“A picture is worth a thousand words”
Marketing copy is a very powerful tool. Shareable, exigent and persuasive copywriting is a marketer’s best friend. When all is said and done however, it’s the allure of the image that is going to get users to stop and look.
According to the U.S. Library of Medicine: at least 65% of the population are visual learners. Therefore, it’s critical to reach them in a method that they connect to. Even for those who are not visual learners, an image is the first and most powerful aspect to catch user attention. If you want people to stop scrolling and to check out your post or ad, the image needs to compel:
- An image automatically conveys emotion, and sets the tone for the audience, so they begin engaging with the correct expectations. Sometimes it’s simply about using a visual asset to shock users with a contrasting perspective. Most importantly, it’s about creating relevancy and building brand.
- A striking image is guaranteed to increase engagement and every marketer knows it. A post without an image is simply sloppy work. Even a stock photo has the ability to generate 650% more engagements than a text only post and well designed and chosen visual content will make users 80% more likely to read the written content.
- Social media algorithms use engagement as a tool to quantify the quality and value of a given post, so using attractive and captivating images will ensure that engagement increases organically.
- Images are processed by the brain at a speed 60,000 times faster than we can interpret language, this makes a good image one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal.
- Image alt tags don’t only make for a better user experience, it also allows you to “earn you both explicit and implicit SEO benefits, according Moz.com.
What Makes a Good Social Media Image?
The elements that comprise a winning image are manifold but ultimately the goal is to take your visitors beyond the ordinary by inspiring emotion and connection with your brand. Dale Carnegie wrote:
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion. (this is important to utilize when choosing an image because) “many people buy for emotional reasons”.
Here are a few best practice tips to consider:
- Make sure your image is sized correctly for your relevant social media platform. (This changes pretty frequently so make sure to keep up to date on the latest sizing). Sprout Social always has up to date image dimensions and great hacks.
- Always use a clear image. Blurry or awkwardly cropped images create a negative impression for your brand.
- Tools like Canva have specific templates not only for posts, but Instagram and Facebook Stories as well. Specifically when designing for Instagram, focus on the general aesthetic and keep things in similar color and emotion tones. Consistency is key.
- Images that include a face, hand or other body part helps the human brain recognize a similarity and add a dimension of relevance to the image. Human touch according to Patel will “get your prospects to focus more and this causes them to draw towards a common point of interest”
- Using emojis is another powerful way to connect to your audience. They make posts seem more like a conversation as it is something we associate with daily communication. Using emojis in Instagram posts increases engagement by 48%
Pictures Speak Louder Than Words
Visual content allows viewers to consume content more easily, processing information in chunks. Simply stated it makes it easier for users to comprehend your post or ad message than with text based information alone. What’s more interesting is how imagery helps people to retain information longer. Without an image users begin forgetting about text only ads and posts just 3 days after a given piece of information is shared., with only 10% recalling the brand or message. However with a relevant image connected to the very same information users will have 65% post recall.