to help you crop, resize and enhance images.