Well, this makes perfect sense—as a society that spends up to 1/4 of their online time on social media sites and blogs, we’ve become more visually oriented and scan, scan, scan for the juiciest, most useful bits of content. This is how your target audience also takes in information, so you need to make sure you are consistently providing engaging images to capture their attention.
Here’s some eye-opening data that backs this up:
- On sites with photos, page views are 94% higher than those that only contain text.
- On Facebook, posts that have photos are 120 to 180% more engaging than those without them.
- On Yelp, people spend 2.5 times more time on business pages that include photos.
- And the photo-gasm that is Pinterest serves up more referral traffic than LinkedIn, Google+, and YouTube combined.
Photos are clearly too important to ignore, so take the extra time to source photos for your newsletter and blog posts. It will not only gain you more eyeballs, but it will help foster engagement and add color and beauty (or quirkiness) to your pages!
Here’s a checklist of essential elements of a photo that adds value to your content:
> evokes emotion
> invites curiosity
> leaves something to the imagination
> is “on brand” (has a look and feel consistent with what I stand for)
> helps illustrate my article / content / pitch / program
> has good resolution (at least 72 dpi for online viewing)
> is easy to upload and is available in a digital format
> is NOT unintentionally blurry, dark, or otherwise hard to “read”
> has proper permissions and is properly credited
How often do you take photos into account when you create your content? What kinds of photos are you drawn to in others’ marketing? Do you want to use more photos but need help understanding where to find good ones? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!“What Wendy Loves” Photos, left to right: “Smily,” © 2011 Vorstadt-Prinzessin; “heart-green illustration,” © 2011 HikingArtist.com; “I’m feeling like soup so I’m making some fresh corn and potato chowder.,” © 2011 Emily Carlin — used under a Creative Commons Attribution license.