Imagine you have two options to choose from: a long read consisting of text only or an article combining text and images. Which variant would you go for? With all certainty, the answer would be the latter. And even more – your eyes are more likely to start with images and only then shift to the surrounding text. Science tells us that the human brain can process images approximately 60,000 times faster than words. Figures aside, everybody intuitively knows for a fact that pictures are easier to understand and interpret if compared to text or even video. Indeed, pictures speak louder than words in so many ways. This explains the reason why graphic designers are permanently in love with image content and are never tired of using it. Yet, even a highly efficient tool is capable of causing more damage than good, used inappropriately. Here are some practical things every designer should consider to use images with maximum efficiency and efficacy.
People use different devices to watch the content you offer, so it’s important that your images are optimized for the platforms they are being used on. Another important aspect to remember here is that sometimes users watch your pictures on small screens. An image that looks equally good on a screen of any size and form is your ultimate goal. And the solution is quite simple – use a photo size changer that provides many various options to resize images according to your needs.
Target Audience is in the Spotlight
When working on particular content, always keep the target audience in the spotlight instead of being guided by your own preferences and taste. Sometimes it might be challenging since not all projects designers work on are in harmony with their own inclinations. However, you should always stay professional and focus on what is best for the target users.
Harmonize Images and Content
Being by no doubt crucial, pictures are still a component of the broader content context. To be efficient, all these components must be harmonized. Using a brilliant photo with a very powerful message that has no connection with other content has no sense. Relevance is the key to capturing the user’s eye immediately and keeping it for some time after that.
Some designers think that using a well-known cliche is a guaranteed and verified way to get the message through to the user the way you want it to be interpreted. We believe this approach is a big mistake that should be avoided, and no exclusions here! Given the current abundance of visual content, offering your audience the same picture for the 100th time would cause nothing more than irritation on their part.
Bring Visuals Closer to Real Life
Present-day design trends unequivocally show that users got tired of polished and thoroughly edited visual content that hardly has any correlation to real life. Rather, they are eager to see on the screen things that are connected with their everyday routine. For example, your brand produces cosmetics. So, instead of using pictures of a popular model or static photos of your products with text descriptions, try an ‘in-action’ image or a photo that shows an average representative of your target audience using the cosmetics you want to promote.
Put the Focus on People
It has already been mentioned before, but it’s worth repeating – a digital marketing strategy is about engaging more and more potential customers into your brand. And when it comes to engagement, nothing works better than visuals with people. We like content featuring other people like us because in this way we feel more connected. Don’t treat this principle lightly in your work.
Don’t Forget About Emotions
For sure you’ve noticed yourself that images can change your mood in an instant. Moreover, they can make impressions much faster and much more accurately than any other means. Pictures can evoke a wide range of human feelings and emotions: happiness, sadness, nostalgia, fun, high-spiritedness and many others. This feature offers your brand an outstanding opportunity you should not miss. If you want your audience to experience some particular emotion and have it associated with your brand, you only need to select an appropriate image.
Diversify Your Visuals
Sometimes you spend many hours planning and analyzing your visual content strategy only to find out that in the end, it didn’t prove as successful as you expected it to be. No matter how high-quality your images are, there is no way to predict with 100 percent certainty that it will resonate with the user. The only way out is to diversify your strategy and use different approaches with different kinds of images.
Though there is not the slightest doubt that images have huge potential in terms of increasing engagement, the key point here is to use them in the right place and in the right manner. And at times only practical implementation can show if the option you selected was right. However, dishonesty is absolutely a wrong path to take. Whatever visuals you use – they must be true and real.