A picture may be worth a thousand words. But in social media marketing, visual assets in posts ensure 94% more views than one without. Social Media Examiner noted in their 2019 Social Media Marketing Industry Report that 73% of marketers are using Instagram and it’s now the 2nd most important social platform for marketing.
Since 65% of the population is visual learners, if you aren’t focusing on visuals in your social media posts or in your marketing, you’re missing the boat. Or at least 2/3 of the boat. When people hear information, they’re only likely to remember 10% of it three days later. But if there is a visual image, they will remember 65%.
Why should you use images to market your brand?
- Algorithms are paying attention. On Facebook, as users are scrolling through content, the algorithm is taking note of the types of content people pause on. It will then start showing more content like this in users’ newsfeeds. Have you ever stopped to watch a video of a puppy doing something cute and then notice more of these videos popping up on your newsfeed? How can your image stop the scroll?
- In addition to catching more eyes, the right image can convey connections and emotions your content may not achieve on its own. Think like your customers. If you are a mortgage broker, an image of a family in front of a SOLD sign on a house invokes a happy emotion. Pictures of people signing contracts probably cause anxiety and stress.
- Visuals will help you STAND OUT amongst your competition. If you are using proper visual elements in your social media marketing and your competition isn’t, who is getting the extra attention from potential customers? You are!
Where do you begin and how can you use images in your social media marketing? A few examples of how to include visual assets are:
- Create an industry-specific quote or highlight statistics on an image. There are many sources for free images and sites like Canva or PicMonkey that can help even an amateur create fantastic graphics.
- Attach an image to your blogs, or break the blog into sections with images. This will help ensure people are reading through to the end. If you were scrolling, did the picture of this dog on the left catch your eye and stop you from scrolling?
- When posting article links on social media, attach a custom image that may be more suitable to the article in size and in content.
- Create infographics to illustrate “how-to” tutorials. For readers with shorter attention spans, this is a fantastic way for them to digest little nuggets of information and retain it longer.
Including visual assets in your social media marketing will undeniably bring life and attention to your content. But before you start posting images, I have a few more tips.
3 Dos and 1 Don’t:
- Use the correct dimensions for the social platform. I have a free cheat sheet that you can download with the most recent dimensions for Facebook, Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.
- Use images of people that most closely match your ideal customer. For example, if you have a product targeted at moms, use images or moms or children.
- Get permission. If you are going to take pictures of clients or customers, have them sign a photo release form. Not everyone wants their picture taken. And some may be ok with you taking their picture, but they aren’t ok with you sharing it on the internet. I have a photo release template below that you can download for free.
- Don’t use someone else’s images. I have learned this lesson the hard way, so if you’ve learned nothing else, please understand the Royalty Free images or images downloaded from Google Free Images are NOT free. You need to find a public domain image or spend a couple of dollars on an image to ensure you won’t get sued for copyright infringement. One source I love for free images is Unsplash. If you’re going to be using multiple images you might want to invest in a subscription to Shutterstock or Adobe Stock. Or even better, take the picture yourself. People want to see you authentically.
I know this is probably a lot to take in, but pinkie promise me you won’t go down a rabbit hole looking for images. Trust me. I’ve spent plenty of time down rabbit holes. I’m hoping these guidelines will save you a little bit of time, and a whole lot of your sanity.
Don’t forget to grab my free cheat sheets below!