With so much information competing for our short attention spans online, using great images in blogs and tweets is imperative. The reason? Blog posts with images get shared more.
According to Twitter, using images results in an incredible 313% more engagement from web posts. In addition, images make information easier to remember. Sixty-five percent of visual information is retained after three days, versus ten percent for text-only content in eLearning.
Leverage the following best practices to maximize their potential in blog posts:
1. Always Add Value
Make sure the image and content are relevant to the audience. Visual content can build a relationship with the audience whether using a photograph, illustration, infographic, or chart. Add thoughts, use a quote, or pose a question in the post to reinforce the content and engage the reader.
2. Evoke an Emotional Response
The image can be funny, informative, or inspiring; but it should elicit a direct response. When using stock photography one can adjust colors of objects to better align to the brand. Another approach is to use filters to create a feeling and consistently use them within the blog. The photograph should have a strong visual composition so that the content of the image is immediately clear. If you can’t find an appropriate photograph or illustration, use a quote and create a graphic treatment to express the message. Educating the audience with an infographic or statistic is another alternative when subject matter is complex or abstract.
3. Harmonize the Image and the Tweet
The image and its content visually and textually should enhance and support the copy that is being posted. The image should directly relate to the message.
4. Use a Consistent Brand Identity
Don’t go overboard with color. It is better to use a limited color palette, with one primary color and a few accent colors. Use the same fonts across all posted images. Try to strike a balance between consistency and freshness. And make sure the image hasn’t been previously used.
5. Add Words to the Image
Feel free to expand upon Twitter’s character limit by adding copy on top of the image. Reinforce the tweet with a headline in the image. Make sure type is legible and big so that it is readable on a phone.
6. Brand the Image
Add a logo or business name to the artwork so if it is reposted your brand is credited.
7. Obtain Usage Rights
With photography and illustrations, if you haven’t created the artwork yourself, make sure to purchase the usage rights. Royalty-free stock and microstock imagery are relatively inexpensive; and it’s easy to adjust colors so that the images better align to the brand.
8. Optimize the Image for the Post
Check guidelines for resolution and pixel dimensions for placement, so that all of the posts render consistently. The image should be of good quality, sharp and crisp at the desired resolution. The file should also be optimized for web; should be a jpg, gif or png; and should be small for faster page loading. Check the specifications for the site you are posting to; you may have to post different files on different channels.
9. Keep it Simple
Using great images and following best practices consistently can capture your readers’ attention and help them remember your message.
Follow these tips and you’ll be well on your way to capturing—and keeping—the attention of anyone who sees your posts.
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