What if I told you that adding one simple image to your web page or printed piece could increase the time and attention people pay to your marketing?
You’re already spending time writing your web pages, brochures and emails. Why spend time on images?
They’re important because:
- Combining an attention-grabbing headline and an arresting image stops web surfers in their tracks
- Social media speaks in images: between the oversized Facebook timeline cover image, to image-centric Pinterest, social media runs on images.
- Eye-catching images are shared more often, meaning your web page, blog post or product image will spread more easily if it features a strong image
- Images help to communicate more than words alone, especially with today’s short attention spans
- Well-chosen images make or break slide presentations, webinars, web pages and ebooks
Our Brains on Images
Image processing happens in a different part of the brain from where words are processed, so putting them with your words will engage more of your viewer’s brain. That’s worth the extra effort, don’t you think?
Images are especially effective vehicles to activate associations. If you spark an experience or memory with your image, you can convey meaning that goes well beyond the picture itself.
As a matter of fact, whole businesses have sprung up around the idea of using images to facilitate communication. VisualsSpeak is a perfect example. It helps people create new stories about themselves and their organizations using the power of images.
What if You’re Not Artistic?
Anyone can develop an eye for effective imagery. It takes practice and you’ll get better over time, so why not use these posts to get started today?
- Why developing your “eye for design” (and good imagery) will help your brand: The Valuable Brand Asset You Can Develop This Year
- Discover the two main categories of images: Don’t Use a Thousand Words, Use an Image
- Why showing is as important as telling: How to Grab Attention and Win Readers Over With a Trick You Learned in Second Grade
- How to position your photos and graphics on your page: Point Out the Obvious with Images
- A quick, effective way to combine a group of head shot photos: Creating Order Out of Photographic Chaos
Need to Communicate? Think in Pictures.
To get the maximum impact from your images, choose simple forms like the ones below. They translate best at any size, so when your social media platform of choice reduces your photo to the size of a postage stamp, for example, it will still be understandable.
Use literal images like product photos, portraits or locations when you need to get specific about what something is or does.
Literal imagery is perfect for:
- Showing your company’s history with a timeline, or in a slide show
- Demonstrating a technique in a tutorial
- Showing how your product is installed or used
Use abstract images when you want to evoke an emotion. Before you choose, think about what kind of emotion you want to create in the viewer: curiosity, joy, fear, surprise, concern, or something else?
Get Your Feet Wet in a Moving Stream
A great place to try your hand at using images effectively is in social media.
Let’s face it: that photo you post to Facebook moves down the streams of all your friends as the day goes on, so it’s a great place to experiment and get immediate feedback. Strong images will get likes and comments. Ineffective ones might not get any reaction at all.
This week, experiment with images on the social networks you use. Use the resources here to learn more, and commit to mastering the power of well-chosen imagery.
Question of the Week
What do you enjoy about using images, and what do you find confusing? Let’s talk about it in the comments!