Have you ever come across a lengthy blog post with no visual stimuli? You can probably still imagine what a pain it was to get through it. Real snooze fest! In fact, it is very likely you gave up after a few paragraphs. Perhaps a few years ago you could still get away with obliterating advertising images from your content marketing strategy. Today, doing so is a rookie mistake that can negatively affect engagement as well as conversion.
We live in the age of visual culture where every person carries a powerful camera in their pocket, and social networks revolve more and more around imagery. For raw information to be heard, it needs to be well presented!
Let’s have a look at ways you can use images to improve your content marketing strategy.
Boost Your Social Media Engagement
74% of social media pros use visual elements in their social media marketing, and the trend continues to increase. Why? The naked truth is that Tweets including images are 150% more likely to be retweeted than Tweets without them, as Facebook posts with images receive 2.3 times more engagement than posts with no visual elements.
Adobe and Software Advice paired up to conduct a social media optimization survey which reviewed that using images is the primary tactic employed by successful marketers:
Reduce Bounce Rate & Improve Information Retention on Your Blog
Another crucial part of a content marketing strategy is your blog. It is the perfect place to connect with your customer and go the extra mile to differentiate yourself from the competition. Even if your post is the most insightful piece of writing on the internet, without images, it is unlikely to attract and keep the attention it deserves.
It takes no more than 50 milliseconds for a visitor to form an opinion about your site. A blunt looking post can harm your ability to communicate information and ideas that could have been useful. Plus, our brain process images 60,000 times faster than text.
BuzzSumo analyzed more than 1 million articles and found out that articles with images every 75-100 words received twice as many social media shares. Reading on a screen is still more challenging than on a physical page. Thus, images cut the text into smaller more digestible chunks and give them time to “breath” in-between the information.
Influence Purchasing Decisions
If you are an owner of an online store, part of your content marketing strategy is your product pages. Product images are what the visitor on your site sees first. Only if the picture looks captivating enough, the shopper will move on to read the product information.
High-quality product images help buyers understand your product as well as promote your brand because they are more “shareable”. Equally, good product visuals help you highlight your branding and stand out from your competitors since many online stores still seem to neglect using unique advertising images for their products.
Choose Your Images Wisely
When it comes to advertising images, you cannot stop with deciding whether or not to include an image but think which image would be the most appropriate. There is an array of image types you can opt for that best communicate your message:
- Custom Images: Custom Images are ideal for communicating your brand image and style. You can create a distinct sense of identity which will set you apart purely because of the visual characteristics of your posts.
- Stock Images: Easy to use and quite cheap. Ideal if you do not have the time or resources to produce your own images for every single post. However, use them sparingly, and with caution, overuse of stock images can have the opposite effect.
- Image Briefs: If you struggle to find what you’re looking for on stock sites, why not create a personalized image brief for your next campaign? Specialist photograph stock sites will then connect you with their large pool of photographers to find the best images for your next campaign
- Graphs & Charts: Stats or any other numerical information is more easily understood if presented as a chart rather than large chunks of text.
- Infographics: One step up from single charts are infographics. They are a lifesaver if you need to communicate a large amount of statistical information in a friendly manner. In fact, several eye-tracking studies prove that readers pay very close attention to images that carry information.
- Memes: Memes are quite useful as they are emotional; especially effective if your goal is to entertain.
- GIFS & Animation: Another great way to entertain or create a unique brand identity. An image does not always have to be a photo to be effective.
- Screenshots: When it comes to tutorials, there is nothing better than screenshots
- Embedded Images: These images are images from social media that you embed on your website or blog. You can embed your own images or use customer-generated content (CGC) which is common for online stores.
However, if you do go for CGC, make sure you ask the author for permission.
These are the most common image types you can find online. Although it is hard and time-consuming to feature original visual content at all times, it is worth it. Therefore, even if it is unrealistic for you to achieve 100% originality, you should always try to do your best because, simply put, visual identity matters.
To Wrap Things Up…
Statistics and surveys give us literally no reason to doubt the value of imagery in the context of content marketing strategy. If selected with care, advertising images can catapult your digital marketing efforts to new heights. So, if you are still unsure whether or not good quality images are worth your time, you’ve found the answer.
We hope you found this article helpful. However, if you have any questions, ideas, or content marketing stories you would like to share with us, please leave us a comment!
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