When it comes to finding the right image for your content, a picture is worth more than 1,000 words.
Ninety percent of information taken in by the brain is visual. To create engaging content, you can’t simply put out a wall of text—you need images. You can’t just use any image, however. Choosing the right image is key to drawing readers in to your posts, and to keeping them reading.
What the “right image” means for your brand, of course, is going to be different than what “the right image” would be for another company. Two important things to consider? Your audience and your subject. If the image doesn’t connect to both in some way, it may disengage your reader from the content.
How Do You Know It’s the Right Image?
One of the best pieces of advice when it comes to choosing the right images for your content is to include people. Images of coffee cups, neatly arranged office supplies, or landscapes are often aesthetically pleasing, but many of the best-selling stock images include people because readers can make a personal connection with those images—particularly if they’re candid. An image of a book will not do as well as an image of a young woman reading a book, for example, because the latter allows young women reading your post to imagine themselves as the woman in the image. It’s more authentic, and allows the audience to connect to the experience.
Your image should ideally meet the following additional criteria:
Suit the Mood
Your photo or graphic element should elicit some kind of reaction from your audience. Determine the emotional response you’re aiming for with your content, and search for images that evoke that response.
Don’t try to be witty or clever if it doesn’t suit your article. Ditch the cheesy stock photo, and instead focus your efforts on finding something genuine that connects with your topic. The more the reader can connect with the images used, the more he or she can engage with your content.
Find something unique that will stay with your audience—something they’ll remember and come back to later.
And finally, one of the most important rules to keep in mind when choosing the right image for your content—make sure you have the legal right to use it! Purchase your photos, hire a photographer, or get your camera out and start snapping.
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