Images that include your company’s name or link to your site tell a story about your company. If you sell fitness products, for example, your images should convey motion and strength. When adding images to your content, you have two choices: create your own or use stock images. Plenty of websites offer free and low-cost images for your online marketing and blogging efforts. Stock Free Images: Another free site, this one offers over a million photos and illustrations, all royalty-free. Of course, don’t just grab every free photo on iStock and add it to your page. If there are more pictures than text, you’re not giving your readers enough information to work with. What Size and Quality Images Should You Use? Specific image names will help drive quality leads to your content. If you’re adding it to a product image, describe it in a way that conveys the same message you would expect readers to take away from the image itself: “Your sales rep will save time with Customer Manager Pro.” Even the greatest images won’t save bad content, but quality, relevant images can increase traffic, improve engagement, increase conversions, and improve the overall experience for your audience and consumers.
If you’re creating content without images, you’re missing a huge opportunity to increase engagement, reach a wider audience, and maximize conversions. We’re visual people, inherently drawn to content that contains rich, attractive images. Adding images to an online article can nearly double its views, and 67 percent of consumers say images are more important than product descriptions when making a purchase decision.
Of course, just throwing any image into your content won’t catapult it to the top of the search results. Images need to be carefully selected and high quality and they need to add true value to your content. They should be visually appealing, relevant, and appropriate for your company and the marketing channel. The following guide will help you choose the right image for your next project.
How Do You Choose the Right Images?
When picking an image for your blog or online marketing effort, consider these three critical factors:
- Does it convey your message? Any image you use should contribute to a reader’s understanding of your message. While click-bait companies may have some success using an unrelated image for their web ads, using an image that fits your content will result in better leads and greater engagement.
- Does it fit your brand? Everything you put out in the world should work to enhance your brand. Images that include your company’s name or link to your site tell a story about your company. If you sell fitness products, for example, your images should convey motion and strength. If you’re in finance, they should speak to success and financial security.
- Is it engaging? A drab, boring image won’t engage your readers. Stick with vibrant, crisp images. Unless there’s a compelling, brand-related reason to do otherwise, use bright, colorful images because color has been proven to increase readership and sales by 80 percent.
Once you’ve found images that are the right fit for your project, do a little research before making any final decision. Make sure:
- None of your competitors is using the same image. If you’re using stock photography, there’s a good chance your competition is too. Don’t wind up looking like the copycat.
- None of your competitors is using a similar image. There’s always going to be some similarities within an industry, but your images should speak to what makes your company different. Unless you sell boats, there’s no reason you and your closest rival should both be running ads featuring men on boats. Find something more original that consumers can relate directly to you.
- The colors fit your brand. Branding is important, and research shows that colors help differentiate brands from their competitors.
Where Do You Find Images?
When adding images to your content, you have two choices: create your own or use stock images. Using original photography or a custom design can set you apart from your stock-photo-only rivals and help build a stronger brand. When it comes to product marketing, in many cases original photos are a must because consumers want to see images of the products they’re buying.
But creating original images can be time-consuming and expensive, so most companies rely on a mix of original images and stock photography. For instance, if you’re running a weekly blog, getting several original images for each post might not be in your budget, and in many cases stock photography will work just as well.
Plenty of websites offer free and low-cost images for your online marketing and blogging efforts. The key is to find a resource with images that speak to your company’s aesthetic and fit within your budget. Some of the most popular image sites include:
- Pixabay: Pixabay offers over 780,000 free images, which you can download in a variety of sizes depending on your needs.
- Stock Free Images: Another free site, this one offers over a million photos and illustrations, all royalty-free.
- Shutterstock: Shutterstock requires a subscription, but its…