What if I told you that getting attention with images is as simple as adding one image to your web page? And that this alone 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 Instagram and 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 combined with text communicate more than words alone, which is important — especially with today’s short attention spans.
- Well-chosen images make or break slide presentations, webinars, web pages and ebooks.
Get attention with images by leveraging people’s brains
Image processing happens in a different location in the brain from where words are processed. That means combining words and images literally engages more of your viewer’s brain.
That’s worth the extra effort, don’t you think?
Images are especially effective at activating 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?
- It’s easier (and faster) than ever to create great images: How to Create the Best Web and Social Media Images
- 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
Need to communicate? Think in pictures.
To get the maximum impact from your images, choose simple photos like the ones below.
Simple images translate best at small sizes, 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 or conceptual 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
Social media is the perfect testing ground for your image experiments.
Because that photo you post to Facebook moves down the streams of all your friends as the day goes on. You can experiment and get immediate feedback without any kind of permanence.
Strong images will get likes and comments. Ineffective ones might not get any reaction at all.
Either way, they’ll float downstream, clearing the way for your next image experiment.
Here’s my challenge to you …
This week, experiment with images on the social networks you use. Use the resources here to learn more, and check out the free workshop I mention above.
This post was originally published April 25, 2012 and has been updated with the latest information.