The online world has become increasingly visual. You can no longer just rely on your words if you want to implement a winning content marketing strategy; you have to go above and beyond. And while there are many ways to add a visual flare to your content (i.e. videos, infographics, GIFs, memes, etc.), sometimes it’s best to start at the beginning. A photo/image is as basic as it gets when it comes to visual marketing, but you can’t just add a picture and expect to see results. In fact, there are several considerations necessary to make your next image picture perfect!
1. Make sure your image is properly sized
It may seem like a minor detail, but an improperly sized image can truly deter from its overall intent and impact. Whether it’s too big to fit the space or too small to match the platform, there is no ignoring the importance of image size. Improperly sized images have a tendency to stand out like a sore thumb – for all the wrong reasons – so even if the image itself is a winner, your audience is more focused on the disproportionate result. So don’t let something as simple as image size deter you from the perfect shot!
2. Make sure your image is relevant
We know that the benefits of adding an image are significant, and that may make it easy to just throw one in whenever you can, but that doesn’t mean you should if it isn’t called for. You can try to justify the reasoning behind an image as much as you want, but if the purpose of an image being paired with a certain post isn’t abundantly clear, it is not worth including. Just like a square peg won’t fit in a circular hole, you can’t force the issue with an image that just doesn’t fit. Keep it relevant so that your followers can immediately recognize its purpose and appreciate the content that much more.
3. Make sure your image is high quality
Nobody wants to have to squint, tilt their heads, or adjust their screens to try to make out what you’re trying to show. And yet, there are countless times when we see poor resolution photos that leave the audience with a pixelated nightmare. The images that will leave your audience in a more dream-like state are those that scream quality, so don’t settle for something less. Not only does it take away from that particular post, but also your overall professionalism. When it comes to photos, the notion of quality over quantity definitely holds true, so if you don’t have the quality, don’t try to boost the quantity.
4. Make sure your image is visually appealing
This should go without saying, but your visual must be visually appealing. It needs to grab the attention of your audience in some fashion, whether that’s with a burst of colour, an aesthetically pleasing design, or a stringent attention to detail. No matter how you go about it, it must be something that makes your followers stop and stare. With all of the visuals being posted, it’s becoming harder and harder for a bland, basic photo to stand out, so taking the easy way out with your photos is not an option.
5. Make sure your image is original
It’s easy to fall in love with stock photos – they’re easy, convenient, and can even be free. But when you keep going back to the stock photo well, you’re doing so at the expense of your originality. We’re not saying you need to scrap the stock option from your arsenal completely, but when you are posting the same photo as dozens of other companies (even some competitors), then your visuals are no longer a point of differentiation. You’re just another post that will be scrolled over because your audience doesn’t want to see the same thing on repeat. Taking the steps to capture your own photos will go a long way toward increasing your originality; ensuring that you get exactly what you’re looking for; and for the sake of your audience, presenting something that they haven’t seen before. So take the time to distinguish yourself from the crowd.
There are no ifs, ands, or buts when it comes to visual content. It is as prominent in the online world as ever and if you want your content to keep up, you can’t be afraid to get visual. And while you can one day incorporate the wider arsenal of visual content, you need to be able to walk before you can run. And to walk successfully, you need to make your online images a work of art! By keeping them original, high quality, relevant, properly sized, and of course, visually appealing, your next image can truly be worth 1,000 words!