A picture is worth a thousand words. You’ve heard the saying before, but are images really that important in your marketing? In a short answer, yes. You absolutely should be using images in marketing to strategically keep your audience engaged.
Let’s dive into eight key benefits of images in marketing and how to use them effectively for the best results — attract attention, convert new customers, and build long-lasting customer relationships.
8 Benefits of Using Images in Marketing
Images are valuable companions to your marketing messages. Here are eight reasons you should be using images in marketing.
1. Grabs Attention Quickly
We are visually compelled and images help break up the blocks of text our brains tend to view as boring. This is especially important when we are trying to grab people who are browsing and not fully committed yet. The next time you are scrolling through your newsfeed, consider how many images you look at before you read any of the surrounding text.
2. Differentiates Your Brand
You can set yourself apart from the competition with creating a unique look. People should have a visual understanding of who you are as a company and be able to recognize you on the spot. Things to consider are colors, logo placement, and style of image. The best brands are ones who are authentic and relatable.
3. Communicates Instantly
Our brain processes images 60,000x faster than text. This is the true reason they say “a picture is worth a thousand words.” An image will automatically communicate things to the brain that take much longer to spell out in text.
4. Builds Brand Cohesion
When your images have a similar style and mesh perfectly with your logo, text, design and voice, you will build a stronger brand, one that’s consistent across your entire online presence. Images can be bold and vibrant, bright and airy, technical and precise, earthy and grounded, grungy and intense, etc.
5. Establishes Credibility and Trust
Images can show your products or services being used by your target audience. As people see people like themselves benefiting from what you offer, they feel a sense of connection and trust. The more your images are “real” and not just stock images, the more you can build this trust.
6. Evokes Emotion and Storytelling
Images can display value, stability, sustainability—just about anything. You can use images to help people feel a certain way about your brand without even using those words. Not only will the subject matter tell a story or cause an emotion, but the editing style will impact the feel of your images as well.
7. Inspires Action
A call to action in your marketing is important because it increases the likelihood of the reader taking that action. In the same way, your images can increase the likelihood of provoking a response. If you show a product being used in an image that is compelling and attractive to your target audience, they are more likely to want to use that image.
8. Increases Engagement
People are more likely to remember your content and share it with others when there is a strong image involved. Images take the form of Pins, memes, post link banners, ads, Tweets and more.
BuzzSumo reports that Facebook posts with images get 2.3x more engagement and Tweets with images can generate 150% more Retweets.
Quick Tips for Creating Images for Your Brand
You don’t need a professional photographer for every part of your branded imagery. Some companies are creating awesome campaigns on their smartphones. You do need to make sure your images communicate effectively and offer a clear image for your viewers. You will want to have a firm grasp of your brand’s approach to imagery so you know if you are meeting the expectations or not.
Start with bright lighting—outdoor lighting is usually a good place to start, but avoid harsh shadows from sunny times close to noon.
Explore different angles and positions to see what is the most captivating shot.
Use editing tools, like Canva (it’s free!), to create shareable graphics.
Keep your look consistent so your images have the same style and match your branding.
Add a watermark of your business logo to keep your work from being stolen by another brand or shared without a backlink.
Resize and compress images to fit your needs. For images on your website or blog, keep the longest size no longer than 900 pixels and compressed to under 200 kb for a fast load time. Thumbnail images should be even smaller.
Take your work up a notch by investing in a more serious camera (one that offers more manual control) and software (like Photoshop) to give you more professional images that have better clarity, color and lighting (prepare for a learning curve with these tools because they aren’t intuitive)
Ways to Level Up Your Marketing with Images
There are a number of places you will want to include your images. Different images work better in different settings.
Product and services images should be a main focus for your website. For services, the images will be more geared around what you do and not necessarily showing the product itself. Website images should be your most professional images that are designed to last and offer the perfect visual representation of your brand.
Google My Business
If you have a local office space or serve a local area, you want to provide Google My Business with images. Most of the time, a random visitor will end up including a shot from the parking lot or of the product in a very non-professional shot—this should not speak for your brand! Including images that show your company and products in the best light will help increase the likelihood that someone decides to stop by with their business.
Usually, the images posted to social media can be more candid and less professional in nature. You still want to have the overall feel of your brand, but these images can offer more of a “behind the scenes” peek into what your brand does. Social media images should also follow the nature of the platform.
Facebook images: Should tell a story. People on Facebook are often looking for interesting facts, connections and news.
Instagram images: Should be visually pleasing and very well edited. Instagram users tend to engage more with professional images that stand out. Images on this platform should be cropped to a 1:1 ratio or 3:4 ratio.
Instagram/Facebook stories: Are slightly different and more candid in nature. You can use overlays, texts, polls and CTAs to increase engagement. These will be a vertical ratio of 9:16.
Pinterest images: Should be inspiring and captivating. How-to images, videos and lists linking back to your blog do well on this platform. Quotes or text overlays on images often do well too.
LinkedIn images: Can be more of a stock image style and not as personal to the brand. These images should be professional and content should be geared towards a slightly more serious crowd.
YouTube images: Are often used for the cover image for your video content—rather than choosing a random video still frame that could be blurry and unattractive. These images do best when paired with a text overlay that goes hand-in-hand with the title.
Twitter images: Are pretty similar to what you would use for Facebook images. The text paired with them should be short and very to-the-point. For Tweets, images should be horizontal 16:9.
Blog images increase shares, get clicks and keep people on the page. Include at least 1-3 images throughout the copy, including a header image that will be used for the link banner. Images could include any graphs, illustrations or visual aids that will help the reader stay focused throughout the piece.
Places like Yelp or online local business listings should all have the correct information and images for your brand to improve SEO. Offering a broader range of images across different listings will help round out the image of your company for any customers looking you up.
Images in email can be very powerful. You can use images that illustrate the content of the email or showcase product recommendations. Some brands use powerful images to help increase click-throughs or highlight CTAs.
Social media ads, search PPC and website banners all do better when paired with a powerful image.
Images combined with graphic design elements (like powerful fonts), can really catch the eye and entice a click. If your banner is too flashy or unprofessional, viewers may think it’s spam. If your ad is boring, your target audience isn’t going to even give it a real first look.
Take Your Visual Marketing to the Next Level
You can really take your marketing up a notch when you are using a platform designed to simplify the digital marketing process.
With Surefire Local’s digital asset management, we can even help you upload, store and organize your images all in one place. You will be able to view images in the same place you manage your website traffic, online reviews, social media calendar, email marketing campaigns, paid ads, local listings, lead generation, and more. This makes it easy to access your images and everyone in your organization can find them in one place when they are using images in marketing campaigns or content. Request your demo from Surefire Local Marketing Platform today and see how we can really boost your visual appeal!