By Diane Saeger
If you are like most people, when you start thinking about a new piece of content for your marketing strategy, whether a blog, email or Facebook post, you probably spend most of your time thinking about the topic, tone, and voice. Then, maybe you throw in an image or two as you are ready to post. Sound familiar? While it’s easy to forget about visuals during the content creation and writing process, images are increasingly important aspects of all of your content.
There are a number of reasons to include images in your content, other than just because they are pretty. Adding thoughtful visuals to content can:
• Capture the reader's attention
• Easily convey complex or technical concepts
• Break up content so it is easier to consume.
• Create an emotional response from the reader (cute puppies, anyone?)
However, there are more reasons why you should use images in your content. Articles including images have been reported by Jeff Bullas to receive 94% higher total views. That’s a big difference! And according to Social Bakers, pictures make up 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook – even beating video.
Images help us to learn and remember better than words alone, however, it takes more than just an image – it takes the right image.
The right image should be:
Your images should be captivating to your audience and pull them in. Think of the images as the icing on a cupcake or bow on a gift – you want to draw people in for click-throughs and views. The same over-used stock photos will not cut it.
Make sure your image is compelling by only using high-quality photos. Nothing looks worse than a pixilated image – except for maybe some 90’s-style clip art.
The right image for your content will be relevant to the topic, but not necessarily literal. For example, if you are talking about how to grow a business, you may want to use an image of a watering can to get the point across – don’t be afraid of metaphors and a little creativity! Use a title image that helps the reader to understand what the post is about. An image can allow you to use a more creative title and still convey a clear message to your audience. You can also use images throughout the text to help highlight important points (with something like a flag) or to provide additional visual context.If you have images that speak to a specific location, seasonality or industry they can really help to create a sense of your point of view for the reader.
There are so many great ways to use images in content – and a lot of bad examples out there. What is your favorite image you have used in a content piece? What is your pet peeve about images in online content?