A picture is worth a thousand words. Who hasn’t heard that before? However, within the world of digital marketing, high-quality images are critical. It’s not just about lead generation. It’s about making an impression. Nobody’s interested in bland content. We’re visual creatures and we’re drawn to vivid, colorful images. They immediately catch our attention and draw us in because they convey a message that words simply can’t. So, do your images complement your inbound marketing strategy?
Think back to the early days of the internet. Images were somewhat rare. Yes, most webpages had the company’s logo, but other than that, the images were less than ideal – if there were any. Fast-forward to today where imagery can make or break a company’s website and its digital brand. In fact, customers like websites based on their design and it’s the design itself that elicits an emotional response.
That emotional response is driven by the quality of the images and their relevance to the content. However, not just any image will do. Choosing the right image is critical. Sometimes they can be purchased online and sometimes they have to be done professionally. Deciding which approach to use comes down to the product or service you’re promoting, your market and your audience. Here are some pointers to keep in mind.
Illicit an Emotional Response
No matter what you’re promoting, what you’re selling, or what point you’re trying to convey, eliciting an emotional response is an absolute necessity. Images help to create a dialogue, open the conversation and add gravitas to your position and message. Match the image to the emotional response your content is conveying. A great approach is to promote a way of life through your images. You may have a product that brings joy and happiness to customers who use it. Showing them happy with your product is a great way to convey your brand.
Quality over Quantity
Don’t overwhelm your audience with too many images. Maximize the white space on your website. Far too many companies try to occupy every space on their website with images, links, text, and information. Large, high-resolution images are what’s needed and it’s quality over quantity that always wins out. You need professional looking imagery to accentuate your offer and distinguish your brand. However, just like too much text can overwhelm your audience, too many images can do the exact same. Choose your images wisely.
Relevance to Your Brand and Message
What does the image represent? How does it convey your message, both for the content you’re presenting and your webpage overall? Does it build your brand? The images you select must be relevant to the position you’re pushing and the content you’re providing. Let your images convey your message. If you have a unique product offering, then show that uniqueness through your images. Provide close-ups and angles of the product that demonstrate its quality and craftsmanship. The idea is to limit the words you use to describe the beauty of your product and allow the image to speak for itself.
Focus on Your Target Audience
Having images of people that represent your audience is a must. Think about your buyer personas. Think about what they like and dislike. How will your images represent their way of life? How will your images connect with them personally? Mapping out your buyer personas is that all-important first step to producing engaging content and it plays a role in the types of images you select.
Keep your personas in mind when you create that content and make sure your images are representative and focused on those personas. This is critical to an inbound marketing strategy that connects with its audience.
Add a Human Touch
Customers hate faceless corporations. There’s nothing endearing about a large company unwilling to showcase its personnel. Add a human touch to your website by showing images of your employees. Get up close and personal. Your customers want to be able to put a name to the face. They want to get to know your company, its products, its people and its culture. Today’s audience gravitates to well-defined brands that make a connection: Your business doesn’t have to be the biggest on the block to create that connection. Just be sure to include happy images that show the behind the scenes activity of your company.
Save Space with Free Image Compression
There are several free image compressor tools online. Compressing JPEG format images helps page load times because it requires less bandwidth. This is especially helpful when you have several large images in a single content piece. In fact, you can condense JPEG images down to 5% of their original size. However, reduce that image too much and the quality will be reduced so be mindful of how compression affects image quality. Also, compression doesn’t work on animated graphic images or images with facial expressions. Ultimately, it’s a question of using high-quality images and condensing them to save space where you can, but not doing it so much that it affects the quality of the image.
Make Your Images Impactful and Actionable
Your images define your brand, reach out to your audience and give them the impetus to act. That means having images that act as your call-to-action, ones that speak to your audience through your content and get that audience to move forward. Your images must convey a powerful message, one that keeps your audience engaged and invested. If that means having images done professionally, then so be it. Those images are worth the time and effort and will position your brand ahead of others. Uniqueness is a strong selling point so don’t cut corners or opt for the cheapest solution. It doesn’t work.
Limit Your Text with Images
Elongated text, run-on sentences, and endless paragraphs aren’t what today’s audience wants. They’re not interested in reading long text about what your product does. They don’t want to read through a series of Q&A on your products. They want to see what that product does, how it works and why your offering is so appreciated by your market. High-quality images accomplish that, but text never will. So, replace your text with images and make those images the focus of your content – and not the other way around.
Remember that images are a prerequisite to connecting with your customers. It’s not a “nice to have”. It’s an absolute must. The days of elongated text are gone. Make sure your images reflect the focus of your content and use them to elicit an emotional response that will give your customers a reason to inquire.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your inbound marketing strategy, then we can help. Contact us now and request an assessment.