You put a lot of thought into every word that goes to your marketing. That’s great, but are you also investing the same amount of effort in choosing the images that accompany those words? If that’s not the case, it should be.
“Our brains are hardwired to process images quickly,” writes Allison Boatman on the TechSmith blog. “And that means that in many cases, images will work better than words when trying to get your message across.”
Choosing the right images can be even more difficult than finding the right words. And since most marketers can’t summon a photographer to shoot exactly what they have in mind, asking these questions will help narrow the options down. You’ll want to be sure you can answer “yes” to all of them – except number five.
1. Does the image help convey my message?
You wouldn’t use words that don’t complement your message, so why would you use gratuitous images? Each image you incorporate should contribute to the understanding of your message, create engagement, and help drive those conversions.
2. Does the image fit my brand personality?
Simple rule: If your image doesn’t complement your brand personality, don’t use it. “Your brand personality should be loud and clear,” writes Sandra Iakovleva at Medium. “This means being consistent in your choice of visuals. Envision your brand. What message do you want your audience to take away or what do you want them to learn about you?”
3. Is the image colorful?
“Color appeals to your senses,” writes Caitlin Jordan at Canva. “Try to keep your images bright and vivid unless you have a specific purpose for dulling them down. Bright pops of color excite the eye and help keep them moving, which keeps the viewer interested.” For more about the incredible power that color can have in marketing, check out this post.
4. Is the image realistic?
People at work spend a lot of time staring at screens. But somehow stock photos always depict work as grinning madly while looking at a spreadsheet or PowerPoint slide. It’s behavior we simply don’t see at the office – which makes it a type of image to avoid. “If you never (or rarely) see it in real life, then you probably shouldn’t include it in your marketing content,” writes Ted Vrountas at Instapage
And here’s the one question of this half-dozen to which your answer should be “no”:
5. Is the image cheesy?
Examples are the all-too-familiar photographs of co-workers giving each other high-fives, leaping in the air in celebration of a business success, and engaged in other highly unnatural office activities. “These are the photos we’ve all come to hate,” writes Vrountas. “And it has nothing to do with the fact that they’re staged. It’s that they’re cheesy.”