Choosing Images for Successful Online Marketing

Andrea Palmer

Published Mon 31 Oct by Andrea Palmer in Creating Better Content and Marketing More Effectively

Even the most engaging, well written piece of content can be significantly enhanced with the right image at the forefront. Here’s how you can choose the best images to help deliver your online content with extra punch.

Images which instantly grab your audience’s attention are essential if you want to:

  • Encourage people to read and share blog content
  • Get people taking about your product / service
  • Encourage more sales

Be Authentic & Humanise Your Brand

Visual content is the foundation of most branding campaigns. Yet their messages and credibility can be undermined by using inferior, overused stock photographs.

Take the “contact page person”. You know the one… bland face, bleach-white smile, nice headset. You do wear headsets in your office, right?

Replacing cheap stock faces with real members of your team will add authenticity to your website, social media and all customer-facing materials.

Professional Photography

We strongly recommend that your most important company images are produced by a professional photographer.

Here's why:

  • Helps you look trustworthy – a photographer has the expertise and equipment to gain flattering authentic portraits of your staff and team members
  • Encourages customer engagement – a photographer will create striking compositions that communicate your message and tell your story 
  • Helps you stand out from your competitors – polished and professional imagery reflects positively on your brand

Let’s look at a few web page examples of companies who have used authentic photography versus companies who have opted for stock photos or none at all.

Authentic photography:

Website using stock photos

Authentic Team portraits: Coversure Nottingham


Website contact page void of images

Using Stock photos

Having original images on all web pages is ideal but not everyone has the resources, especially if you need images to accompany copy for blogs or articles. 

In this instant stock images can be useful; but tread carefully: making the wrong image choices can deter your visitors. 

Here are our tips on how to get it right:

Image Size and Quality

  •  Best quality – Always choose the highest quality images – Pixelated, poor quality images look unprofessional 
  • Choose the right resolution – Images should not be any less than 72 dpi (dots per inch) Images which are too large can result in very slow loading times for your web pages
  • Images for printed material – Purchase the largest size images for print: these should never be any smaller than 300dpi. But remember to size images down to use for the web.

Images to Tell a Story

Don’t make your audience work too hard. Any image used to accompany copy should set the tone for the reader.

Images ideally should be placed above the main title of any copy. Choose an image which instantly tells the reader what they’re getting, encouraging them to click though to the main article.

Consider using images throughout your text - Telling a story through images is better than long boring text paragraphs.

It may take a while to choose the right image / images but it’ll be worth it in the long run. Remember, your images should encourage your audience to read on.

Use emotional images

Being able to connect with your audience through their emotions is the best way to get attention. Think about how you want your audience to feel and choose an image which hooks them in to read the copy.

Use trigger points which pull on customers' emotional strings. This could be through:

  • Happiness
  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Empathy

Avoid using an image just for the sake of it, or just for its visual appeal. The images you choose have to be in the right context for your copy and should give insight to the main topic.

Try being creative when choosing images and think outside the box, always keeping its potential appeal to customers at the forefront.

Giving Credits for Free Images

  • Never just grab images from Google or other search engines unless you have permission
  • Stock photo sites and free platforms like Creative commons have their rules, so be sure to read the small print and credit appropriately
  • Often, start-up photographers produce images for free: again, be sure to credit them as using an image without correct credits is classed as copyright theft

Homemade Cafe

Most people these days have a smartphone, so why not try your hand at taking images yourself? Ok, you may not get images that look as polished as the professionals' but your images are going to look authentic.

  •  Take snaps of interesting things you and your team get up to
  • Consider ways in which you can photograph your service or product
  • Photograph your satisfied customers to accompany their testimonials
  • Show your followers you're human by sharing your company’s celebrations through image
  • Take photos from a different perspective – from above or below to make the photo look more interesting
  • Invest your time in getting better compositions: look on youtube or on well known  websites to get ideas and inspiration

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