“A picture tells a thousand words” is one of the most hackneyed adages in the English language. However, when it comes to marketing, getting your images right is no cliché and is critical to achieving some cut through with your communications.
Images form a core part of the visual identity of your business. They link with the copy you write to give the viewer or reader an idea of who you are and what you do. Imagery should, therefore, be a crucial component of your marketing efforts.
Unquestionably, the digital era is changing the way we consume information. While written words are still vitally important, social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have given images more credence. Time-poor consumers who value convenience and have the need for speed make the immediacy of imagery crucial to telling your story.
When financial planners are building presentation decks for clients, making a pitch at an event or addressing their peers, they must consider the imagery they use. A deck full of text is a dead-end to new business; and selecting the right images is among the most contentious decisions, with everyone happy to provide some feedback, inside and outside your team.
Refining your photo library is particularly important when it comes to your content marketing. The imagery is what first draws a reader to your blog or vlog. Using images that appeal to the target audience or illuminate the topic you’re discussing is often what gets your content consumed, rather than overlooked. For example, there are studies suggesting a reader is 94 per cent more likely to read content with an image than content without. Also be sure to tag your images to help search engines improve your inbound traffic.
More than just still images
Imagery extends beyond still pictures. Video is another core marketing tool that is becoming increasingly important.
Video, whether it is a full production shoot or a simple whiteboard animation, is one of the best ways to engage your clients. It makes it easy to consume the messages you’re delivering on both laptops and mobile devices.
Infographics are another important imaging tool. They’re not new; over the last 10-15 years, infographics have become a staple of business communications. Typically, they use icons, graphs and imagery. Here are some great examples.
Copyright laws and usage rules
There are rules for using images, particularly for those taken from the internet. You need to be careful of copyright laws; lifting an image from Google Images might land you in hot water. There are some useful tips for staying out of trouble:
Stock photography should be used to complement your content, not be it. It should not be used in your branding (at least un-edited).
Before using any stock photography, always use a Google Image search of that photograph to see where else it appears. If your competitor’s site – or a fraud site such as ‘debt relief’ – appear, then don’t use that image; it will be tainted with negative connotations.