In today’s social content marketing world, image-based content is king (even for B2B marketing strategies). In an environment where consumers that have more options than ever, more knowledge than ever, less time and shorter attention spans, using images to capture attention is one of the tried and true ways of catching their interest for just the split second that marketers need.
But not just any image will work; there needs to be sound logic and clear communication behind each image you attach to the rest of your marketing content if you want the right reaction from viewers.
Images Should Relate to Your Content
This might seem like a pretty obvious point to make. If you were selling coffee tables, would you attach a picture of a purple elephant standing on a coffee table to get the attention of your prospects? Maybe you would. Maybe you think your audience would find purple elephants more interesting to look at than coffee tables.
This is understandable, and tempting, but there are better ways to attract your audience using images. If the images you use for marketing don't reinforce your core message, you run the risk of losing your audience’s trust and developing a bad rap by misleading them. From an SEO standpoint, you could increase your website’s bounce rate if people are clicking on images and quickly exiting out of the site that they’re taken to because it’s not matching what they expected. This hurts your company’s online authority and may make Google suspicious that your site is spammy.
At CONSENSUS™, we’ve developed a system for either finding or creating eye-catching and relevant images. Admittedly, finding images related to B2B SaaS software can be a challenge sometimes, so that’s why we recommend setting up a system to help get your creative juices flowing and prevent yourself from falling into the bad habit of using easy, pretty, but irrelevant images.
Images Should Be Optimized for Their Intended Use
Depending on where your images are being seen (as ads on other websites for pay-per-click campaigns, as social media postings, as images for your own website or blog), you’ll have to decide what the best option is for each environment.
For example, you can fit a lot more detail into an 800x1200 pixel Facebook cover photo than a 1024x512 pixel Twitter post. A cover photo stays at the top of your Facebook profile and is the largest image representing your page. Unlike a Twitter image post, which could disappear in the news feed in a matter of seconds. The Twitter image should be eye-catching and simple, since it potentially has just seconds to be noticed. The Facebook cover photo should be more subtle and serve as more of a “background” image.
Here are some basic tips that apply to making a quality image for any environment:
Use people: People like to look at people. Even better, people like to look at people doing something. We use BigStock to find images with people performing actions or expressions that relate to our content.
Avoid busy: Images with overly complex designs, patterns, wording or images with extreme detail aren’t ideal for social media marketing. Circling back to the fact that viewers are looking at your image for a matter of seconds, and you have a lot of competition from other images they might be seeing, means you need to keep it sweet and simple.
Always consult your best judgement before deciding on an image. We can follow all the rules and guidelines in the world, but stepping back and evaluating what you’ve created is always an important last step.