There’s one piece of the content marketing puzzle that many otherwise smart marketers overlook: the power of images. With visual-based social media sites such as Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr making waves, images are more important than ever. What do you need to know about using images in your content marketing?
Images grab attention. It’s human nature to gravitate to visuals before type, so adding images to your blog posts, email newsletters, Facebook posts or tweets makes them more likely to stand out in the sea of competition.
Images provide the personal touch. These days, potential customers want to know who’s behind the business. Including photos of yourself and your employees with your content makes prospects feel like they know you, and that builds affinity and trust.
Images build brands. Be sure to regularly use images that convey your company’s brand, such as your logo, packaging, or photos of your products and your location. For example, a restaurant’s content strategy could include lots of mouthwatering photos of menu items, customers enjoying their meals or your newly redecorated dining room.
Images also provide an important way to improve your content’s rank in search engines. If you include images in a blog post, for example, be sure to tag the image with the keywords you want your business to be found for when customers do a search.
Where can you get images for your content? It’s easier than ever to capture your own photos using any good smartphone camera. However, there are times you’ll want more professional photos, or concept shots. Don’t just grab something off Google—posting a photo you don’t have the rights to could get you in legal hot water.
You can buy photos for re-use from a stock house such as Thinkstock or Shutterstock, which take care of the licensing issues for you. Just make sure that the photos they provide are licensed for the specific use you need them for. Or, search online for photos available under a “creative commons” license. These are photos whose owners allow people to post them as long as the owner is properly credited and linked to on the site. Flickr is one good site for creative commons-licensable photos.
Image by Flickr user Oyvind Solstad (Creative Commons)