Your company blog could be filled with the most interesting and useful content that your customers need, but if you’re numbing their brains with reams of writing and poor imagery, I’m afraid to say it’s not going to go anywhere.
No-one likes to be faced with a page full of words no matter what you’ve got to say, and for all the effort you’re putting into distributing this article, the drop off will substantially decrease if you’re not taking the action to keep them interested.
As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and as images are universal it’s no surprise that image sharing sites such as Pinterest, Instagram and Snapchat are becoming the driving force in social media. So the same should be actioned within your content.
The more you make your blog content engaging the more it’s going to travel and make an impact.
People love to share and comment on things that engage them, and the more they do this to your articles the more your reputation will increase as a resource within your industry.
It’s a given that if you’re selling a product imagery is essential, but don’t just think that because you don’t sell a product you don’t need images. I’m afraid to say you’re not off the hook that easily.
Images should be used no matter what you do, whether you’re talking the talk or walking the walk, images are going to sell what you do without you having to say it in words.
Blogs with images get 94% more views, and if that statistic doesn’t make you get your creative cap on then nothing will.
Banish Arial, close Word and let’s start all over again at creating the best content your blog has ever seen.
With the tools below you can create unique, and individual images that are completely tailored to your business.
A free service, unless you want to use their cheesy stock photos.
Canva enables you to create images for web and print so there will no stopping you.
Of course it’s not as heavy on the editing tools as Photoshop but for those of you who only need the basics to create images its user friendly step-by-step process is easy; pick your dimensions, have a play and press download.
Even complete newbies to graphic design can get to grips with this system and enjoy the creative process.
As well enabling you to upload and spruce up your own images, Canva has a modern library of icons, and fun banners that can enhance your graphics hugely.
If you are taking your images seriously then it would be wise to invest in Photoshop.
It is expensive, and it can sometimes take years to get your head around the entire array of tools at your disposal but for anyone who is editing product images or wanting to create their own unique graphics it can soon become a priceless tool.
If you want to dabble in it before you take the leap I would suggest downloading a trial version which is free and finding some YouTube videos on doing the basics.
Rather than pay out in one big lump sum Adobe now offers a variety of pay monthly packages which can often be more value for money for individuals and businesses.
Once you’ve harnessed Photoshop there’s nothing you cannot do.
Unfortunately good stock images are very expensive, and let’s be honest there’s nothing more amateur than seeing the same cheap stock image used by a number of different companies.
Not only is this embarrassing for your company but it also shows that there’s been very little thought go into your creative process, so why should anyone bother sharing something that’s just the same as everyone else?
If you’re going to take the easy way out invest in images completely.
For sites such as Getty and istock I would get your marketing budget ready for a big cut.
Flickr Creative Commons
A fantastic image resource that never seems to be used very often is Flickr Creative Commons.
This site allows anyone to upload their images whether amateur or professional, and you can use them for free as long as you credit them. A fair deal compared to pricey stock sites.
But as with many image sharing sites ensure to look out for what you can and cannot use.
I would recommend only ever using the Attribution Licence images, as other libraries can start to get more complicated with usage rights. For example with the No Derivative Works the image is subject to change.
Define your searches properly ie; “London City Skyline Black and White”, and you’ll find exactly what you need.
However sometimes you can find the most incredible images from just putting in a generic keyword such as “London”.
Take time to look around and find something that connects well with your content and your company’s branding.
With so many of us carrying a camera around in our pocket and snapping our lives away, it seems silly that many companies have not harnessed phones and apps to create unique visuals.
Smart phones now come equipped with high quality cameras which can quickly create photos that can be used online and in print.
And if you’re not sure it’s good enough they can easily be edited with the Apps such as; VSCO Cam, PicLab, Photo Candy, and Photo Editor. The list is endless and most of them are free!
With so many tools at your fingertips there is really no excuse not to add great images to support your content.
We all like a pretty picture, and the better the images the more likely your audience will A) actually read what you have to say and B) share it.