The Web has grown increasingly visual over the past few years. As users scroll through content on their tablets and phones, their eyes are naturally drawn to photos and videos. What that means is that even if you’re implementing visual content—like a company blog post—it’s important to match it with some striking, emotionally resonant visuals.
But how do you select the visuals that best accompany your written content? That’s what we’ll be addressing in today’s post. What follows are just a few basic tips for smart image selection.
How to Choose the Right Images for Your Content
The first thing you need to think about is how many images you actually need. There’s no single right answer, and it’s not as if picking 10 images instead of nine is going to make a world of difference. Still, there are some basic considerations to make. For one, think about your audience. If you’re writing for beginners/novices, you may want to implement more images, providing step-by-step visual representation. For a more advanced audience, fewer images will probably do. Also, think about what you’re trying to achieve through your content. A tutorial will benefit from more images, while a simple overview post may only need a couple.
What About Stock Photos?
Next, consider what kind of images you’re going to use. Our first piece of advice here is to avoid using stock photos. Why? Simply put, they’re way too generic. They’ll never really fit with your content. What’s more, most users can detect stock images pretty easily, and they come across as pretty empty or hollow. It’s always better to use something more specific and personal, even if it’s just a screen shot from your computer.
Are GIFs Okay?
So stock photos are bad, screen shots and custom images are good—but what about GIFs? We’d recommend them only in select instances. They can work well if you’re aiming for a cheeky tone, something informal and fun. They may also work well with highly niche audiences. For more general, overview content, though, we’d probably recommend staying away from the GIFs.
What About Memes?
For memes, we recommend basically the same thing we did with GIFs—they can definitely make funny additions to more casual content, but only use them when they really seem to fit. Trying to force memes just to look trendy can backfire, making you look a little desperate.
Is There a Place for Real-Life Photos?
Taking some photos from your office, featuring you or members of your team, can really work well—these images are highly personal, they’re original, and you can make them fit the topic at hand. For example, if writing about a specific product, take a picture of your team members using that product. Or, just photograph the product lying on a table or desk somewhere in your building.
Using Photos in Your Content
The bottom line about using photos in your content: There’s always a little wiggle room. There’s always a little guesswork involved with determining how many images and what kind. When all else fails, go with your gut.
Remember that the Web is a distinctly visual place, and it’s getting to be more so all the time. As such, learning to make smart decisions with your imagery can really help your content to shine.
We’d love to talk with you more about putting a meaningful content plan into place. The Driven2020 team helps business owners from across the country with effective digital branding and outreach. Contact us today with any questions you have about image use!