Images have always had a unique kind of sales and marketing power, if only because the human eye is trained to pick up on visuals faster than on text or abstract ideas.
So, it shouldn’t be a surprise that a recent HubSpot study found that Facebook posts with photos in them received, on average, 53% more “likes” than posts and updates without them.
But, does that mean that people just like pictures, or that you can actually use images to enhance your inbound lead generation?
The answer is probably a little bit of both. While it’s almost a certainty that the appeal of many of these images is that they are quick, funny, or even viral in nature (think of cats hiding in shoeboxes, or people passed out at parties), that doesn’t mean there aren’t opportunities for smart marketers. Using images is an important part of a picture-perfect inbound lead generation campaign, especially if you’re using social media sites to attract attention, which most businesses should be.
To help you get the most from the pictures you post online, here are a few professional-grade tips for finding and using the right images:
1. Use the right image.
This comes as close to “obvious” as you ever want to be on a blog, but choosing the right image to use for online marketing isn’t as easy as it sounds. Not only should it be professionally taken, but it needs to look good in a thumbnail, create an instant emotional impression, and speak to some kind of benefit that your company can provide. That’s asking a lot of a single cartoon, image, or photo, but this isn’t a part of your campaign where you can afford to cut corners or settle for “good enough.”
2. Accompany your image with the right text or subhead.
Facebook recently repealed their ban on calls to action within an image itself, so you’re free to make an invitation in the text overlay. But, whether the image itself represents an offer, or it’s accompanied by one, you want to be sure that the text you use is relevant and interesting. And, it’s important that viewers still be able to make out the image and its meaning after any marketing messages have been applied.
3. Include a link or other call to action.
A common Internet marketing mistake is to confuse attention with interest or action. In other words, just because someone is looking at your content doesn’t mean that they are necessarily going to take the next step or buy something from you. In fact, interesting images are great for getting people to take notice, but you still have to get them to take another step with a firm call to action. Whether you want them to click through to a landing page or do something else, don’t just make the next step clear, ensure that it fits with the idea your image is conveying.
4. Test different images and messages in conjunction.
You may not find the right image or combination of images and headlines right away. That’s why it’s important to test different ideas and combinations together. Eventually, you won’t just find pictures that work, but also specific themes and even distribution methods (like Facebook, Flickr, etc.) that work best for attracting attention from buyers.
Most of us know and understand intuitively that images can be powerful online marketing ingredients, with the ability to create an instant impression that’s hard to match with text. To get the most from yours, however, don’t just post a few to Facebook or twitter and see what happens; instead, make a plan to incorporate images regularly, and use them the right way, to see the best results.
Is your web design and online marketing team doing all they can to help you generate inbound leads? If not, one call to Kayak could change your business forever.