Imagery has come an exceptionally long way in a short time. A mere 20 year ago kids were getting film cameras for their birthdays and disposable cameras could be found across every wedding reception table. Now, kids don’t even know what a disposable camera is! Taking an amazing photo is as easy as snapping a pic with your smartphone. What’s not easy, is knowing how to optimize images for your online presence. Show someone an ad or a website with a grainy out of touch picture and they’ll bounce faster than a kid on Mountain Dew. What we’ve shared here is a few simple, but essential, rules for your online marketing images (which also apply when using images on your blog). Here’s what they are.
Focus on storytelling.
It’s been said that perception is reality, and this is definitely the case when it comes to your business’ online presence. Pictures are worth a thousand words so you want to choose images that reflect the story of the company you’re working to become. In addition, think about the story you’re telling the world. Are you a big-hearted company on a mission to improve lives? A relentlessly innovative company trying to change the status quo? Whatever your journey is, stick to it with your imagery. Each of your online marketing images should be like a single dot in the larger story you’re telling, which - when connected to one another - say a lot more about who you are than pages of copy ever could.
Next, focus on your business’ tone and personality. If you’re proudest of your company’s utmost professionalism, then keep your images buttoned up and sharp. If you want to reinforce your philanthropic endeavors, your photos should look warm and include glimpses of how you serve your community. With this in mind, there’s one more key component of winning imagery: use original shots whenever possible. We know, stock images are way easier to get and use. But pictures that a photographer captures on your behalf - or even that you capture yourself - will be truly one-of-a-kind. Few photos you find online will accurately convey your team’s personality and your business’ essence like original images can. So, invest (even a little) into some new photos that can be used as online marketing images, website photos, and beyond.
Master the fundamentals.
There are a few more “do’s and “don’t”s when it comes to website imagery we recommend you’re mindful about, including:
- Adhering to best practices - Make sure any images you use online are high-resolution. This means they should be at least 300 dots per inch (DPI), which will keep them looking clear and showing detail. It will also help prevent blurriness as you expand them. Another best practice that’s a must is testing your images, to make sure your user experience is still high and that pictures aren’t dwarfing everything else on your site.
- Audience representation - Watch out for the types of imagery you include. If your target buyer is women who are between 50 and 70 years of age, make sure your imagery represents them. People want to see themselves in your marketing materials, so reflect your target audience and be sure to include people of diverse demographics.
- Avoiding common editing errors - Finally, remember not to over-edit photos. If you crop images too much or get a little too crazy with Photoshop, your pictures will end up looking strange or even fake. Keep imagery as authentic as you can, whether it’s of people, animals, objects, landscape or anything else.
When it comes to using images on your blog and website, remember to follow the guidelines above - and feel free to get creative! This will ensure you have more success with your online marketing images, and give visitors a better experience. Need help with nailing the right imagery? Give us a shout anytime!