Humans are visual creatures. Did you know 90% of the stimulus we respond to comes from our eyes, and our eyes alone? Despite our fantastic 5 senses, we’re simply wired to process images better and give them more weight. You can harness that same power for your digital marketing efforts, using smart image choices to enhance your content and boost its visibility. It needs to be done right, however- and Zebra 360 Online Marketing is here to show you how.
Why images matter in digital marketing
They say a picture is worth a 1000 words, and it couldn’t be truer- if you use the right picture. Science tells us the modern distraction-packed world around us has reduced our attention spans to something around 9 seconds. That’s less than the average goldfish! Images can be processed by the mind in less than a second, by contrast- so imagine the power a relevant image can lend to your content. Used correctly, images in your digital marketing efforts will:
- Get attention: Digital marketing spaces are crowded. Images and colours are information we process quickly and which draw the eye.
- Keep interest flowing: A variety of supportive visual content types, from stock photos and banners to infographics, keeps digital feeds fresh and interesting as well as breaking up the ‘walls of text’ effect.
- Boost memory retention: The brain puts great precedence on visual input. We’re far more likely to remember something we’ve seen than something we’ve heard, for example.
- Establish a brand identity: Consistent, cohesive imagery creates a brand identity people will come to recognise.
Mistakes not to make with images in your social media marketing
There’s no doubt. Images, used well, are one of the key tools in your arsenal for digital marketing. The key, however, is ‘used well’. Poor images choices, inconsistent or irrelevant application, and a host of other little mistakes may actually negatively impact your brand. Let’s take a closer look.
It’s critical that the images you use appeal to your target audience. A young teen demographic isn’t going to gel with, or feel drawn to, family-heavy graphics. If your images aren’t speaking to the people you want to listen, you won’t have much success.
A variety of different image types, still used with overall cohesion, will always serve you better than sticking with one specific image category. You want your images to enhance your content, and keep your feeds interesting and varied. If all consumers are seeing is the same thing over and over, you’ll quickly lose visual appeal.
Lack of consistency
Images do have considerable power over public perception. If your imagery has no unity of feel and inconsistent branding, you’ll be using that power against your efforts instead of to enhance them. If you’re using any old stock image, with no unifying thought to the decision, you create no consistent feel for your brand. If your choice of colour, typography, patterns and other visual features jump all over the place, you’re doing nothing to build an image of your brand to your audience. They may even assume it’s different entities posting!
Inappropriate image use
Images that pull the user out of your content, actively offend them, or simply don’t fit with the message of the content will do more harm to your brand than good. This could be as innocuous as using a goofy, weird stock photo to support your blog post. If the user is distracted wondering what on earth is going on in the shot, they aren’t digesting your content.
It’s very possible to elevate this particular no-no from faux pas to marketing felony. There’s a time and place for everything. Funny images can create a sense of community for your brand, for example- but not if you are making light of a tragedy or mocking others. Selfies portray a flippant, childish tone that fits very few industries and may damage people’s perception of your brand.
Likewise, always approach your image choices from your brand perspective and personality, not what personally appeals to you. Using highly religious imagery inappropriately, or in irrelevant contexts, opting for off-beat photography when your brand has a very serious profile, and other conflicts of personal taste with brand identity can also cause more problems than they solve.
Bad quality is brand breaking
What perception do you want people to take away from your brand? Unless it’s that you’re shoddy, sloppy and deliver poor quality, don’t use images that carry the same message! Grainy, blurry image content is worse than no images at all.
A great image, well used, has incredible power for your brand identity. It’s critical that you use the right image for the job, however. If you’re not sure how to create a high-quality, stunning, visually consistent image brand for your company, why not let the Zebra 360 Online Marketing team lend you a helping hand?