Here’s how to create gorgeous visual marketing to promote your business online

5 Easy Steps to Create Stunning Content Marketing Images [Examples]

content-marketing-image-engagement

Content marketing image examples are all around us …

Just look at social media platforms these days to see that visual content marketing is on the rise.

Words are great. So is video and audio.

But images? They communicate fast …

Images are processed in the blink of an eye — 13 milliseconds, according to recent research presented in an MIT study.

Content marketing imagesWhen you’re coming up with content marketing ideas, are you thinking visually? Are you remembering to include image creation in your content marketing plans?

If you’re not, you’re effectively ignoring a fast track that goes straight to the brains of your audience members.

Yikes!

All images communicate fast, but the kind of images I’m going to cover in this article are what I call “signature branded images.”

You can think about them as “engagement images.”

No, not this …

Content marketing image engagement isn't this

This is what we’re aiming for …

Content marketing image engagement looks like this

We want our prospects and customers to be pulled right into our content because of the images we add.

Our goal is to use images to:

So … how can you make these “engagement images” a part of your content marketing strategy?

Read on …

Effective social media marketing must include engaging images. It's the dominant language spoken on social platforms today!Click To Tweet

Content marketing images, at their best, are designed to work both on your website and off your website.

Let’s start with a definition for the term “content marketing image.” It’s a specific kind of image that plays an important role in your online business.

Content marketing image definition: A photo or illustration that accompanies a piece of written, audio, or video content. Content marketing images enhance understanding of the material, establish a visual brand, and can be used to represent the content on outside platforms like social media.

Adding a high-impact image to your content marketing is a powerful way to draw attention to the information you’re sharing.

Why do content marketing images matter?

My friend, I come from the olden days of marketing.

Pull up a chair and I’ll tell you (briefly, I promise) what those days were like:

  • Images were expensive to acquire: Buying a marketing image meant contracting a photographer and arranging a photo shoot — or paying several hundred dollars to purchase a stock photo image (in slide form!) from a stock photo agency’s (paper) catalog.
  • Images were expensive to print: That’s right — print! Getting an image onto a piece of paper meant having it professionally scanned and then inserted into the printing plate by your printing company. Each step of that process came with a cost.
  • Image creation was always left to the pros: With high stakes and big bucks involved, image selection and use was the sole domain of graphic designers with degrees. Mistakes were expensive and amateurs didn’t take the risk.

To all this I say, “good riddance …”

I’m glad the complexity and fear around using images to market your business has been swept away by the rise of the internet!

And yet, you may have questions. Let’s get them answered.

Can the average person use content marketing images successfully?

Great news:

Visual imagery for business is no longer the sole domain of trained graphic designers. Today, with the tools and training available, anyone can create signature branded images that boost their business results.

More on the best tools for content marketing image creation below.

What tools are used to create content marketing images?

There are a handful of tools anyone can use to create great-looking, polished visual content marketing. Here are my favorites:

Stock photo websites

Don’t fall down the rabbit hole of paging through hundreds of photos on site after site. Instead, choose a couple of favorite, go-to stock photo sites and stick with them. Find my favorites here: Free Stock Photos: My Favorite Resources Today

Color pickers

If you haven’t chosen your brand colors yet, you’ll need those in order to create “signature branded images” like the ones we’ll talk about below. Use this resource page as a starting point: Colors in Business: How to Find Your Best Brand Colors

Free fonts

Custom, brand fonts are an easy (free!) way to add style and substance to your visual brand. Get started choosing yours here: What Font Should You Use to Brand Your Business?

Image creation software

There are lots of image creation sites out there — I know, because every time I mention one, representatives from the others magically appear in my inbox, asking me to add their site to my post. 🙂 My recommendation? Find the program you like best and stick to it. Get to know it inside and out so you can take full advantage of its features! If you need a place to start, I love PicMonkey for the combination of ease of use, price point, and power.

Training for non-designers

There’s a lot of training for non-designers here on BIG Brand System. If you want to get really good at creating signature branded images, add your name to the interest list for my in-depth (but fun!) course, The Image Lab. Image Lab Interest List.

How can I use images in my content marketing?

Here are the steps anyone can use to create content marketing images:

  1. Begin with intention. Find an image that expresses a feeling, an emotion, or a fact that your content conveys.
  2. Gather your materials. To add your branding elements to an image, have your HEX colors, your fonts, and your logo at hand.
  3. Get some assistance. Choose image creation software you enjoy using and practice with it so you can combine your chosen image and your materials with ease.
  4. Size your image according to current guides. Your website and social media sites will all need different size and proportion images: be prepared to adapt your original image.
  5. Add design excellence. Familiarize yourself with basic design concepts like proportion and alignment so you can position elements like a pro.

In many cases, an easy way to brand your image and increase your text legibility is to add a color block using one of your brand colors. See the examples that follow to understand how that works.

Examples of content marketing images: The Bad, The Ugly, the Good

Sometimes the easiest way to teach is to show you what doesn’t work.

Below, I’m sharing three examples of content marketing images along with a “grade” for each image.

I’ll explain why I graded the images the way I did in the sections below each image.


Content Marketing Image Example 1 Gets an F

Let’s start with what this image has going for it … 

The creator added their brand font (BioRhyme) and purple brand color. They even found a photo with a bit of their brand color in it: see her fingernail polish.

BUT … the head is cut off, which means we can’t see her facial expression. This is a big no-no. Human beings are hard-wired to respond to faces, so avoid images with cut off heads.

The text is on an area of the image that is visually busy, so it’s very hard to read.

And there’s no logo or mention of a website name, so if this image gets separated from a link to the content, the viewer won’t have a way to find it.

Read on for how to fix these issues.


Content Marketing Image Example 2 Gets a C

This image is much better. We see the woman’s face and can “read” her engaged expression.

The image creator loved this photo, but realized that the vertical image didn’t fit the universally applicable horizontal image size.

They fixed the issue quickly by adding a bar of color along the right side. Bonus points: this also makes the text much easier to read because it’s on a background that isn’t busy.

However … the text is pretty small. And that purple color against a black background? Not the best choice for readability.

And we’re still missing a logo! Signature branded images aren’t pulling their full weight until they contain a reference to our brand.

Let’s fix these issues once and for all …


Content Marketing Image Example 3 Gets an A+!

Now we’re talking! This image has everything going for it.

We can see the woman’s expression, and it reinforces what the text on the image is saying. The color bar to the right contrasts with the large white text and makes it super easy to read. 

All text is perfectly aligned along the left side with plenty of space around it.

The website name is legible at the bottom of the image. 

This is what to aim for in your visual content marketing images!

If you’d like to know more about creating signature branded images, I’d like to share a free resource with you.

Free workshop! Create stunning content marketing images — even if you’re not a designer

Discover my 5-step method for creating content marketing images that build your online business — for free.

Register for my free on-demand images workshop and see how you can create stunning visuals even if you’re not a designer.

These images are perfect for promoting your brand on your website, in ads, on social media, and in your email marketing. Click to register.

Need to create content marketing images for your blog, online business, or course ... and not sure where to start? Great visuals make your social media marketing more effective — and you don't have to be a designer to create them! Click through to see how YOU can create and use visual imagery and high engagement images as part of your #onlinebusiness #onlinemarketing and #contentmarketingstrategy

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