“Show don’t tell” – This adage is as relevant today in the world of online marketing as it was in 9th grade English class. The advantage we have as marketers is that we can use actual images to increase the impact of the words we put on the page.
Most website managers and bloggers recognize the opportunity images present but often fall short when it comes to effective implementation. The truth is, the images that you choose reflect the style and persona of your website and brand. Unfortunately, far too many businesses think that images like the one below represents their company’s personality adequately.
In reality, stock photography often comes across obvious and cheesy and many users can tell that it’s stock. The good news is that effective images do not require an enormous production budget or years of experience. Here are three quick tips for creating great images that add personality to your company website, blog, or social media.
Use Original Images:
With the advent of really high quality cell phone cameras, there is really not an excuse anymore not to be using your own images. Taking and posting your own pictures to the web lets users to get to know you and your brand far better than a generic business photo from the internet. Using original content also has the distinct advantage of not being on anyone else’s site.
If it’s Not Original, Make it Your Own:
If it isn’t possible for all of your images to be original you can at least add your own touch to them (this of course assumes that the image license allows adaptation). Adding filters and relevant text can make a stock image seem like it was made just for your site. The image below is the same stock photo from above with the addition of some personal touches.
Programs like Photoshop are powerful image editing tools in the hands of a professional but there are free and cheap alternatives that can make even the least experienced designer capable. The image above was edited using canva.com a great free website with outlines for a number of different purposes.
Don’t Forget to Cite Image Sources:
Citing image sources when you use someone else’s images not only protects you legally, it’s the right thing to do. If you got your image from the Creative Commons their Wiki has a good guide for citing authors. There are also websites like foter.com that will create a citation for you that you can copy and paste onto your site.
Hopefully these quick tips give you some ideas to get started making your website, blog or social posts look less like it was copy and pasted from somewhere else.