You know you need to add some gorgeous images to your content, that will capture attention and engage your audience.
But how do you choose the right ones and make them work for you?
Content with an image is so much more appealing, readable, and shareable. Whether you’re writing a blog or a social media post, the right images will help your content to stand out and be read. Which means your audience will be more likely to get to know you and your business, leading to more enquiries and sales.
So, here are a few easy tips to help you choose, whether you are searching stock sites, taking your own photos, creating images in Canva, or commissioning some from a professional.
Know your Ideal Client
When you know your ideal client and what they like, you can choose images that will appeal to them.
Your ideal client – or dream customer, target client, customer avatar – is essentially the person that you are aiming your product or service at, the person you want to sell to. Brainstorm who they are, what they do, the sorts of things they like, and get to know them really well! Then you can create your content around what they need and want to know, and your images around what they want to see.
Know your Brand
When you know your brand, you can choose images that are aligned with it.
Your brand is what makes you recognisable and memorable. It’s what other people think, feel and say about you and your business when you’re not there. It’s what makes you stand out from other businesses. Your brand needs to reflect you, and appeal to your ideal client. The images you use in your content can really help to establish and build your brand, when they are aligned with everything else.
So, you need to know how you want your business to look and feel, and what visual style you will stick to, before you choose your images, and choose ones that will go with everything else you are putting out there. If the rest of your brand is bright and fun, then your images need to reflect that too. Or if your brand is super stylish, then your images should be too, and so on.
Make them sell for you
Use images that will help you sell. Whether that’s selling you, your products, or your services.
Humans and faces in photos will help to sell, but they need to be the right ones. Don’t use older people if you’re selling to millennials, or young families if that’s not who you’re aiming at.
Smiles help to sell! If it’s a photo of you, make sure you look friendly and approachable, so that clients want to work with you. If it’s a photo of a happy customer, make
sure they look happy with their new products. Think about your ideal client again, and try to capture in the photo how you want them to feel.
Unusual images will also stand out and catch attention. Don’t use a stock image that has been used in lots of other places already, find, take or commission something a little different.
Go for beautiful, and professional. Choose photos that look good, that look professional, that show what you want them to. A stunning image will raise the tone of your content, but one that doesn’t look professional, or isn’t so pretty, can really have a negative effect.
Use the right format
Look for, or choose, the right shape for where you are going to use the photo. You need a tall, narrow image for your Pinterest content, square for Instagram, and then generally square or landscape for your website and other social media content. Crop your own photos or stock images to the right shape, or ask your photographer to provide the different formats that you’ll need.
Check the quality
That’s the quality of the photography, and the quality of the digital photo file.
Look for an image where it is clear what is being shown, and not cluttered or too busy. It should have a simple point of focus, so the subject is obvious, and the viewer can easily see where to look and what they’re looking at. Check it is in focus too, so the image is sharp not blurry, and that it is well-lit, not too bright or too dark to see the subject properly.
The digital photo file needs to have been saved at a good enough quality to still look good, at whatever size you want to use it at, but still be a small enough file size that it will load quickly on your website or wherever you use it online. You need to start with a big enough photo in the first place, as trying to make a small one bigger will just result in a pixelated image. There are various websites and apps available that will shrink it for you to make it more useable online, if you don’t have a photo editing programme on your computer. Make sure you maintain the aspect ratio so that it doesn’t squash or stretch the photo.
Choose photos that look good, that look professional, and show what you want them to. A stunning image will raise the tone of your content.
As you can see, your photos aren’t just decorative additions to your content, they can really capture the attention of your viewer and the feel of your brand, as well as make your audience want to read more, and to buy. Take some time to think about them, use them effectively, and they will really help your content to stand out.
Jane Mucklow is a branding photographer, inspiring other female business owners to build and grow their visibility, brand and business through beautiful story-telling photography.
Join her free Facebook group, Your Brand Story, for brand and brand photography tips. www.facebook.com/groups/captureyourbrandstory
If you’d like to improve your smartphone photography, you can see details of her course, and sign up to the waitlist at www.pictureyourbrand.co.uk/basic-to-brilliant