Images have a significant role in almost all of the Digital Marketing components. Users and potential customers pay attention to the visual content first. It means that choosing images wisely, we can get better results. This article will share some effective tips on doing that.
Improving SEO with Images
It is obvious that people search not only by texts but also by images. And of course, you know that words around the picture and alt tags help your website or blog post get into search results.
Is there something that you can improve using images? For sure. Whatever you are searching for, there are always images that you want to click on and those that you eliminate by a quick glance. Some of the reasons are: they are blurry, too small, look old-fashioned, not really relevant, exactly the same as ten other images, or seem to be too stock-ish.
This is where you can shine. If you pay more attention to the images that you are publishing, you can raise your chances of getting more traffic. Let’s say you have a travel agency website, and you posted a great article about a destination. If you don’t have your own quality photos of the places, you probably will get them from the web. And that’s totally fine, but you can make one or two steps further and not just get a lookalike image, but search for a unique one and yet attractive. Then when people look at the search results, they will more likely notice your picture, among others, and click on the link. And organic traffic will help the page to rank better.
The lagoon looks tempting and makes a viewer wonder where this place exactly because it differs from other images. The second photo looks more authentic than all the rest due to the different shade of blue and details. It raises curiosity about the place and drives attention to what is written under the photo.
Images in Social Media
If you have amazing photos for social media posts you are in luck. But what if your product or service doesn’t have great photos yet?
Actually, it doesn’t have to be a great picture; it can be humorous, unexpected, absurd, or old school. You even can post a blank image. It surely will drive attention to your post, though it won’t work if you go overboard and post blank pictures on a regular basis.
If you do not have a photo or idea of what to use, do not publish a publication without an illustration. You can always use simple clipart.
If it fits your brand, use funny or images on issues of the day/week/month. You can find ready-to-use bizarre images in Moose Photos, or make your own photos in Photo Creator (choose from thousands of elements, models, backgrounds, meme faces, and upload your pictures to compose a perfect photo that will tell your story and drive attention to the post in the feed).
The main point is — your images in social media should evoke some emotions. Your followers might admire the beauty of the place, model, composition, laugh at your joke, feel involved in the matter you are raising, and so on. If they don’t feel anything, probably they will just scroll down unless there is a title that screams.
Images in Content Marketing (Blog Posting)
These tips will include a combination of the previous ones. If you create a blog post, it is essential to follow basic SEO rules including the choice of the images related to the text and to pick a thumbnail image wisely, the same way as it would be for Social Media posts (keeping in mind but your blog post will end up being shared to Social Media pages).
TheNextWeb team puts the effort into creating unique images for their articles. Here are some examples of title images made in Photo Creator.
Their images differ from the usual generic stock photos. And with standard images, the situation is similar to the Google search results: all pictures look the same, and the eyes don’t notice anything catchy.
Composing images is one of the ways. Another way is to use illustrations. Several years ago, when we (Icons8) were publishing just a couple of articles per month, we used to hire an artist to draw custom illustrations specifically for our articles. The author was sharing ideas, explaining the main thoughts of the text, and then the artist and the author were coming to the final description of the image. It sounds time-consuming, and it was indeed. But we were getting amazing unique illustrations in a single style that matched articles perfectly.
If you don’t have resources to hire an artist, you can check ready-to-use illustrations. There are some free stocks with illustrations and paid ones to choose from on the web. Also, there is Dribbble with plenty of talented artists, and some might allow using their artworks in your article for free if you credit them. Or you can make your illustrations in Vector Creator using elements from the library. The great thing about this tool is that you can choose a style and create a bunch of images that will go to one blog post.
The main idea: try to avoid ordinary images that look like thousands of others.
Images in Email Marketing
A newsletter is something more personal than a blog post or Facebook/Instagram/Twitter post because it is one-on-one interaction with your subscriber. It is where you can address them by their name. You can make the email more emotional, and what speaks to emotions faster than visual content?
Product Hunt uses gifs quite often. Along with the tone of the text copy, their newsletters can feel like it is an email from a friend.
Choose images that fit your brand’s voice, but if possible, add more personality and character to the email to establish a deeper connection with your subscriber. It doesn’t have to be photos only, but also illustrations or event images of famous paintings, whatever will “sound” as your brand voice.
Images in Online Advertising
Among all other components of Digital Marketing, online advertising is probably the field where professionals pay attention to the images the most. Using generic stock images is OK. However, by creating ads with typical images, you won’t stand out, especially if a photo you are using doesn’t resonance with a potential customer (let’s say, you are offering some general medical service and using a picture of a doctor with a young woman posing as a patient, and your ad is shown to a mid-age male. He probably won’t feel related to the situation).
Of course, you can use humor to spice “stocky” images and get potential customers interested, but it is not always appropriate.
To improve your ads, try adding real photos of your products, employees, offices, images that evoke emotions, find pictures your audience can relate to (meaning creating different ad images for different segments when needed).
If you are going to use a very “stocky”-looking-image (in cases, when you don’t have your own photos, and photo stocks offer you limited variations of pictures), consider adding jokes or unexpected characters.
Choosing a perfect image in 100% of cases is challenging indeed. But if you put effort and time into that, the results (the engagement, Google ranking, clicks, etc.) will be better. Quite often, it also not easy to find the style that works for your brand. Give yourself time to test approaches, compare the outcomes, and then move forward.
About the author: Anastasia Grebneva, freelance digital marketer
Title illustration is from Abstract pack on Ouch, free library of vector illustrations
Review the content marketing trends this year, explore three popular myths about images in content marketing, and read how to design emails that people will actually read.