When you publish a piece of content, you want your audience to not only read it, but also share it with their followers.
While your words play a tremendous role in dictating your content's power, so do images. If you're looking for the best photographs and graphics for your web content, look for candidates in these four categories.
1. Descriptive images
Great images help illustrate your content in a meaningful and straightforward way.
You don't want to confuse your audience with your imagery, so consider using descriptive photographs that relate to your content. According to Outbrain, relevance is a key factor when it comes to evaluating an image's suitability for a piece of content.
For instance, if you're writing about recent statistics in your industry, look for an image that depicts graphs, spreadsheets, data, and other related content. Or using a photo similar to the one here would be a pretty direct way to relate to an article on leading successful business meetings. Your audience will make an immediate connection between the photograph and what they're reading.
Dramatic imagery demands attention, which means excellent exposure for your content.
Internet marketing expert Jeff Bullas reveals that articles with associated images receive 94 percent more clicks than those without. If you add a dramatic image to the equation, you stand to gain even more traffic to your content.
Have you ever seen an image in your Facebook feed or Twitter stream and clicked on it simply because it captured your attention? Maybe you weren't interested in the attached content at first, but you read it anyway because you already clicked. That's the result you're looking for with dramatic imagery. It entices people to click and share when they wouldn't have bothered otherwise.
3. Detail images
Images that narrow the viewer's focus can deliver greater emotion and have more impact.
Detail images are powerful because they focus on one very specific subject. For instance, the photographer could have taken the picture of this young couple holding hands image differently. Pulling back to capture them both from head-to-toe would have a different overall impact.
When you use images that narrow the viewer's focus, you can capitalize on symbolism and emotion. A handshake, for example, suggests a connection, agreement, physical contact, and professional respect. It works on multiple levels, which means your audience will view it in different ways. However, you'll cut out all extraneous distractions so your image has more impact.
4. Positive images
When we see people smile in images, we often feel inspired to smile ourselves.
As endless websites devoted to kitten and puppy pictures prove, people love a heartwarming, cute, or otherwise positive picture. When you see people smiling, puppies frolicking, or families embracing, you feel happy. Some experts believe that this very concept explains the popularity behind selfies.
Additionally, if you're using content to persuade your audience to buy from you, it doesn't make sense to put them in a bad mood. You want to elevate their spirits and convince them to put their trust in you. Negative imagery might create negative connotations that won't do your business any favors.
Selecting the right images for your content takes practice, but you'll never go wrong with the categories above, which means you'll get more mileage out of your content marketing campaign.