You may have noticed that images play an essential role in digital marketing. But are you also aware of the reasons why images in your marketing strategy are so important? Are you convinced enough of the benefits of digital marketing images to ensure that all your content includes (enough) images?
You don’t believe me that images have tremendous marketing power?
Let me answer your questions and kill your doubts. Here are some facts and statistics, to give you solid proof that it is worth to invest the time to create or look up some awesome images for your digital marketing: They clearly show how vital marketing images are for marketing success:
And even if you are aware of the importance of images, are you sure you know which type of images you should use with your content?
The truth is: not just every image does the trick.
When we get asked whether we accept guest posts, I always make clear that we want some images to publish with the post. And I am not talking about stock photos.
Because stock photos and free images may look beautiful on the surface and maybe even help structure the post. But free stock photos don’t add value to an article. They never give additional information, most of the time, the image in the stock photo is only vaguely related to the topic of the post.
So what am I talking about? What are the best types of images for your digital marketing and content strategy?
Are you REALLY asking that? Use your brain! Can’t think of anything? Here are some ideas for digital marketing images that often work well in online marketing:
- Screenshots: Always perfect to show what you mean or add information to your content. It can bee screenshots of tools you mention, screenshots that illustrate a process, screenshots from statistics, or websites… You can use an editing tool to add some arrows, pointers, comments to your screenshots to highlight what you want to say.
- Quotes: If you have someone famous or an expert talking about your topic and agree with your point, make an image with a quote.
- Memes: Why not let your audience smile while consuming your content. A Meme can well be what people will remember. A meme in the digital world usually refers to an image captured with a humorous or provocative statement. Memes can inspire emotions (LINK), capture attention – and have a considerable branding effect. People often like to share memes that they can relate to, which makes part of the marketing power of memes.
- Social media images for the social networks that you are using: Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter – make sure you provide images with the right dimensions – and don’t forget the text overlay for Pinterest. You have to be aware of what works in the various networks, and you have to know which networks you want your content to appear on. If you want your content to be shared on Pinterest, you need to create at least one pinnable image. If you want to see your content shared on Facebook, make sure there is an image in the optimal dimension for Facebook – otherwise, all your social media hoes will be crushed. Social media marketing needs images. If you need some help finding the optimal image sizes for your social media posts, check out this guide to social media image sizes.
- Photos from what you are writing about, from your workplace, from your events, from your product, be creative
- Illustrations – this one is really something for the experts or some tools. So check out this tools’ list; maybe you find a tool that suits your needs.
- Infographics: No, you do not have to be a designer to create infographics, but a well-designed infographic with suitable color matches and fond combinations will have a better chance of marketing power. Tools like Canva come with templates that help you create infographics that don’t hurt the eye. Why are infographics especially powerful when it comes to marketing? Because people like to share them or at least share snippets of the infographic. Plus, bloggers love infographics. That means that often infographics with clearly displayed numbers and statistics have a massive potential of getting re-shared by other bloggers and earns you a link back to your blog as the source.
- Presentations – Think Slideshare and its huge marketing success. In a way, presentations often ask for similar content like infographics. In fact, infographics often are slides stuck together horizontally to form a tall image. A presentation allows you to present a ton of information in a sorted and easy to skim format. Single slides taken out of a presentation can also be used as images in written content – thus make slides something that people love to share and appreciate with a backlink. An excellent presentation follows some basic design rules considering color schemes and fonts. Make sure that all slides in one presentation stay consistent in design.
- Videos – yes, I know: videos are not precisely images. But they fall into the same category when used to spice up your content. Besides, you can use them to get some extra visibility for your brand and content via Youtube or even Instagram. Videos are not the cheapest form of content – but on the other side, videos are an extremely high converting type of content. A study showed that a landing page that features a video will convert 84% better than a landing page without a video. Videos also have a lot of power when it comes to social media. Instagram stories are one example, but Pinterest video pins also pose a tremendous chance of earning some extra attention for your content.
These are just to give you an idea. For each post and story that you tell, there are great ways to include valuable images into the content. You will have to learn, watch your analytics, and listen to your audience to figure which types of images resonate best with your audience.
If you want to create your own images, you may need some images and photos to use in the creation process. While we don’t recommend using stock photos as the images for your articles, the images you create will sometimes profit from images as background or highlights. There are several websites that offer you images you can use without paying for them without violation of copyrights. Pixabay, Unsplash are just to name some. You can find more images – and even other types of free content you can use in this guide to finding and using free content.
I admit, coming up with several images for your content seems to be quite a lot of work – why should you do it?
Here are some significant benefits of using images in your marketing – and how to achieve marketing success through images:
1. Images keep your reader’s attention
I already hinted at the fact that images help you structure the content – but there is more to it.
Eye-tracking software proves that internet users pay closer attention to the information in images. Images provide valuable fixpoints in the content. And if they are related to the actual topic and content, they help your audience to skim the content and see in an instant whether the information is useful – or not.
Source: Nielsen Norman Group
But! You need to provide images that are valuable to your audience – simple, unrelated stock photos will most of the time, not do the trick.
Instead, go for graphics, illustrations, or something else that is on-topic.
2. Marketing images make your content memorable.
Do you want to make an impression on your audience and stay on their minds? Use images!
If we hear a piece of information, we will remember 10% of it after 3 days – if you see the information, you will remember 65% of it. And statistics are similar for written content compared to images.
Image source: Brainrules
3. Images can help you to get more social shares.
There are several reasons why a piece of content without any images does not get as many social shares as content with images. It all starts with the „need“ for images in some social networks, which means that images make your content more shareable. But there is more to images for social media platforms.
Tweets with images get 150% percent more retweets and a lot more engagement than tweets without images. And people like me know that. I will not tweet your content if you don’t provide any image to go with the tweet because I know that it is more or less worthless to tweet content without an image.
Data from Buffer
The same applies to Facebook: Posts with images get 2.3 times more engagement than posts without images.
Image Source BuzzSumo
BuzzSumo also analyzed over 1 million articles and found that articles with images every 75-100 words get double the social shares.
Image Source: Buzzsumo
Social media marketing without images is near to impossible in today’s world. And the same applies to a content marketing strategy.
4. Images can get more views to your content.
And it does not end with getting more social shares.
Your articles will get a ton more attention if you include images. Of course, some of this is due to getting more social shares – but here it is in numbers:
Articles with images get 94% more views!
Image source: Quicksprout
Since Google provides an image search, you can also earn organic traffic to your website if you optimize your images for search.
5. Images can earn trust with your audience.
Let us be honest: Digital marketing is not all about blogging, creating posts, engaging, and getting it shared. In the end, we all want to sell something online. And images can help you to make the sales!
In fact, 67% of consumers claim that the quality of a product image is very important for selecting and purchasing a product.
Image source Jeff Bullas
6. Digital marketing images can help with Link Building.
Have you ever noticed that some graphics are used in almost all content on a given topic? Usually, these graphics are some statistics, quotes, or illustrations that work very well. And the creator of these images gets a backlink as the image source every time the image is used.
That is an excellent link building strategy.
But it only works if you create unique and engaging images. Nobody will “quote” your royalty-free image that you downloaded from a collection of stock images.
7. Make your content rank better through image SEO
Images can tremendously help your rankings in Google search and give you extra views for your content through the Google image search. In fact, a huge chunk of web searches are made for images:
Image Source: Sparktoro
If you are using the Yoast WordPress plugin, you may have noticed that they ask you to add alt tags with keywords to some of your images – and add images to your content.
But there is a little more to images and the best content than just adding some images and keywords. Images can even hurt your SEO rankings if you use them wrong.
So here is the short description of how to use images to improve your search rankings – and not hurt them.
- The format of the image: PNG and JPEG image types are the most commonly used image formats. PNG usually produces better quality in your image, but the file size can be huge. JPEG can easily be adjusted concerning file size and image quality to fit your needs.
- Consider the file size and compress larger images: On average, the images on a website are responsible for around 21% of the website’s weight. And that means that there is a considerable potential to make websites load faster if you consider the file size of your images. Compressing larger images can make a huge difference. You can use compress images in Photoshop or use a WordPress plugin like WP Smush.
- Don’t use images everybody else uses: Stock photos do not add any value or personality to your content. While they may serve the overall appearance of your content, using only stock photos means that you miss out on a massive power of images. Original high-quality images will give you a much larger SEO effect.
- Consider copyright for all your images. If you are using images from other websites, make sure you do not violate copyright rules. That is another advantage of creating your own images for your content: i.e., statistics, infographics, quote images, screenshots – there are so many options, use them!
- Use keywords in file names: We are talking about SEO for images here, which means that images called image01, image02 should be out of the question. Consider the keywords of your content – and name your images accordingly. This way, your images can show up in searches related to your content.
- Use the ALT tags: When you upload an image to your WordPress, the ALT tags are usually empty. Don’t leave them like that. Use the Alt tag field to add more keywords that relate to what the image is all about. This is especially important when you invest the time and effort to create your own images like infographics or statistics.
- Think about the image file structure: Google does not only use the file name to rank images – but the file path is also a ranking factor. That means that you should consider sorting your images into folders for different topics. For instance, shop owners should consider using the categories and the subcategories of their products to structure the media folder. This way images of women’s summer dresses should end up in a folder /media/womensclothes/dresses/summer/
- Consider your Page title and Meta description: If you want to rank for your images via Google image search, consider the page title and description. Yes, you probably optimize those two for search anyway – if not, you need to do it! But if you have an image you want to rank, this will be way easier if you use the same keywords in the page title and description.
Final words on images in digital marketing
Yes, creating images for online content may take some time. But there are some great tools that you can use that makes it possible for you to create beautiful images for all sorts of purposes for free – even if you are not a designer. I am using Canva for most of my images.
And it is not only worth the time you need to create the images. In reality, not adding images to your content will kill a lot of the digital marketing success that you could have with your content if you had more valuable images in your content.
When I am asked to look at a blog and advise on how to optimize it, one of the most basic marketing tips is to add some images and structure to make the post more engaging. In some business areas, images are even more important. For instance, internet marketing for eCommerce in today’s world is near to impossible.
Images are no longer an add-on – they are a must for any type of digital marketing content!
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