Seeing is believing. No matter what industry you or your company may be in, a universal truth of the Internet is that the images you use can make or break your company.
The goal of advertising and marketing is to show your audience something that looks appealing and catches their attention. Imagine how sales for McDonald’s would plummet if you opened up a magazine and saw a burger that looked like this one:
The point I’m trying to make is that images are important. They can make or break a sale. Unfortunately, not every organization comes equipped with the variety of enticing pictures found in the food or travel industries. Some companies, like those in the business or medical fields, need to include images for promotional purposes but find it hard to stay fresh and creative.
Break the mold and stand out above the competition with these six rules for pictures.
1. Ditch the Stock Photos
If you’re still pulling boring stock photos for your images, odds are you’re blending in all of your competition. If you really want your business to stick out from the rest, then you can’t use the same pictures they do.
Stock photos are becoming as overused – and tacky – as bad clip art. Your readers will immediately ignore the article.
2. Be Careful with Meme Usage
The thing with memes is that everyone may not be able to relate to the joke or the image. Memes work much better when the image is a globally recognized image. For example, a meme made with a picture of Beyoncé falling at a concert would be much easier to identify with then a meme of a scene from a movie released in 1970s.
Also, finding a meme and trying to force it into an article just makes the flow choppy and hard to understand. Depending on your industry, memes can be perceived as unprofessional. Be careful when you use them.
3. Invest in a Designer
If you can’t find the exact image that you want to use for your articles, consider hiring or contracting a graphic designer. A skilled graphic designer can create virtually any image you can imagine and personalize it to your brand. As you make out your budget for the year or quarter, consider the cost of hiring a graphic designer – if only for a few hours a month. Unique imagery will set you apart.
4. Get a Second Pair of Eyes on It
When selecting an image, don’t base your selection on just your opinion alone. Always try to get feedback from others on how the image looks, what message the image portrays, and ideas for better options. We may see one thing when we post an image but others may see another.
5. Follow your Competition
Try to pay attention to what your competition is doing. You don’t want to copy their moves, but you want to stay up to date on what they’re doing. Learn from their mistakes and see if you and your company can adjust and improve on their methods.
6. Stay True to Your Colors
Make sure the colors and images match the message that your company is attempting to send out. Everything that Disney or Nickelodeon uses is on-brand, and your company or blog should be no different. You have to be able to determine an image’s message so that it works for you.
Picking an image for a business can be just as important as the content itself. Don’t stick to the cut and dry stock photos. Be creative, think outside the box and use your available resources. Remember, image is everything!